To move or not move unattended clutch of 20 eggs??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Carmenia Farm, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Carmenia Farm

    Carmenia Farm Just Hatched

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Duncan, BC, Canada
    Hi everyone,

    This is the first year my Muscovy girls are old and enough to lay and are laying like crazy [​IMG] but they are sharing nests. For some it is clear who "owns" the nest but I have one that now has 18-20 eggs in it and none of the girls has started sitting on it yet. The nest is not in one of the coops or duck pens, instead the girls carved out a shallow area in the old decomposed hay in a sheep stall that is no longer used and locked away so the sheep can't get in. It's a really convenient location for me but is not secure from predators unless I build a pen around it, which I am willing to do. I built a 3-sided box to put over the eggs but that isn't enticing anyone to sit on the nest, so I added food and water today.

    I have one girl who is extremely broody these days (has been getting into fights b/c the other ducks take over her eggs) and another that checks on the nest every morning. Question is, is it better to build the pen around the nest and hope that someone takes ownership, or 2) move the eggs into an unused brooder pen that is secure and grab the broody duck to sit on those eggs (she would have the pen to herself) or 3) consider the nest abandoned and eat the eggs?

    I'm trying to sort this out in the next 2-3 days as I feel with that many eggs, someone ought to be sitting on them by now. Thoughts?

    Any advice appreciated! [​IMG]

    Becky
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    For me, safety from predators is by far the number one criterion. Whether they will sit under what you build is up to them. If the location is fine for you, then perhaps the build is good. If you have a better spot, go ahead and move eggs before anyone starts sitting on them. Just my two cents.
     
  3. Carmenia Farm

    Carmenia Farm Just Hatched

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Duncan, BC, Canada
    Thanks! My gut has been telling me to move them to the other coop, it is quite secure, just not as convenient for me. I can make it really nice, add lots of wood shavings to the nesting box, add food and water, then leave the door open to see if anyone decides to "occupy" the eggs.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Ducks in my flock are individuals. What floats Fünf's boat may not interest Vier at all, and vice versa. So I just try things and see who likes it. If not one does, we try something else.

    Romy - very much an advocate for her own interests, just pantomimed that she wanted the fodder tray with some water in it next to her new favorite perching spot. I did as asked, and she is happy as the proverbial clam in high water.
     
  5. Carmenia Farm

    Carmenia Farm Just Hatched

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Duncan, BC, Canada
    I can see that. When my Vivi decided it was too crowded for her liking in the duck pen, she moved across the aisle to the chicken coop and set up her nest there, the others didn't follow and she's got 12 eggs in there now. It took me quite a long time when I first started raising ducks last year to get them used to coming into their pen every night but now they do. However space is somewhat limited so its hard for them to claim space to theirselves to nest. They all just started laying right after the new year, so I've been scrambling to add solitary locations for them to nest and brood. They've pretty much rejected the big dog crate, but seemed to prefer the spot in the sheep stall. It's a catch-22, they go back every night to their pen and leave the nest in the stall unattended. That's why I'm thinking just move the eggs to the one stand-alone 5x5 ft duck pen that's not in use and see who decides to brood on it. I've only been reluctant b/c I keep hearing that ducks will reject eggs once moved (they're Muscovies.)
     

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