Nesting/hatching ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Anderson0527, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Anderson0527

    Anderson0527 Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
    I have 8 ducks, 3 males, and 5 females (2 Cayuga females, a pair of Ancona, a pair of Welsh Harlequin, and a pair of Black Swedish), and my girls started laying a couple months ago. For the most part the eggs are chicken-sized, but I've gotten 3-5 a day every day for 2 weeks now. They seem to lay only in the two back corners of their house. They're free range, with a pond and lots and lots of pasture. I lock them up at night in a house approximately 2't x 8' x 8' with their food and water.

    I have 3 outside cats, but they honestly don't care about the ducks. They lay in the yard near the ducks and the ducks just go about their business without a care in the world. I also have a "cage" my hubby built when these guys were ducklings and we were first moving them outside. It's a wooden frame covered in chicken wire so they can't be eaten or get lost. I don't use it anymore though.

    So I'm wondering how I would go about getting them to hatch eggs? Do I need to wait till spring? Should I separate the boys and girls at night? Do they need a nesting box? What do I need to do to keep the ducklings safe?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Mostly it's up to them whether or not they go broody. Once they do, often they will make their own nest. In your case, that could be challenging since they free range and who knows where they'll decide to nest - and that can make them very vulnerable since they'd want to sit on the nest at night, and not in the night shelter.

    These things can be dealt with, I am sure.

    @sourland may have some ideas, as well as @Miss Lydia and others.
     
  3. Anderson0527

    Anderson0527 Just Hatched

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    Sep 13, 2016
    What does a broody duck even look like? lol there's always a nest made in the straw with 2-3 eggs and then some random eggs scattered elsewhere in the house in the mornings. The Ancona duck seems more concerned than the others as to what I'm doing while I get the eggs out, too.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2016
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    My Coop
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BFjpzRaDHgi/

    Here's a shot of one of my gals gone broody this year.

    She hunkered down whenever I got near. Definitely was not in the mood for company.

    If your duck isn't on the nest full time she's not broody yet, but might be interested in sitting (hence the nest in your coop.) Getting her to keep that nest may be your best bet. If she goes broody she's in the coop and relatively safe, if she doesn't go broody your eggs are easy to collect.

    I was super scared of her deciding to nest somewhere downstream since in the spring they forage in a low lying wood (very swampy woods) that isn't always easy for me to access. I made a point of not letting them out until she'd laid in the house so I could ensure that she wouldn't build a nest off in the 'wilds.'
     

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