Too many eggs! I'm going to lose my mind!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Quackwacky, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Quackwacky

    Quackwacky Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2011
    I have 4 mallard hens and I am getting 3 eggs in the same nest every morning. The past 2 days I have found one in and by the swimming pool as well. They started laying over a month ago where ever they were at in the yard so I put them up in the coop and only let them out after there are new eggs that day. I thought that had solved the egg hunting until the past couple of days.
    Well the egg hunts were a minor problem compared to what they are doing now. I started dating the eggs after a couple of weeks then threw out the older 7. When it got to 17, I put the oldest 5 in the incubator and left them with only 12 hoping one of the hens would think her clutch was complete. No one will take claim of the nest so the collecting has gone on with me taking 2 another time. After counting and dating for a few weeks I finally made my last ditch effort at making other nest with "dummy" eggs in them. I had tried before with no luck, they just trample the nest I make. So there were 18 eggs I put 15 in the bator and left 1 each in 3 nest and crossed my fingers. The next morning my nest were again trampled and 3 new eggs sat in that same nest with the one I had left alone.
    So now I have 22 eggs in the incubator with 3 different hatch dates (there will be a different incubator for hatching), 12 in the nest, and for the 2 that I found by and in the pool they are sitting in what is left of my fake nest being ignored completely.
    When all of this began I rationalized it with the fact they are only 6 months old and don't know what to do, now it is driving me crazy with no end in sight. My plan is that day after tomorrow there should be 18, I will take another 15 (to incubate) and let them continue to lay. If the count stays at 3 a day, I will only leave 1 in the nest and the other 2 fresh eggs to the refrigerator for cooking every day there after. Then give them about a week of that and if still none of them claim the nest I guess I will just put the rest in the incubator and take all laid after that to the fridge.
    Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? Am I doing something wrong?
    It's really neat to nurture the eggs and see development when candle. I am proud to say that I have 7 eggs with blood vessels and will know about the other 15 in a day or two. I want to give these girls enough opportunity to find their instincts, however I am beginning to get overwhelmed with so many eggs and the thought of what I will do with all of the ducklings this close to winter if the older ducks aren't friendly with them. How many of these eggs can I really expect to hatch successfully? Will they ever stop laying???
  2. grawg

    grawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2011
    East Tennessee
    Eat 'em?
  3. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    it's late in the year for them to want to brood, and I've had ducks that really didn't care about laying in a nest until they were thinking of brooding.

    if you've got a nest they want to lay in, cool. not unusual for multiple birds to lay in the same nest. if your eggs are ending up in the same location most of the time, go with it. keeping the birds in until they lay is a good plan, but even when I do that some will lay in the mud by the waterbowl. [​IMG]

    what kind of a nestbox are you providing? I've found ducks like privacy... we use a milk crate sized box, turned 3/4 to the back wall, so they have to kind of go around the back to get in it... they seem to like that better than a box facing the open area. we don't make nests for them - they'll do that for themselves and they're kinda particular about it - but we do stuff some nice hay or straw in the nest box.

    as far as the number of eggs go, if you brood all the eggs they're going to lay, you'll have 435,271 ducks by spring when they naturally want to brood their own. [​IMG] my suggestion is better start cooking! hit the egg recipe section of the forum on your way by, you'll need it!

    also, you can scramble or hard cook the eggs (and the shells) and feed them back to the ducks, or to chickens or dogs or cats if you've got 'em (no need to throw them out unless they're spoiled.) I scramble mine raw and mix them with some scratch so the birds don't figure out whole eggs are eddible. because once they do the whole egg glut comes to a screeching halt.

    are your ducks true mallards? if they are, they'll likely stop laying over the winter and resume in the spring ... if they're rouens, start figuring out who you can sell or give the eggs to, because you'll be up to your eyeballs in them by spring! at least my rouens have been known to lay year round.
  4. Quackwacky

    Quackwacky Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2011
    Thanks Zz,
    I have not made a nesting box because I was too afraid to interfere with the nest before since I was hoping one of them would brood, but that is soon to be done. I did put hay in there and that's what they made the nest from. It was made in the corner of the coop that has a tarp wrapped around it so I made a roof in that corner with tree limbs and hay on top kinda low so it felt a little more comfy and private.
    I catch only one hen in the nest every morning when I go out. I don't know if she is just the last one to lay or if she's the only one slightly interested. I do know they all couldn't have come from only her. Or maybe she's the one who made the nest? Idk.
    I guess I'll just let her keep the eggs that are in there and start cooking with the fresh ones tomorrow. The hubby has been wanting to eat them since the first one was on the ground. If she gets broody before the old ones need to be removed then I'll let nature take it course. This all started with me wanting to save just one, when I had to throw out the first 7 I felt really bad. But when I candled today and saw that I had 7 eggs (the first 7 to go in) with blood vessels I got a little freaked about how many ducklings I will end up with out of the 22 in the bator. Maybe in the spring they will be more mature. I haven't even been able to get them to leave the yard to play in the pond. I guess it's still to big and scary for them, after all those mean fish nibble on their feet and the have to run all the way back home [​IMG]
    I do have 1 mallard/Rouen mix, but it's a drake. He's twice the size of the others, but can still fly the same. He's a keeper, probably the biggest goofball of them all [​IMG]
    There will be some renovations before spring on the coop. We plan on additions, but with doors that can be closed off from one another. For the safety of any little ones we may get. I will be sure every "room" will have a nesting box or 2!
    I read somewhere on the Internet about shaking the eggs to control population when they do want to brood, but it's hard to find a personal opinion about what to do when your bombarded with eggs. Thanks again!
  5. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

    Jan 10, 2010
    UP North WI
    Well, I have to say this is the first post I've ever read where someone is bombarded with eggs !!! You might want to advertise on Craigs List. There are people that are allergic to chicken eggs and seek out duck eggs. They go for more then a dozen chicken eggs.
    I can't get enough duck eggs for my customers. Just ha someone else call me today for eggs. My girls haven't layed any for a few days now. ??????

    My question would be why don't you just collect the eggs everyday ? Duck eggs are very good for baking with as well. What are you going to do in spring when you have that many more laying ??

    Just curious, did you get ducks just for pets or for eggs?

    Don't look a gift duck in the mouth [​IMG] The girls are contributing towards their feed bill, sell them or as another poster said, feed them back to the ducks, dogs, cats, yourself etc.

    Good luck, wish I had that problem !! [​IMG]
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    What on earth are you going to do with all those ducklings if they all hatch.

    You don't have anyone in your family that will eat eggs? How about dogs? Surely you've got neighbors who will eat eggs if you won't.
  7. Quackwacky

    Quackwacky Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2011
    We originally got the ducks because my husband thought it would help fine tune his hunting skills by watching the way they act and trying to mimic their calls. I wasn't really wanting to take on any more animals to care for, but of course when I saw them I feel in love and had to bring them home. So yes, they are my pets. I wasn't even expecting eggs until the spring so this caught me completely off guard. I would like to add that these guys were supposed to live at the pond, not in the yard. They just don't like the pond at all. I thought that they probably would have been killed off by now by coyotes, dogs, and other predators. With all of those factors I have been completely surprised.

    We had eggs for breakfast this morning. We mixed a few duck eggs with some chicken eggs and scrambled them. I have decided to only deal with the 22 that are currently in the bator. Any new ones will go in the fridge and the older ones in the coop will be thrown out. If by chance all 22 do hatch, I'm sure we will loose some since we are getting cooler weather now. So it will all work it's self out *fingers crossed*.

    Now that I have had this experience I can be better prepared for the spring. I'm sure I know a few people that will eat them. When all of this began I really wasn't sure how many were fertilized or how many would develop or how many they would lay. All I really knew of ducks was what I read on the Internet on how to raise them. I now feel a little more knowledgeable and comfortable. I have only known horses, dogs, and cats until now and boy, ducks have nothing in common with any of these.

    My in-laws have chickens so we are over loaded with those eggs too. I guess we will be getting plenty of protein. [​IMG]
  8. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    sounds like you're on to a plan.
    how'd you like the first of your duck eggs? I think they're way better than chicken eggs.
  9. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:I like to have eggs on hand for Halloween and the elections in early November! LOL
  10. ZoeS95423

    ZoeS95423 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2011
    I get about a dozen eggs a day,
    and I dont eat eggs, I dont like them, and niether does my hubby.
    My parents are overloaded, and we give a friend some which he feeds to his hunting dogs.

    Ive gotten to the point where I just throw them, and other things like that.
    Its just making me crazy.

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