The Duck Mother

In the Brooder
Jun 10, 2017
So one of our ducks, Mama, went broody about a week ago for the second time. She's an Ancona and was a great mother to her first clutch she hatched a few months ago. This time, she was sitting on 8 eggs. A couple days ago, I noticed there was only 7 eggs in the nest. And then today, there was only 6. We checked the whole coop and there's no way any predators could get in. And even if a rat did get in, why would it steal an egg thats under a mean broody mother and not one from the other nest with no one sitting on it? At first i thought it couldnt be the ducks because normally the other eggs in the nest are covered in yolk. However, on the other side of the coop, we did find some shell fragments. So, my theory is that it is one of the ducks, since I don't see a predator choosing a harder target (although it is possible Mama got up, depending on the predator). And it might sound silly, but I think the reason one of the ducks are targeting Mama's eggs are for vengens. Since it can't be for calcium because not only do they constantly have layer pellet available, again there's another full nest of unguarded eggs that would be easier to get to. So I think it's either our Drake who doesn't want anymore competition (even though he's always been protective of the eggs, but does pick on the babies) or our Mallard who I think possibly has also gone broody in the same nest, even though there's an empty one available. But Mama kicks her off, and these two are known to fight additionally. Possibly because Mama's last clutch was 3 mallard eggs, so none of them were actually hers. So what do you think is probably more likely? A predator (snake, skunk, mice, rats, and crows would probably be the most likely) or one of the ducks? And if one of the ducks, who and why? I just don't understand why these eggs are going missing, but also only one a day (So far). And ideas?


I Love Autumn
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
Duck eggs are hard shelled and hard to break. Generally ducks will roll eggs out of nests, not break them. You must have a predator of some type getting them.

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