Setting Duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by missionarywife, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. missionarywife

    missionarywife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2010
    Finally one of my ducks is setting. She has been sitting on a nest for 2 days. Can anyone give me some info. I have never had a bird set.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hi, missionarywife.

    I can offer what I have read or heard until someone with more direct experience can step in.

    Different ducks handle things slightly differently, but generally the concerns are safety and that she have water and food near enough that she feels comfortable getting up and feeding and drinking for herself regularly enough to keep up her strength and health. She needs to be safe from predators. If she has chosen a spot outside the usual safe place, some people build a little pen around her nesting spot to protect her.

    She is not likely to be patient with anyone or anything that disturbs her.

    She may not groom herself as usual, and could start looking a bit raggedy.

    It takes 28 days for duck eggs to hatch.

    Some ducks aren't great mothers, even though they may set some. As time draws closer for hatch, somehow keeping an eye and ear out for ducklings may help prevent losing them.

    Muscovies lay many eggs before beginning to set. Other breeds lay fewer. How many eggs does she have? You may not be able to safely get close enough to know.
     
  3. missionarywife

    missionarywife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply. I believe there are about 15 eggs, some of which are chicken eggs. I was done incubating eggs this year but obviously I won't stop her.
     
  4. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem with the chicken eggs being mixed in is that they will hatch at least 1 week earlier than the duck eggs (so you may have to remove the chicks when they hatch and hope she stays on the other eggs?).

    My experience with my ducks setting on nests is that they are off the nest quite a bit in the first few days and so it seems like the eggs don't actually start to 'incubate' until day three or so (so the eggs will take a little longer than the expected 21 days for chicks, 28 days for ducklings). Ducks will get off the nest and go in pursuit of food and water a couple of times a day, quacking like mad and appearing to be in a great hurry. Occasionally I've worried that mine have stayed off the nest too long, but so far it hasn't seemed to affect the viability of the eggs too much.

    I've had times when most of the eggs hatch and others where only a few hatch, but try not to worry too much and let nature take its course. My biggest problem has been other ducks interfering with the nest and laying more eggs in it while one is setting. And, as Amiga mentioned, predators can also be a problem if they aren't enclosed in a safe pen (especially at night).
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  5. missionarywife

    missionarywife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another question for you. I was going to go out and try to get the chicken eggs out from under her. But she hisses and puffs herself so I was afraid first of all to go and bother her. I don't want to ruin her setting. Any suggestions? I am not sure how many chicken eggs are under her.
     
  6. Happycheese

    Happycheese Out Of The Brooder

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    the more cheesed she is when you try to bother her, the chances are she is very determined to hatch something. One of my hens was so cheesed off, I had to wear welding gloves!
    Best bet is to take the chicken eggs when she's out eating and drinking.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    How critical is it to get those chicken eggs? Seriously, is it worth upsetting her? And risking your own blood?
     
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    My goofy duck Lexi recently hatched her first clutch. It took OVER A WEEK for all the ducklings to hatch. She never left the nest until they were all out. We think she wasn't rotating the eggs well (its her first time).
     

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