Rouen duck broody question


10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
Olympia, WA

I'm hoping for some broody duck vs. chicken help.

I have a pair of Rouens. I know very little about ducks, just got these because my youngest went to the feed store with me last spring and he's darn near as cute as the ducklings were.
We've really enjoyed watching them swim in the creek and bill around in the lower field where it's all soggy--Love how good they are at keeping the slugs from working their way up from the field and into my gardens too!

Anyhow, the hen has been laying for the last couple of weeks and my boy is asking if we can hatch out some eggs. I don't have an incubator and DON'T (duck lovers please don't hate me) want to brood ducklings since my chicken set up does not work well for it. The eggs are fertile.

So my questions are:

1. Are Rouen's considered a broody breed? I've been trying to research this, but keep coming up with conflicting information.

2. If so do they do a good job of it? Some of what I've read says that they are too big and break the eggs when brooding...

3. Are broody ducks like chickens where it doesn't really matter if there are eggs in the nest and they just go broody when their body says it's time or do you need to leave the duck eggs in the nest to get them going?

Thank you!!
Anybody know anything about this? I posted over in the duck section the other day, but only got two responses and while I'm grateful for anyone that takes the time to share information with me one said yes and the other said no so I'm still confused. I'd really like to get more input so I can try to make an informed decision on what to do with her eggs.
I have 3 Rouen females and all 3 have hatched ducklings this year. However, they are technically 'not' a broody breed (don't tell them that though!). Unfortunately, you probably won't have any luck with her going broody this late in the year, none of mine are even acting like they want to. Last year, I had a Pekin go broody in October but she left the nest after a week or so. Most likely, if yours does, she either won't stay on the nest long enough or she'll hatch and the babies will get too cold.
As for your question in the first post:
3. Are broody ducks like chickens where it doesn't really matter if there are eggs in the nest and they just go broody when their body says it's time or do you need to leave the duck eggs in the nest to get them going?

No, they are not like chickens and need to have the eggs in the nest. One of mine went broody on a nest of only 3 eggs this year, but the others went broody on large, hidden, nests.

ETA: Use the eggs to make a nice, fluffy, cake and wait til spring to let her hatch. None of my females even acted like they wanted to brood last of them was 2 years old and the others were 1. This year they were 3 years and 2 years old and finally hatched some bitties.​
Last edited:
We had excellent show quality Rouens here many years ago before I decided I wanted a quieter duck and switched to Muscovies. Not once did these big square ducks set an egg. I do not know, but I will speculate that as the standard quality of the Rouens goes down the tendency to get broody goes up.

If you follow my theory, then the feed store birds would be more like a Mallard and would tend to be more broody. The finer show quality birds might be a little more messed up in the natural instinct department. That is my theory on why you have and still are getting conflicting information. If I am right then the answer to your question is....they might.

I too have a Rouen sitting on her's & my other girls eggs. She's been at it for about a week now, so I made the decision to pen her off from the rest of the group so the boys don't harass her. Im almost in agreement with A V Brahmas in that, I thought the Rouen breed were Giants in comparison to my Cayuga girl, but my Rouen duck is a bit smaller the the rest of our ducks. So I guess that would mean the quality (breed standard) of my Rouens would be considered less than, since they are quite small. On the other hand, my ducky babies are our pets, so it doesnt matter what size they are, as long as they are healthy, right? Plus, if she's of a smaller size, she's less likely to smash her eggs.

Bottom line "for me" is: If she hatches them, great! If she doesn't, oh well!! As long as my baby is happy and healthy and if shes laying on the eggys by choice, good for you sweets!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom