Needed: Info About Breeding and Brooding

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jayufa, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. jayufa

    jayufa Hatching

    Jul 12, 2010
    Hi folks -
    New to the forum and delighted to see that there are duck owners and lovers in here as well. Unfortunately I have a sad story, but also need some information that I can't seem to find online or in the forum, it seems fragmented and incomplete. We are new to ducks, and raised five welsch harlequins from babies in February. Several of left town and though we have a predator proof coop, an inexperienced housemate did not follow through on her commitment to lock them up at night, and we suffered a terrible tragedy. One duck survived and we nursed her back to health. So here is the specific information that I would like:
    She was bitten in the back of the neck but laid an egg the very next morning and has continued to lay eggs nearly each day (what a trooper) is about five days later now and she is fully recovered. From what I have been able to gather online, ducks can lay fertilized eggs for up to two weeks post mating, and she has already laid four eggs within a week of mating with the male. So we have been leaving the eggs in the coop and hoping to restart the flock. I understand that ducks lay eggs until they feel that they have enough, a clutch, and then begin to sit on them, or "become broody".
    So I guess here are my questions and sorry if there are many. Any help is appreciated:
    what are the factors that determine whether a duck will become broody, is it simply up to chance? Is it a dumb idea to try to restart the flock this way, or do I have the wrong information about how long a duck can lay fertilize eggs for? Am I risking her becoming broody and stopping laying for unfertilized eggs? What is a typical clutch size, or how long should I wait and leave eggs in the coop before removing them? What should I be doing/watching for with her? And one last question: I found one source that said that bred ducklings will grow up to either not lay eggs or have a diminished egg laying capacity. I don't really understand why this would be, as the male and female were Harlequins from good stock. Any insights on this would be great. She is currently happily foraging about all day in the yard, destroying the snail population and feeling great.

    Any information is appreciated along with any obvious questions/information that I may have overlooked. Thank you!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  2. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    Sorry to hear that [​IMG] But good for you trying to start a new flock [​IMG]

    I haven't done the whole breeding thing yet as my females aren't old enough, but I think after about a week or something without sitting and showing no signs of being broody you should try incubate them yourself if possible, but wait and see what more experienced people have to say [​IMG]

    Good luck! [​IMG]

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