Need advice... Mallard duck sitting on nest

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jamienuss, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. jamienuss

    jamienuss Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Apex, NC
    Hi Everyone! This is my first time posting to BYC so I apologize if I'm in the wrong place...

    A little back story: I have two mallards that I got as babies back in March; we ended up with a male and female. The female has been laying eggs pretty regularly and we've been using them for cooking. But about two weeks ago, we noticed she'd be missing for a little while each day. We figured she was laying in a nest somewhere. And we were right!

    She is about 50yards from the coop in between two trees on the edge of the woods. We finally found the nest and it has 13 eggs in it. For starters, I'm a little worried about her safety. But she can fly so hopefully she'd take off before something got her. Our land is fenced all the way around so the dogs can't get out so hopefully that would by her time if something was trying to het her. But it's getting colder - by the end of the week it will be down to 40's during the day and low 30's/high 20's at night. She's staying at her nest pretty much all the time.

    Will she be okay in the weather? Should I try to move her? What would you do?

    We are planning to take the babies inside if/when they hatch - between the dogs and cats and the cold weather I'm afraid they wouldn't make it....

    Any advice is much appreciated!!
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she spending the nights out there on the nest as well? If she's only been sitting some of the time (and not all day with just one or two short breaks), the eggs likely aren't viable. Can you candle at least a few of the eggs to see if there are living embryos inside? If they're not alive/fertile, the solution is much easier: just toss the eggs so she can get on with her life and be kept in where she is safe and warm (assuming you have a coop for them?). If the eggs are indeed viable with growing embryos inside, you can better estimate a hatch date judging by their level of development.

    You could try to move the nest and eggs to a more secure location, but there's no guarantee she will sit on them again once they've been moved. Do you have an incubator by any chance in case she would abandon them if moved?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  3. jamienuss

    jamienuss Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Apex, NC
    She is spending the night out on the nest. And she's gone most of the day too. Each night my boy flies her to the nest and then flies back to the coop to be put up for the night. We were finally able to see where she was landing. I'll try to candle a few and see what I find. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  4. pnewman

    pnewman Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a female mallard that does the same thing. They are wild by nature and I let her say on the eggs. The first year all 6 hatched but were quickly eaten by predators. This year I let her sit again and she hatched 12 we still have 11 of them she learned how to protect the young.
    I am always very nervous leaving her out, but it has worked out well for her. We are on large acreage with no fence. She likes to nest under a pine tree.
    I am not saying I am doing it right but it seems to work out well.
     
  5. jamienuss

    jamienuss Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Apex, NC
    So the 30° is okay?
     
  6. pnewman

    pnewman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Mallards are wild the temperature will not be an issue I am in Michigan, they have a coop and a heat lamp, but the mallards do not use it. They say out side on a little straw.
     
  7. jamienuss

    jamienuss Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Apex, NC
    Good to hear! She came back to the coop area to take a bath and eat a bit. While she was off the nest I went and candled a few of the eggs. They were all fertile. And when I compare them to pics, it seems like they are around day 6? So I will just let her do her thing. Thank you!!
     
  8. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually they might be some of the most hardy ducks, but still she can get frostbite , or even hypothermia because she is transferring her heat to the eggs. I would recommend moving the nest if she is that broody it shouldn't matter if you move the nest or not. Just be sure the coop is warm at night.
     
  9. jamienuss

    jamienuss Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Apex, NC
    [​IMG]

    If that worked, that is the 7-day forecast. Will she be okay at night?? I'm
    Not sure I can make a place to keep her fast enough... But I could do a dog crate or something if I need to...
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would move her and her eggs - the fact that she can fly does not make her secure. She is, literally, a sitting duck.
     

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