Odd Laying Habits for NA Pintail

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by Natermotor, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Natermotor

    Natermotor Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Cecil County,MD
    Well, this is my first year with my pintails. All is going well, both are active and healthy. I was excited to finally see the female making a nest. I was also happy to see an egg in that nest. What I was not so happy about was that there was another egg, fifteen feet away mind you, sitting in the open next to a rock. She procceded to sit on her nest for about 4 hours, covered the one egg that was in her nest with straw, and left. She didn't come back to the nest. The eggs both got rained on. Both are dead. [​IMG]

    Now here is my question: She seemed to start on making another nest under cover of rain, but looks like she lost heart and stopped. Will she lay more eggs this year and actually sit on them? Should I put in a wood duck box just to see if she will lay in it?

    Thanks in advance,

    Nate
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  2. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't know if she will lay again, it's getting late for northern pins. If this is your first year, I am assuming that they are first year birds. yearlings will often make a half-hearted nesting attempt and not follow-through. It's a good sign for next year.

    Clint
     
  3. Natermotor

    Natermotor Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Cecil County,MD
    Yup, they are first year birds.

    I'm happy that they will at least lay next year.

    Bummer that she won't lay anymore this year though, I'll keep an eye out just in case and take them away if she does.
     
  4. Natermotor

    Natermotor Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2010
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    She layed another egg.
     
  5. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    I was just about to say, nest or not, she will probably continue to lay. It is very common for a number of migratory species to just drop lay eggs all over the pen, most will grow out of that with age, some never will. If she's a first year girl and attempting nest though, yes thats a good sign for next year. As for being rained on... that doesnt hurt a thing, Lord dont toss them just because of that. If rain alone killed them, we'd never have a wild one hatch. Now if they were incubated and she bailed on them, maybe, but if they were fresh, rain does nothing to them, they are super heavy coated by the hen as she is soaking wet every time she returns to the nest, one reason why waterfowl require so much higher humidity in incubators.

    I would allow this girls to set eggs this year either, if she continues to lay, put them under a broody hen or in an incubator.
    I never let any set anyway, always incubated and brood, there are way too many things that can happen to eggs or ducklings in a aviary.

    Also as far as the wood duck box, she wont use it, maybe a similar box, called aground box, much bigger, and open on the ends, but all my pintail have always used thick ground cover to next in.
    Speaking of that, make sure you have a lot of cover in the pen when breeding season comes around. Open barren pens are not good for waterfowl when they lay, the thicker the cover, the more prone to a successful nest your hens will have.
     
  6. Natermotor

    Natermotor Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Cecil County,MD
    She has plenty of cover. She made her nest that she sat in for a day right next to the aviary wall and behind some THICK plants and weeds. I tossed one egg because it was completely cracked open, but I have the other two getting ready for incubation now.

    How long do pintails usually take to hatch, so I know when to up the humidity?

    Thanks,

    Nate
     
  7. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:About 23-24 days
     
  8. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe I am misreading this post but do you mean the duck laid one egg in the nest, then another out of the nest so you took both eggs away? [​IMG] If that's the case you've disrupted the nest and she'll likely try to renest again somewhere else. You need to leave the eggs in the nest until she has completed the clutch, otherwise she'll stop laying and never sit. [​IMG]

    Pintails are among the easiest wild ducks to breed. So long as they aren't bothered they lay well, sit tightly and can rear their own ducklings well. [​IMG]

    DT
     
  9. Natermotor

    Natermotor Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Cecil County,MD
    Dr. Todd :

    Maybe I am misreading this post but do you mean the duck laid one egg in the nest, then another out of the nest so you took both eggs away? [​IMG] If that's the case you've disrupted the nest and she'll likely try to renest again somewhere else. You need to leave the eggs in the nest until she has completed the clutch, otherwise she'll stop laying and never sit. [​IMG]

    Pintails are among the easiest wild ducks to breed. So long as they aren't bothered they lay well, sit tightly and can rear their own ducklings well. [​IMG]

    DT

    She layed one egg in the nest on the first day, waited a day, and layed the other egg about 15 feet away. She then did not sit on her nest for the rest of the day(about 16 hours).​
     
  10. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    she wont sit til she has a full clutch. If she did, she' start incubating the first ones, them lay a new one that is fresh, etc etc, she'd have them hatching over a 2 week period.

    they will build a nest, go to it just to lay the egg then leave. That's normal. Give her 2 weeks before you take any more, or just 1 week if she doesnt lay any more.
    1 hour on the nest while laying the clutch is about all they will do. Once she lines the nest with down, then she's getting ready to incubate.
    Dont know if you have other birds in with them, but some will do what's called net dumbing too. They will let hen 1 build the nest and start laying, then they will roll her eggs out and lay theirs in the nest and let hen 1 do all the work. If you have others, you might want to watch for that, could be another reason for the egg being out of the nest.
    Most likely she just got bumped though, or being a first year girl, didnt follow threw with the nest.
    Just watch her, but stay away from that nest. she will leave it if you go to it and mess with it every day. they like to feel like they have it hid from every thing, us included.
     

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