What do you do when you find a hidden nest?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CedarbrookWren, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. CedarbrookWren

    CedarbrookWren New Egg

    Dec 17, 2011
    I thought my 8 month old Muscovy girls were done laying when the really cold weather hit. (They are my first experience with farm birds.) When it warmed up for a few days I did get two more eggs but didn't think any more of it because they weren't looking like they were hurrying off like they wanted to lay when I let them out of the shed around 7:30 each morning. Plus no eggs on weekends when I sometimes don't let them out till 9.

    I was mistaken. Three evenings ago I was a hen down when I put them away for the night. I did see her splashing with the others this afternoon so I know she is sitting on a nest somewhere. (They free range on my 19 acre farm during the day and I have no clue where she is.) I followed another hen this morning and found her hidden nest which she stayed on all day. This evening neither of those girls showed up to be put to bed. I thought I would go get the one I knew where she was. When I lifted her off her nest which is under the front porch I was shocked. I was expecting maybe 2 eggs. There were probably 10-15. I gave in to her perturbed squeaks and put her back down. I left her there for the night. she is close to the house and fairly well hidden.

    I am hoping to let them hatch out ducklings in the spring but wasn't planning on it in this weather! What do I do with the hen I know the location of? What do I do with those eggs? I've found nests of up to 6 eggs before and known there were from the last few days. In those cases I float test them and then put them in the fridge to eat. I just didn't know what to do with this large collection some of which are certainly 2 weeks old.

    I don't have much of a choice with the other hen. If she successfully hatches them they would be born in mid-January. Will she bring them to join the rest of the flock? I am located in south central PA. Would they be okay with the other duck (total of 4 hens 2 drakes) in the shed they sleep in at night or would I need to make other arrangements?

    Thanks for advice!
  2. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Let them be, they will be fine and will bring them out when they hatch
  3. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Could you put up fencing under the porch to protect her at night. I would be worried if she were out alone. The drakes might kill the babies. Could the porch thing be used as a temporary pen if fenced.

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