Mallard Duck I know NOTHING help and input

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bbqsfarm, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. bbqsfarm

    bbqsfarm Out Of The Brooder

    74
    1
    41
    Jul 3, 2012
    So we have a mallard hen that adopted us last August. Just one. Well the last couple of days she has not been around much. Well today I found her on a nest of 23 eggs under the cedar tree. With no male here I am guessing they are NOT fertile. But.... A couple of times in the last month I have seen a male hanging around for a day or so.

    Just curious should I leave them or gather them or ?? I never expected her to stick around for one and for 2 much less nest and lay eggs. Some days she is wild as can be but for a week or so about a month ago she was letting me pet her. Now nothing again. Meaning you can not get to close.

    She sleeps with our cats and eats cat food along with the bird feed I bought. Trying to figure out what to do with the eggs. How long they would be good etc. I doubt she laid 23 eggs today (LOL).

    thanks
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,063
    2,092
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Wow, my response to you disappeared. Let's see if I can remember what I wrote.

    My first concern would be her safety. She's extremely vulnerable to fatal predator attacks, sitting on a nest outside safe shelter.

    Aside from that, if she's wild, there may be restrictions on what's legal.

    If she's a domestic stray, then there should be no restriction.

    You could bring the eggs in to incubate, if you want a bunch of ducklings, and that is a whole can of worms with a steep learning curve for incubating and then brooding. And it can be addicting!
     
  3. bbqsfarm

    bbqsfarm Out Of The Brooder

    74
    1
    41
    Jul 3, 2012
    I think she would considered a domestic stray. She wondered here after a dog training event last summer on the next property.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,063
    2,092
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would lure her to a safe shelter especially at night, and either try moving the eggs and nest, or incubate them if you want littles. But I'd have a plan for the littles before hatching. Don't want you in desperate straits.

    I need to turn in. Will be thinking of you, and I'll subscribe to this thread and check in the a.m.

    Bless you for caring.
     
  5. bbqsfarm

    bbqsfarm Out Of The Brooder

    74
    1
    41
    Jul 3, 2012
    I am thinking the eggs would not be fertile but we are in a fly path and she has called one or two in a couple of times but that was back in Jan.

    I can easily make her habitat safe by putting my kennel around it and adding netting, wire, or ? to the top. I have one of those 4 ' high dog kennels with a roof frame.

    I checked her is am and she has made the nest bigger and the sides higher so she is even more hidden.

    So do ducks not usually hatch incubate on thier own?
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,063
    2,092
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Domestic ducks do not all have good broody instincts. Some do, some don't.

    I like metal half inch hardware cloth for security, especially down low, where a raccoon could reach through chain link and pull duck parts out.

    Also, it only takes an inch or two gap underneath the fence for a raccoon to do the same.

    I placed 2 sets of 1"x6" boards around the perimeter of the pen, and sandwiched coated chain link fence between them so nothing of any size could come up under the pen during the day, and I have either solid wood flooring or half inch metal hardware cloth on the bottom of the warm weather night shelter (the winter night shelter has a concrete floor and concrete walls).
     
  7. bbqsfarm

    bbqsfarm Out Of The Brooder

    74
    1
    41
    Jul 3, 2012
    We are week 2 of sitting. I noticed some of the eggs broke and all signs are now gone. I still count 17. I am in the process of making a pen for her and the ducklings just in case. I am using a hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. I notice when she gets up to feed that she covers the eggs while she is gone. I am curious would she go to all this if they were not fertile. I have read they will push eggs out that have died or are no good. Also is 28 days the ave for mallards? I marked the day we found them but don't know for sure the actual date she started sitting.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by