Noobie looking for a little advice with Ducks and also Geese

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sirrobyn0, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. sirrobyn0

    sirrobyn0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello folks,
    Before I start asking questions I thought I would introduce myself. I'm a male, in my mid-30's and with the exception of a short break I have had backyard chickens since I was old enough to take care of them. I have been lurking here since last spring, but it's time that I start getting involved. If it matters we live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot. Last winter we had a few chickens that fell victim to wild life prey (raccoons). So after making some improvements to their pen (stronger than fort knox) We bought a few replacements chicks from the co-op. We also ended up getting a few ducks and geese as well. Obviously we don't keep the ducks and geese with the chickens, I only brought up the chickens so you would know a little about my background. So there is an area on our property that has a semi-natural season pond. Figuring this is where the ducks and geese would be happiest we built an fence around that area and it is theirs, though these days we have been letting them roam around most of the property since it is fenced.

    So we have done great so far, and had very few issues with any of the foul this winter. However we got the ducks and geese in May of 2014 and so far we have not found any eggs up until this morning. They have two shelters that I have fixed up hoping that they might choose to lay in there. We have had a bit of a less rainy period lately and the pond level has been dropping. This morning there were 7 duck eggs on the shore of the pond, some just inside the water others just on the shore. Which makes me wonder, have they been laying in the water? Is this normal? Are the geese old enough to be laying somewhere? We have 4 ducks and 4 geese. Are they just starting to lay or am I going to find a pile at the bottom on the pond in the spring? I am I doing something wrong you think?

    Now that I have registered for the site you'll probably see me posting more over on the chicken forum since that's what I know more about. But for now I'm hoping that someone with more experience with Ducks and Geese will give a noobie some advice where it comes to their laying habits.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Welcome, Rob, ducks are more prone to just lay eggs wherever they happen to be. So, if they are in the pond at laying time, that's where the eggs will go.

    Some ducks are a bit more careful to lay on land. Sometimes my ducks will make a little nest in a corner of the shelter and most will lay their eggs there, but that is usually in summertime when someone is likely to go broody.

    Keeping them in their safe overnight shelter till later in the morning works for many of us.

    And there are still the occasional afternoon layings, because things can bump their laying schedule. LIke stress, or change of weather, or hormones.
     
  3. sirrobyn0

    sirrobyn0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem is that the safe overnight area includes the pond inside the fence, but I guess the good news is that thier behavior is basically normal. I might have to work on making it so they can't access the pond anytime.....

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    So even at night when preds are really looking for a quick free meal your water fowl aren't locked up? I couldn't leave mine out one night they'd be gone in no time. My goose has never laid anywhere but in her house Only ever found duck eggs outside when they first began to lay then they found their houses were better because they had nice fluffy bedding to make a nest in. Geese breeding and laying is just starting up Regular breeding season is in late Jan thru May for most of the country. You could try putting some of the fresher eggs in the buildings to see if that would entice them to lay inside I did that and it worked. But they have to go inside to see the eggs. Do you put food and water inside these shelters? just wondering if they go inside at all if they do then seeing eggs laying in there might get them to thinking.
    and
    Welcome to BYC
     
  5. sirrobyn0

    sirrobyn0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2015
    Their safe area is a fence that surrounds the pond, it also includes their two houses and feed station. Their area is not roofed over but the fence has electric on the outside to help keep out predators. I have always thought that letting the ducks and geese have access to the pond 24/7 is really what keeps them safe since raccoons our main predator here don't seem to be interested in getting wet. There feed station is outside of their shelter and maybe that's not the best idea. So far this setup seems to have worked well except for the egg laying.

    The chickens on the other hand are in a building that I would describe as being more secure than fort knox. Well not really but you know what I mean.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     

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