TRICKS to Breeding ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BantyHugger, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Ponder
    Ok, i've seen many of you guys want to breed your ducks and get ducklings. Well, i managed to get all 6 of my ducks to set every spring for the past 2 years. I think these few things will help get your ducks to also set:
    1) Tall grass Ducks feel they are hidden and well protected in tall grass. If any predator approaches them the grass will move and they can notice. The duck will rotate to face the predator and attack it. You don't need to leave their entire pen tall just a little section. Also they use the tall grass to make really nice nests.
    2)TemperatureMost Ducks like to set in cool weather (60-75 degrees). Don't expect your duck to start setting in the middle of summer. Some ducks may. Those ducks will need extra water brought to them.
    3)Male to female ratio Most Wild ducks do not mate for life. Most wild mallards don't even mate for life. Infact the only known breed to mate for life in the US are snow ducks. I read once that it would be a perfect world if every drake could have 2-3 ducks. Also this way if the male gets bored while the duck is setting he will have some one else to bug. [​IMG]
    4) Clean water This is just to bring up the fertility rate. Ducks breed more when wet.
    Thats all i can think of for now. If you can think of anything to add, feel free. Hope that helps!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  2. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Idaho
    Thanks, very informative! I am fairly new to ducks so the info is appreciated! [​IMG]
     
  3. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Ponder
    Your welcome. I saw a LOT of people had questions on ducks setting and didn't really feel like repeating this every time. HAPPY DUCKING![​IMG]
     
  4. Calebs Acre

    Calebs Acre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2008
    Long Island
    What can you suggest to do to substitute for having tall grass? I don't have much grass, so I give everyone tons of greens to make up for it nutritionally, but I didn't realize tha the growing grass was so important.
     
  5. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Ponder
    Maybe if you make her a little corner with straw that will work. An open front dog house might also work. I've seen other peoples ducks set in nesting boxes. Be sure whatever you make they can see out of it. They try to be super watch dogs. The grass is used just like straw for the nest. When they get off for the needed swim they will cover the eggs with it to keep them warm. If you can't get/afford straw, grass clippings will work too.
     
  6. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Maryland
    I have two young ducks (between 16-18 weeks) who have started to try mating in their pools. Will this produce eggs by any chance? I have a sort of "duck hut" set up for her. It is cool shady and 3 sided so she has one way in and one way out. She is a buff orpington mating with a mallard, should I separate her from the two males she shares a home with? I think I may set off part of the pen for her with chicken wire. She also shares the pen with two goats, should I be worried that they will step on them?
     
  7. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Ponder
    Goat_Walker
    Your buff should start laying soon. Most ducks don't set in the summer. Also she is a little young for you to expect her to set. The youngest i've ever had set was a 7 month old mutt, and she only set because ALL the others were. She did not successfully hatch anything. I don't expect anything out of them until they are 1 yr old. Small eggs don't normally hatch.

    I wouldn't separate her because then your eggs may not all get fertilized. Also mother ducks will fight off unwanted males. I some times separate them if the boy is being a pest while she is setting.

    As for the goat thing-yes i'd be worried. Just like chickens, ducks don't guard the egg after they lay it. She will create a nest in a place she feels safe. If not broody they just lay and move on. Some don't even remember where they layed and will lay all over the yard. You might want to try searching their yard to see if she has started laying yet. If they have a favorite place to sleep or hang out I'd check there.

    Hope it goes well next spring! (The time she will probably set)
     
  8. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Maryland
    Thanks! The yard they are in is kinda small, so it is easy for me to check. I talked to my mom about it and she said that when my female lays we should build an enclosure around her to keep the goats out, but im not sure I want to separate her from the other 2 ducks. They throw such a fit when they are apart. If she leaves her eggs (if she has any) what should I do?
    Id like ducklings, but she is very young. So im not sure how the eggs will go.
    My dad on the other hand, being the man he is, says that they should be breakfast. Any advice on that?

    Being so young, do you think the eggs will hatch into anything?
    If they do, How long will she set on them before they hatch?
    Do I need to do anything for her if she sets?
    Should I make a sort of nesting hut for her?

    I am sorry for bombarding you with all these questions. This is my first breeding pair and I want to know as much as I can so as little as possible can go wrong.
     
  9. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Ponder
    If you feel like candling and incubating the eggs yourself feel free. The duckling will grow to fit its egg and hatch when its ready. However, if you don't have an incubator, you can eat duck eggs. Cook them just like chicken eggs. They are just larger. I ate mine until we couldn't stand anymore and no one was willing to buy them. Just don't hard boil them. It takes longer and they taste kinda rubbery.
    She should set about 28 days, just like if you incubated them. Some times the hatch early; some times late. Just check on her while she is setting and make sure ants aren't attacking her. She will probably break the infertile eggs herself which will sadly attract ants. Also make sure she can easily get to water. Not all mothers remember to swim, so you may have to actually dunk her if her bill drys out.
    Some ducks dislike buildings, so i think just giving her an option between the old hut and the out doors will work.

    Please remember that not all ducks set. You can do everything right and they just won't become motherly.
     
  10. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Maryland
    We ill prolly let nature take its course with her first setting.
    The third one though (if the first and second are duds) will be in an incubator.
    If she isnt the motherly type then we will prolly eat the eggs.
    She has the choice, but when she makes it , She wont have to worry about even getting up.
    Im planning on having her bowl of food, and a smaller one of water near her, so that she doesnt have to go far.
    Is that a good idea?
    Im usually out there a good three to four times a day, seeing as I have to let the goats out for some real exercise.
    Ants are my main concern. We havent had any snakes near the barn since we got the goats. But ants are a major issue. I cant put ant killer in the pen for fear of the goats or ducks thinking it is food.

    Thank you so much for all your help By the way!
     

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