whats stealing the broodys eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by elmacri, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. elmacri

    elmacri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    I am posting this to see if anyone can help. I have two mallard ducks sitting on the same nest, they are underneath a fig tree. The problem i have is that although difficult to see last week i saw they had 19 eggs underneath them and yeaterday only 9. I had a few hens and the rest theirs.
    I am really worried as to what is taking them, i think it might be a rat, I am ruling out a snake as we have a lot of young babies from chicks ducklings, rabbits etc all loose within their free range pen.
    I live in Spain and their isnt really any other type of preditor it could be here.
    So the questions are, how can i stop the rat, or can i move the ducks into a secure area (should i) it just seems so upsetting.
    Before they went broody winthin a day of each other i noticed that we sometimes only had 1 egg a day when we have always had two, i should have guessed then that we had a problem.
    we have muscovies too but they always go broody in a nesting box and we have never had a problem with loss of eggs, the same with the hens. ( well not that we have noticed anyhows,
    Please help as i am really worried that if i dont do something soon we will lose them all.
    thanks.
     
  2. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I would move the clutch and the nest to a safer place. Penned and preferably indoors. If the eggs still keep disappearing, then the hens may be rolling them out of the nest because they are "dead".

    Could you have a neighbor who might want duck eggs to eat? [​IMG]
     
  3. elmacri

    elmacri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
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    Yes i think i will move them,
    The ducks are not rolling them out themselves as i would still see them, they just vanish into thin air, no mess, no shell etc.
    I do have a crazy neighbour but i think even she would draw the line at eating half developed chicks.lol
    i will have to get someone to help me as they are so agressive at the moment.



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  4. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Does Spain have Opossums? If you were in the US they would be my best bet because they love to steal eggs and leave no signs behind. Crows and Raven also can do the same. If the birds are big enough and the eggs small enough they can fly off with them. otherwise they like to move them to hidden spots to eat the egg. Last but not least Muscovy ducks will steal eggs not to eat but to add them to their nest to hatch. they get wise to humans stealing eggs from their public nest and make a secret nest. Sorry I can't be of more help,
     
  5. elmacri

    elmacri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No Spain doesn´t have possums, also here it is mainly small birds apart from pigeons.
    intreating point on the moscovy ducks though, i didnt know that. Mine are all babies at the moment so it can´t be them. something to look out for though when they get bigger and broody.
    I am still guessing at rats, if it was a snake i would be missing little chicks too and i´m not. its just the eggs that are under the two mallards.
    i tried to move them with a friend today and it was carnage, they attacked us and sent my rooster into a frenzy too.lol i am going to try again tonight when i can get more help.
    thanks for your help. [​IMG]

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  6. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Rats are hard to get rid of.[​IMG] I am not an advocate of poison for a number of reasons. You can get a humane trap and try to catch them to release a long distance from your home, they are wily though. I think glue boards are disgusting, so I would never use them. Rat traps that kill them are an option. I am a bit squeamish about stuff like that , so I can't do that. You can shoot them, but that has it's own risks. We are dealing with this now too. I am picking up the eggs immediately and not leaving out any food for the ducks. I feed them a few times a day and pick up their dish and put it in a metal garbage can as soon as they are done. I have stopped feeding the wild birds (it is summer, they are fine). I am hoping if their food source dries up, they will move on. Darn things are horrible.
    I have googled rat repellents too. There are some non toxic sprays and powders that are supposed to repel rodents. I may order some of that too to see if it works to drive them away.
     
  7. elmacri

    elmacri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, it was IMPOSSIBLE to move them even with 6 adults [​IMG] [​IMG] they were like animals posessed by the devil. So we have penned them off with a wire mesh that we dug into the ground. Its a metre high. I don´t know if this will work but its a start, i have also set my incubator up as well.if the worse comes to the worse i will have to bring the eggs in. ( another attack session collecting them) We always collect all the hen eggs as soon as they are laid. I just can´t understand how the rat is even getting past the angry hormonal ducks.lol
    Another thing i also have quails and the are in a normal chain link fenced pen within this other pen. they often lay eggs on the floor where ever and they are never eaten, so i am guessing its a fat rat that cant fit in through the gaps. fingers crossed this mesh works. [​IMG]
     

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