Sitting hen goes swimming - how long do they stay off eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by grandma duck, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. grandma duck

    grandma duck Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2012
    If I hadn't caught a comment on one posting telling that mama ducks get off the nest to eat, drink, and go for a swim, I would have passed out by now! My Pekin mama started sitting on the 16th. Never had a nester before, but she has a new beau, laid 16 eggs and started sitting. (I swiped 4 eggs to cut the count to 12 eggs. The duck and I are new at this.)

    She seems so hot and I worry that she is not getting enough water. She has an auto-water bowl, and another bowl I placed near her nest. She has come off the nest the last two evenings and gone for a swim, doodled in the mud and ate grass.
    How long do sitting hens stay off the nest during one "outing"? (Sitting, or setting??) Does a new mama know when enough is enough, and go back to her eggs instinctually?

    Do I need to candle eggs in a few days? Since I have the live "incubator", I assume I just wait and see what hatches. Right?

    Does this mama need any add nutrition? She has been eating "game fowl" mix from the feed store. I have now added peas.

    Thanks for your patience, folks.
  2. Chirpy Chickens

    Chirpy Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2012
    I know with my chooks when i have them sitting they get off every now and then to eat and drink and at the end of the 21 days chickens still do hatch. I don't think it hurts the chickens in the eggs just as long as the hen doesn't leave her nest for too long. I do aswell egg candle my eggs to see if something is in them, so i would suggest that you do egg candle your eggs. Hope this helps...
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Yes they do go off and eat swim and mess around, mine do this and one of mine now is sitting on a clutch but she comes off everyday for anywhere from 30-45 mins. has her eggs all covered up and they are still warm when she gets back on, believe me these girls know what they are doing so trust her instinsts [sp] as far as candling I don't I just let nature takes it course. and let mama alone. you have given her all she needs good food and fresh water she'll take care of the rest.
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member


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