My Ducks Laying YAY - Have some questions..

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Iamaqte, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Iamaqte

    Iamaqte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2007
    Riegelsville, Pa
    Hello! I have 3 female ducks laying on a bunch of eggs.. this is my first time with ducks actaully laying and staying on the eggs.. I have a couple questions - so if anyone can help, it will be greatly appricated!!

    1.) They dont move (from what i see of them). I havent seen them get up to eat of drink in like a week. Is this normal? Do u think they are just doing it when I am not looking? It is weird. I feel bad for them.

    2.) If I lift her up to candle the eggs do u think she would continue to lay on them or would she not return since I disturbed her? I don't want to jinx it. Would it be a safe idea to put food and water in front of her?

    3.) I keep finding eggs appearing on the floor of the coupe, as if something just kicked them out of the nest.. Why do they do that? Is this normal?

    4.) After they or if they hatch - Can I move them to another area without effecting the mother? I want to separate the babies with mommy away from the other animals till they get bigger. Is that an alright idea or should I just leave them be?

    I know it sounds silly, but I dont want to upset the momma if they are going to bring me babies, ya know? I want it to be as perfect as I can make it for them, since none of them have hatched babies yet.

    I am so excited I can't even stand myself...Work is dragging and I want to get home to my babies!![​IMG]

    Thanks again!
     
  2. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Hi! How exciting! I have a duck that has been broody for about 2 weeks now. I'm new at this too, but I've done some research, so here goes:

    1) They are probably getting up and eating/drinking and/or bathing when you aren't looking. Also, I think the first week my girl was sitting more than not. After about a week, she started taking longer breaks (up to 30 min at a time, I think).

    2) I did NOT candle. You could do it when they naturally get up, I think, but I'd be afraid I'd get "pecked" if I tried while the duck was sitting. I wouldn't worry about candling because:

    3) The eggs you find are probably rejects -- ones that are infertile from the clutch. Ducks will get rid of any that aren't viable and put them as far from the nest as they can. I believe that is what you are seeing. Why candle, when momma knows best? Why count your ducklin's before they hatch?

    4) I personally think you should keep momma and ducklin's together. Separate them from any males though. You could probably get away with taking the ducklings inside with you, but they are a bunch of work and mess and I think their moms would get depressed and possibly not get along with their own babies when they meet them again in 6 weeks or so.

    I think its best to let nature take her course. ENJOY!!!!
     
  3. Iamaqte

    Iamaqte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2007
    Riegelsville, Pa
    Thank you for the information.

    Just to clarify - I was planning on moving the mommy with the babies into a separate area so they all are together with the other ducks.

    I know with the candling - i am just anxious!![​IMG]
     
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    well- I never got to go the whole distance because a fox got my setting hen (my fault)...but he're what I know.

    1. I too thought mine wasn't getting up at all, but after about a week, I'd see her take short breaks, bathe, eat, quack and then go back....I have wood shavings in my nest box and when I went and checked on them when she wasn't looking, she had buried them in the shavings and they were very warm

    2 &3. many people will candle their eggs. I have also heard of them pushing out non-fertile or bad eggs... I know that I moved my duck into the nesting box...and she set right back on them, but there is always a risk. I also checked on her a couple times and inadvertantly flushed her off her nest...but she returned as soon as I was out of the way. You could candle the eggs they push out and just verify those if you're too nervous to candle all of them, but still curious.

    I did put food and water within 1foot of her nest box because I had thought she wasn't getting up. She used it very little, as I think that when she was ready to get up, she probably wanted to bathe and stretch her legs a little. I would think that especially if they are new setters, I would give them food and water close by as with many fowl, some set harder than others and some have been known to set so hard they were very emmaciated when done (rare, but it happens)

    4. If you plan on moving them after they hatch...I think it will be just fine. I moved my nest because of the location (in the raspberry bushes--her eggs looked tye died purple)and had good luck with the duck going back and setting on it right away...but...that may have been lucky.

    edited to add that I got mixed reports from people saying to separate them from the male. It may be something you need or many not need to do.


    I hope you are surrounded with lots of babies!
    Good luck
    Sandra
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2007
  5. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Sorry, my mind is elsewhere today. [​IMG]

    It seems it would be easier to move the others, rather than mom and babies. When you move a nest, there is the possibility that the mom will get off the nest and not go back. But I don't know what your set-up is like, or what gender your other ducks are. If you have all females, then I don't see why they can't all stay together, but again I'm new at this too.

    I know that when I hatched ducklings inside and brought them out that it took a very long time for my female duck (not their mom) to accept them -- I mean until they were her size. Until then they were targets. If you keep them with their mom and the others see that, I think they will all accept them just fine, but if they are separate they might not accept them. Just my opinion.

    I've candled before, so I guess I don't care to do it. Maybe because I know how you can get attached and then not know if they will make it the whole way through incubation. And then you want to keep checking . . . . [​IMG] Now I don't want to know until I know. Especially since the actual hatch can be very tense for those of us who don't quack and waddle around on orange feet. [​IMG]

    If you are curious, and I don't blame you, wait until you see one get off her nest, have everything ready to go and replace the egg just as you found it (keep it oriented as it was!). Then try to resist the temptation to keep checking. [​IMG]

    What kind of ducks, if I might ask?
     
  6. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I'd like to respond to what Sandra said. I have put a small water trough and a feed trough about 6 inches from my broody duck. She uses it throughout the day, and I think she is glad for it. She still gets up for longer periods, which is usually when she gets rid of her accumulated waste . . . when yours get up you will know! They will leave a rather large and smelly deposit somewhere. [​IMG]
     
  7. Iamaqte

    Iamaqte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2007
    Riegelsville, Pa
    Thank you all again! This is so awesome to get information from people who have done it, instead of spending hours searching the internet for answers! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Currently the ducks are with the chickens and 1 goose. They all free range during the day and go to bed in their house at night. The ducks, i set up little boxes on the floor, and they are using them. Even with sharing the house with the other animals. I have 4 males to my 10 girls all together.

    I want to move all of the animals in the "chicken house" into the barn while we do renovations the the chicken coop, but I am waiting for the babies to hatch.

    I would like to keep them all together, but I dont want the other animals or the males to hurt the babies.. so I was thinking about putting the momma's with the babies in a "private section" of the coop so they can interact with the others, but not have "touching" contact. What do u think?

    I have (3) Mascoves, (3) Runners, (3) Pekins and (6) all brown ones ( i am not sure what they are.)
     
  8. Iamaqte

    Iamaqte Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
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    Jul 11, 2007
    Riegelsville, Pa
    I think i am just going to leave them be and see what happens and not candle them. When i do see them out.. I am going to run in and see how many eggs they have under there..

    3 momma's laying.. It shall be interesting...
     
  9. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Exciting isn't it? [​IMG] If you decide you do want to candle, do it between day 7 and 14, because in my experience, after that it is really hard to see anything inside.

    Ducks will turn their eggs 122 degrees. When we humans incubate eggs, we tend to turn them 180. The advantage of turning only 122 degrees, is that the embryo will remain oriented correctly inside the shell. When I incubated I had one "breach" birth, because it hatched before I expected and I had turned it just before it pipped. I was so worried I had caused problems!!! Anyway, that is why I said to make sure you put it back in the right orientation. It probably wouldn't matter a whole lot early in the game, but why mess with a good thing? Ducks turn their eggs sort of indirectly, with their feet when they re-orient themselves on their nests, it's called "paddling."

    If you decide to separate them, using chickenwire or the like, so they can see each other (which I think you are considering) is a good way to do it.
     
  10. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Which of your ducks are mommas? FYI -- Runners don't make good moms and may abandon their nests. Not sure if you knew that, because I just learned it after getting 2 Runners.

    If some of your mommas are runners, and if they get off their nests, you can try tucking their eggs in under the other ducks. Or you can try incubating them yourself! Then you can candle away!!! LOL.
     

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