mandarins and wood ducks mating all day(but too early in the year)

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by greekbioguy, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. greekbioguy

    greekbioguy Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    39
    Dec 25, 2010
    the last week there is a lot of activity in my duck aviary, all my duck pairs are arguing with each other and they are mating in the ponds so i guess breeding season has started but it seems too early in the year (usually they start end of February). i do not know if i should put out their nest boxes (mandarins and wood ducks will not lay unless they find a nest they like) i am afraid we might get a couple of nights with freezing temperatures in February and i am afraid their eggs will freeze (the temperature around here never drops under -2 c ,just bellow freezing point and only during the coldest nights)
    do u think i must trust their instinct and let them nest now or should i wait for another month to be on the safe side?
     
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I don't know a thing about ducks but I would trust in Mother Nature.
     
  3. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

    594
    4
    133
    Mar 30, 2010
    Alabama
    Mine are doing the same thing!! You just have to go with the flow on them and let mother nature run its course..

    I was worried too because you can tell that the hens look like they have eggs or an egg ready to lay! I was told that between Feb-April is really when they should lay.. They can keep the eggs warm my concern would be the young if they did hatch to soon... but that is what they make heat lamps for
     
  4. greekbioguy

    greekbioguy Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    39
    Dec 25, 2010
    Quote:i placed the nest boxes out yesterday . they are checking them out .i would feel terrible to take the babies away from their mother. i only take them away from her to give them away to people when they start flying. they are really emotional creatures and can feel grief and loss i think. how many do you have ?
     
  5. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    7,401
    70
    288
    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    It's best to already have your boxes out so they can be getting used to them. Right now if prebreeding season when they are getting everything situated for it and getting ready, some wood ducks and mandarins will lay this time of year, most start in March.
    The idea that they will not lay without a box is an old wives tale. They will just drop them on the ground if they dont have a nest. It's a biological thing. Once an eggs starts forming, they cant just hold it in, once it's ready it has to go somewhere.
    This is looking to be one of those early years for everybody that I have talked with, myself included, which is great cause last year was a dud for most everyone.
    A lot of my stuff has already started to lay, some back first of January. Not migratorys, but all my other stuff.
    So once they start getting ready, that's nature, there's nothing you can do to postpone it.
    Good that you got the boxes up, it'll still most likely be a few weeks before you see an egg.
     
  6. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    4
    101
    Oct 5, 2010
    Michigan
    We leave our nest boxes out year round we just cleaned them out last week and the birds will start when they are ready, it is almost impossible to try to control wild waterfowl when to breed or not to breed just keep boxes out and let them "Do their thing"
     
  7. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

    594
    4
    133
    Mar 30, 2010
    Alabama
    Quote:i placed the nest boxes out yesterday . they are checking them out .i would feel terrible to take the babies away from their mother. i only take them away from her to give them away to people when they start flying. they are really emotional creatures and can feel grief and loss i think. how many do you have ?

    How many do we have?? depends on what you might be talking about.. Mandarins and Wood ducks.. Total 35 but Waterfowl in general 150 if you don't the Mallards, White crested, buff and my pintail on the pond!

    We learned last year to talk the babies away as soon as they hatch because they get lost and others may hurt them.

    This year we will be pulling their eggs after they sit on them for about 2 weeks and let our Broody Chickens hatch them out in hopes of a second clutch.. Last year we would actually catch the mom and babies and put them in a Large Brood box we have together until the babies got about 2 weeks old.
     
  8. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    7,401
    70
    288
    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    Quote:yep, I never took down any of mine either, some will breed in the dead of winter here
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by