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my 6 month old female mallard just laid eggs, for the 1st time but its winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jdroach04, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. jdroach04

    jdroach04 Hatching

    Oct 27, 2014
    thank you for the answers on my last post [​IMG] i have another question now, my girl laid 19!! eggs this is her 1st set! shes 6 months old . do i leave them there? its November in Pgh PA, and there's no way the eggs are fertile, but i don't wanna mess up her cycle or whatever..which is on the ground, haven't had any problems with prediters, have a very protective dog as a body guard, and is it ok to replace my ducks not so nice "nest" with a better one, same place just a better insulated one.?

    again, thanks so much for the help

  2. gkroegman

    gkroegman Hatching

    Aug 19, 2014
    Either use 'em or lose 'em. If she's not sitting on them she won't care, it's safe to remove them whenever you want. I have a Mallard and I pick them up and throw them in the river that runs behind my house every two weeks or so.

    If you leave an infertile egg there for too long (anything over 45 days in my recommendation), gasses will build up inside the egg (it starts to rot, and you can't tell on the outside) and it will explode when you touch it. When that happens it stinks to high heaven - be warned!!
    If I'm not sure about an egg, I put my hand in a plastic grocery bag before trying to pick it up, that way if it does explode, the gook will get on the bag and not my arm. But seriously the smell is horrid and will take your breath away.

    Let her build her own nest. She will need to know that when she is ready to start sitting on her eggs, that the nest she builds will be a good place for them. Mine has built several. Two in her pen, one in each garden bed, one in my compost area... she will dig a hole (somehow) the size of about half a basketball and that's where she'll pick to lay. Sometimes it's just a hole, other times she will fill some of them with feathers, grass, twigs, whatever she can find. If you replace the nest she's built, she'll just build another where she wants to.

    Honestly no matter what you do, she's going to keep laying wherever she wants. It's natures way. Females lay eggs if they're fertile or not, if it's cold or hot. Once she starts, she will lay consistently for the next couple of years. Prepare to have a ton of eggs.
  3. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chirping

    Dec 20, 2013
    wigan uk
    That's not to say if you provide a nest area or two, that she won't decide to lay there instead of somewhere stupid!
    I had to break two nests up before I got my mallard girl where I was happy (ie in the coop instead of atop a wall!)
    It is also possible to move a nest and not upset the cycle - I moved another broody duck from a portable run into their coop when the run was needed for an injured bird.
    I slipped the bottom of a plastic bucket under her straw nest and let her watch and follow as I picked up the nest and slowly took it to the new coop.
    She has to see you doing this or she'll freak out when she finds the empty nest! If she runs off when you come to move her, then it is best to wait until she is quite close and taking an interest in what you are doing to her eggs; even if that means sitting next to the nest for half an hour before you move them!

    It generally depends how broody the mother goes as to how much success you'll have.
    Chickens are much easier to do this with than ducks: the more domesticated the easier it gets.
    My wild rescue is the only bird I've had to break the nests up with - she's too stubborn to do as she's told though! She laid about 14 eggs in total but only sat on 2 in the end: I'd tried moving the other nests of 6 eggs but where I put them was never good enough and she would just go and set up somewhere else the next day!

    Good luck :)
  4. jdroach04

    jdroach04 Hatching

    Oct 27, 2014
    thank you for the help im still trying to understand my ducks, i cant wait til she has babies im so excited, my 2 orphans will be a flock! i rescued these 2 this past easter, having nothing but the tote they came in and got lucky enough that they were a boy and girl, my husband shakes his head when i tell she had 19 eggs her first time....I just laugh [​IMG] thanks again..

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