I think my duck is sitting on her nest :)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jen1979, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chirping

    Ok, so my runner ducks have been laying in a nice little nest for the last 6 days and today one of my girls started sitting on the nest. I'm very excited to see what happens and whether she manages to hatch any ducklings.

    We've never done this before and I have a few questions (actually I'll probably have a million, but I'll start with just a couple!!)

    I understand they sometimes give up on sitting before the ducklings hatch. Should we set up an incubator ready to go incase that happens?

    There are going to be 2 days this week that will be extremely hot (36 and 37 degrees Celsius) her nest is in direct sun next to a tin shed! What should I do?? I don't want to disturb her too much, but I would think her sitting in the sun in those temps could be pretty bad. I could set up a little shade cloth roof for her or something? But I'm really worried she'll get way too hot :(
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Letting her nest outside can and will draw predators too beside cooking her and eggs in the sun, why not take a shovel and pick up as much nest along with eggs and put it in a safe place[their house] you can take a piece of ply wood and lean it up against the wall and secure it so she has privacy. It's hard to say who's going to stick it out and who won't but I have seen quite a few Runners hatch ducklings here on BYC so hopefully you'll see some.
  3. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chirping

    Thanks Miss Lydia :) it actually is in their enclosure, they just have a shaded part and a non shaded part - typically she chose the non shaded part! I might be able to lean some ply wood up like you suggested and put a big beach umbrella up over that area.

    This morning she was off the nest having a swim, but one of the other ducks was sitting on the nest instead! Are they sharing?? Does that even happen?
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    It seems when one starts the others like to help out and you can also get 2 wanting to share the nest which can work but usually doesn't they can fight over the eggs or ducklings when hatched and you can end up with broke eggs or smashed ducklings so you'll need to watch them if they do start to sit together.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chirping

    I see, thanks for the heads up about that! Looks like the other one just looked after the nest while the first went for a swim, then didn't try and share the nest again. So hopefully it's back to just one sitting on the nest! :)
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Auntie baby sitting. lol keep us updated.
  7. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chirping

    Ok, so I spoke too soon. Not only are 2 of the ducks "sharing" the nest, but the third has joined in!! Doesnt seem to be any arguing yet... Our 3 girls are Princess, Coco and Marshmallow. Princess is the one who first started sitting on the nest, and she's the one who sits on it most of the time. When she gets up to go for a swim or a walk, Coco sits on the nest. Marshmallow showed no interest in the nest at all until last night- I saw her pushing straw over the eggs when both Coco and Princess got up for food. This morning when I went out there, Coco and Marshmallow were sitting on the nest together and Princess was off having a swim with our male, Norris!

    I've noticed in the very brief times where I can have a look in the nest when no-one is sitting on it that they are still adding eggs to the nest.... When Princess started sitting on it there were 16 eggs. Now there are 25. Is that normal? Will they just keep laying more and more eggs?? What should I do? I thought about marking all the eggs that are in there now and taking any new ones away, but I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do!

    This is what the nest looks like now:

  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Since they are still laying this maybe the best thing because your going to have a staggard hatch which means the first ducklings when hatched mama will take them out to teach them to forage so hopefully one of your girls will continue to stay with the eggs that haven't hatched yet or they'd be lost unless you have an incubator. 25 is alot and adding more daily wow are you able to have that many ducklings? and have you thought about what you'll do with them all, of course probably not all the eggs will hatch but i have seen others on here gets hatches up into the 20's. One thing you can do is wait about a 7 after last egg is laid and when they are off the nest candle the eggs and mark then, use a system say for those that are farthest along maybe number them 1- then those that are closest to first ones and down the line. That way if none are showing signs of growing you can go ahead and toss them, the girls won't care and it will help keep the nest to a number they can keep warm and you can deal with easier.
  9. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chirping

    Thank you Miss Lydia, you are so helpful!!

    I see what you mean about the staggered hatching, yes, maybe that would work well if it ends up that way! We will most probably find homes for most of the ducklings once they are a few weeks old. Over the next few months here it will be hot during the days and still very warm at night so hopefully the mummas can look after them in their enclosure. I would struggle room wise if we had to being that many indoors though!

    We don't get many predators here, I'm mostly worried about rats, we're still in the process of trying to get rid of those.

    That's a great idea with the candeling and marking the eggs. It's day 5 since she first started sitting now. I guess I should be able to see what's going on fairly easily within the next few days if I candle them then? :)
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Usually by day 4 you can see the veining beginning do you have the candling page? Rats are awful and will take ducklings and also eggs. I hope you can get rid of them. http://wildliferehabber.com/candling-eggs
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

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