Welsh Harlequin built a nest and is laying eggs. Help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChristineR, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    WA state
    A little background: I have a pair of pet ducks. A female Welsh Harlequin and a male Black Swedish. As of last night there were 10 eggs in the nest. She's been adding an egg almost every day, I think. She's on the nest when I go to work in the morning and still there when I get back, but she gets off around dinner time and I'm not sure when she gets back on it. It could be up to a few hours, I think.

    I've never had a duck build a nest and lay eggs in it before so I have some questions.

    1) I thought ducks wouldn't start sitting on their eggs until they have the whole clutch layed? Is it normal that she's kind of on-off the nest at this point?

    2) If she gets off the nest for 2 - 3 hours in the evening, will the eggs still hatch?

    3) Does she need anything special as far a food goes? I feed them the Mazuri Waterfowl floating pellets.
  2. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    They tend to do on-off quite regularly the last few days to a week of lay. This is normal. For some reason, the slightest humidity/temperature fluctiation in my incubator and all eggs die - but the eggs raised by momma could be under the worst conditions and seem to still hatch. LOL!

    They do still get off the nest when setting. Make sure she knows where food/water/pool is so she can clean up, eat, etc. Make sure it's AWAY from her nest so she has to get off the nest to poop, or she'll do so on or near her eggs which isn't good. She'll get off the nest and stomp around for a while - sometimes in a mean mood, snapping at other chickens/ducks - and then go back to her nest.

    One thing you may want to watch is that the drake will still pester her and try to breed when she's on a nest. It can cause her to abandon her nest or even get beat up by a persistant drake. Keep an eye out, and separate if need be.
  3. pekinduck<3er

    pekinduck<3er Chillin' With My Peeps

    pics would be awesome! [​IMG]

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