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deborahb888

Duck Mating and Egg Laying questions

deborahb888
14 years ago

I have 2 male ducks, one a mallard and the other 1/2 black and 1/2 mallard. I have 1 female that is also 1/2 mallard and 1/2 black duck. Today 12/7/08 I saw the black male mating with the female and that has trigger several questions. How long after mating will eggs appear? At night they are kept in a 8'x8' pen, should I be concerned for the female's safety during the night?

During the day they roam my yard. Lately I have noticed they are roaming in places they don't usually go, like my front yard. The other day I found the female in my azalea bushes while the males waited on the outside. I kind of figured that something was going on. It has been below freezing the past few weeks at night. This is unusual for our area and I am concerned that the female will lay eggs in the yard somewhere. That would not be safe for her or the eggs because of the cold and because we also have a fox in the neighborhood. What are the signs that I should look for to know if the female is laying eggs in the area and what should I do if she does? Is it too early for them to be laying eggs in the winter? Everything I have read says they lay eggs in the spring? I have put a red heat lamp in their pen at night to keep them warm when it goes below freezing. Is it possible that the heat lamp is starting things a little early? I'm not sure what to do here. I have never owned ducks before. We got the mallard in April, and the other 2 in June. I know this is a lot of questions but I have looked for some answers on other places but I have not fount what I am looking for.

Comments (48)

  • eyecndiggit
    14 years ago

    Mating doesn't cause ducks to lay eggs. Mating is simply mating. Ducks lay eggs when the egg laying saeson starts. Generally in the spring. Ducks don't need heat lamps. Ducks have a nice thick layer of fat under their skin and a heavy feather coat. Ducks will swim around in the water in below freezing temperatures and their motion keeps spots of water open for them. Their feet don't have problems because they can reduce the blood flow to their feet to stop freezing.
    They will lay eggs anywhere but the like to hide them. They also like to roll them in mud so they can't be seen vry well.
    If you want them to lay eggs that you can find you need a nest box. A wooden box large enough that a couple of ducks can get in with the opening in the FRONT...not the top and something to cover up the front (not close the front) so nothing can see them while they are laying. Like lean a board across the front and leave enough space so they can walk behind the board. You have to keep them in the pen until 1 or 2 PM so they can lay their eggs. Then let them out.

  • jenq
    13 years ago

    My 3 female Blue Swedes have all hatched a clutch of eggs this year. I am wondering if they will lay any more eggs this year. Or will I have to wait until the Spring foe eggs again?

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    11 years ago

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  • bunderwood_yahoo_com
    11 years ago

    how do ducks mate and lay eggs

  • joyceisaacs_ymail_com
    11 years ago

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    10 years ago

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  • CHQ311340
    10 years ago

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  • Farmer-Dave189
    10 years ago

    Okay clearly the Person who first commented Doesn't know what they're talking about when ducks mate it's to lay eggs just like when horses Mate they make a baby so yes after they mete they will be looking for a spot to lay eggs I've lived on a farm my entire life raised ducks and all sorts of poultry And with ducks it doesn't have to be springtime for them to start laying eggs If you have a heat lamp in your barn they will start laying eggs anytime of the year In fact I have ducks that just started laying eggs two days ago And it's December 5

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  • tetrouge
    9 years ago

    Cannot seem to get answer to my question. My female mallard has layed 9 eggs, that I can see, she has not been back to nest for 2 days. First egg laid 2 wks ago. Are these eggs OK?

  • tetrouge
    9 years ago

    For several days now have been asking this question, all I see are the same posts over & over. I know how to tell female from male mallard. I just want to know how long will it or how long can it take for a female mallard to lay a clutch of eggs????? Am very disenchanted with this site. Why can't I get a response. I know how many she may lay, I know how long it will take to incubate them, I know the male will leave once she starts incubating!!! I merely want to know how long can it take between first egg and the start of the actual incubation!!! PLEASE, SOMEONE GIVE ME A STRAIGHT ANSWER!!!

  • tetrouge
    9 years ago

    So now I get email that person responding to my post does not want to reveal his/her email. OK No prob!! Only there was no response, none at all, nothing, nada!!! Where do I find this response please,

  • NewAtThis121
    9 years ago

    My fiance was at work and heard about a duck getting hit by a car in the parking lot and she had left the eggs in a bush near by. The man who told her said it had been at least an hour since the mother duck went missing, but my fiance went out into the parking lot to pick up the eggs. She put them in her gloves, put the gloves in her pockets and then borrowed a co-workers jacket to put on over her own jacket for extra warmth. As soon as we got home, I threw our rice bag in the oven, made the eggs a nest and placed the heated rice bag over them. Are we too late? What would be some signs to tell us the eggs had survived or not? Any advice would be helpful

  • DenisE-59
    8 years ago

    Hi
    I'm a new member and also new at breeding my ducks.
    One of my questions is how many eggs will my girl lay on? And do I stop taking the eggs after a certain amount of eggs are laid?.
    This won't be last you hear from me I'm sure lol.
    If anyone can help please get bk to me

  • duckman55
    8 years ago

    Most ducks start laying between 4 to six months if a drake is present. If not they may take longer however the eggs will not hatch. When a drake is not present these eggs should b gathered daily and refridgerated for eating. If a drake is present each duck will lay between 10 to 15 eggs in about a week. After they will start sitting on them continuously for about a month till they hatch. When a duck lays for the first time all the eggs may not hatch. Bad eggs are to be discarded. As ducks get older they may lay more and hatch all their eggs.

  • duckman55
    8 years ago

    The best way to know if ducks are male or female is drakes are generally larger and starts to get adult feathers before females. Most of the time u got towait about a month to start to see the difference, although you maybe able to tell with experience in about 2 weeks.

  • duckman55
    8 years ago

    when eggs begin to hatch it is not necessary to separate the duck from the drakes however the nest should be checked regularly and the newborn taken to prevent accidental injury. if the weather is cold shielded heat lamps should be provided to warm newborn and fresh water and starter feed should be placed. water of newborn should be changed at least 3 times daily as this water becomes soggy quickly and can spoil. newborn drinking this water can develop sickness. a vitamin can be added to the water about a month after.

  • lindalou50
    8 years ago

    I have 12 ducks,6 white(Perkins) and 6 brown (ruins)the females have been laying eggs in a nest that they made behind some tall flowers in my garden. Fall is just a week away and it will start getting pretty cold here. Will the mothers sit on the nest and hatch the eggs and if so will the babies survive the cold weather?

  • Ifaz Al Hossain
    7 years ago

    I have one cocatiel pair. They have already layed 3 eggs. And they both nesting their eggs. But i have seen them mating today. Is it normal? WIll the eggs will be fertile?

  • Vet Egan
    7 years ago

    I am a first time duck owner and got three rouen ducks at easter time. Luckly all three healthy and happy with different personalities. My question is. I know one is male and one is female, but third is very confusing. My third still peeps and is female colored but does have a very light green haze starting on head but no white starting on neck. My female has no green and my male has white band. Frmale quacks now and male peeps. Any thoughts on my third?

  • Tristan
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If the duckling has a green haze starting on its head it is most likely a male.

    I Raised three mallard ducks from eggs last summer , I had the same problem too!

  • cbar1974
    7 years ago

    I know this is a long shot as this is a very old thread, BUT, here goes. I have a 1 year old Mallard hen that I rescued from the road when she was only several days old. She has not mated, began laying eggs early this Spring. So, I began taking her eggs out each day ( she would lay one per day). She laid a total of 20! I thought she was finished but then two weeks later she started right up again, laying eggs in various places all over the yard, some soft shelled, some without any shell at all, and she just keeps going. I have increased her food and have been feeding her layer feed and increased calcium, but she is still obviously losing weight. She also had her Spring molt and has not regrown her feathers, I'm assuming because she is continuing to put all of her body's resources in to egg laying. Now she has a little nest in my Hostas that has 4 eggs in it and I'm not touching it. She sits on it ALL day. I'm really concerned for her health and well being, but don't want to keep intervening as I've read that she'll eventually stop sitting once she realizes the eggs are not going to hatch. Meanwhile, I bring food directly to her as she sits upon her nest.

    Thoughts?!? Suggestions?!?

  • redtartan
    7 years ago

    I would not allow her to brood if there is no reason to since her eggs are not fertilized. Brooding is very hard on their body. They do not eat very much while they are broody. The soft shells could have also been due to molt if it was during that time. My birds always lay wonky eggs after molting. It does take them a while to regrow their feathers but they should look like they are coming in decently within about a month.

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    7 years ago

    Our Ducks lay huge eggs everyday. They're a 1/3 larger than the Chicken eggs. They also mate everyday. One of the females will start building a nest. They do it in a place that even the person who feeds them by hand can't find. Periodically that Duck will leave to eat, and leave altogether, almost forgetting about the eggs 20 feet away. Maybe the eggs are too hot because its too hot outside. What i i found is that multiple Ducks will lay eggs in the same nest. That explained the 9 new ducklings i found under a cedar tree directly across our street. They were running around and the nest was still filled with about 8 eggs. They were rolling out of the nest there were so many. I moved them because skunks like eggs, and Foxes like Ducks. Neither would've lasted long there. When the Female comes out and leaves her nest, her mission is food. She (depending on which female is nesting) will aggressively run around with her mouth half open and low to the ground towards the other ducks and feverishly eats as much food as possible and as quickly as possible. Now I've seen this twice, i have another female sitting on about a dozen eggs in a spot where all of the females were laying them. Never been bitten myself, but they revert back to wild animals, where even the person who raised them by hand is a potential threat so they think. The mating happens randomly all day, when it rains and a small puddle forms, thats a viable spot, or on wet grass. If their pool is even slightly dirty they will wait until its clean and jump in when its filled enough for them to float. The female flattens her body out, making a standing platform for the male, 90% of the time the females initiate it, the male doesnt just jump on them randomly. All of the females do that when the 1 duck male is in with them. The females do it to each other also. Out of water- the male will chase them down, and mate, or try to. They really only like to mate in the cleanest water. The eggs from these Rouen and Indian runner x mallard crosses are so thick and the membrane is so tough that you have to actually use force to open them. They don't just crack open like chicken eggs. Buy Dumor brand food, they'll eventually only want that type of food, trust me, I've tried just about all of them, the food is lightly medicated (properly) and again is superior. Under $15 for a 40b bag. Trac*** Supply has it.

    So, Male or Female? An old farmer showed me the easiest and best way to sex them when they babies- hold the chick in your hand and try to put it on its back. The females will flip over just as soon as you try, whereas the males will lay there calmly. Effective 99% of every single time i used that method. The color of their heads don't matter at all, or their size, or who grows faster/bigger. There really is no other way to tell. So everyone who's always wondered and guessed and speculated, try it and see for yourself. Sometimes all it takes is a quiet old farmer tapping you on the shoulder to show you how nature works. The guy at the farm store tested it because he heard and saw us, thats how they sex all of theirs now..

  • indiadeb1
    7 years ago

    Hi

    I have 2 Khaki Campbell females. They are approximately one year old but are not laying. One of them laid for about 3 months from last February but since then nothing. They live with my 10 chickens and seem happy enough, their feed is a mix of layers pellets, maize and corn with a supplement of fresh greens/lettuce daily. They sleep in the coop with the chickens at night and always have. We did have a drake however he is no longer with us and I have noticed that the girls try to 'mate' with each other. Any ideas on what I can do?

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Really cool Ducks you have everybody :-).. what I've noticed and read is that if the Ducks are stressed they won't lay eggs. If they are free range like mine, they tend to hide them, or they lay them wherever, they're not worried for the most part. They'll lay them in Dirt, grass, in wood piles, under tarps, basically wherever, in the nest, or on the ground, or in the water. When the Chickens find the Ducks nest, they'll lay theirs with the Duck's eggs in the same nest also.

    The females aren't "mating" with each other but more of a play of dominance. They will do this with no males present, and with them present. I have chickens also. They are free range but they do not like the Ducks, they are natural enemies, Chickens can peck hard, easily inflicting damage to a duck's head etc. The chickens will ALWAYS dominate the food if Ducks are around, and are aggressive if the Ducks are being fed (even when they are partitioned from each other) The only exception are Male ducks, they're afraid of the Chickens to a point, then they start chasing the chickens and pulling out tail feathers. It would be helpful to sit and watch them for a lengthy amount of time, its whats unseen when the owner is gone that is, well, unseen. They won't lay eggs at all. The specific feed for laying eggs is very important, and tons of water.

    My chickens cornered the ducks every night in the winter- so i found later on. Everything "seemed" cohesive with all of them in there, just be aware of what they're doing when you're not there..

    I forgot to mention all of that "practice" brooding, which was around four times this summer, finally produced 9 ducklings, from 4 separate adult females. They eat constantly (when I'm around) when they're brooding, or at least mine did...No matter what, they lay eggs every day, fertilized or not.

    Nesting: The mother duck is fearless, and will bite you if they weren't fed by hand by you. They'll also bite other Ducks, and chase you. If you hear a hissing coming from somewhere, most likely its the Mother duck on her nest, hiding well enough that she can't be seen. They'll use any material around to conceal their spot and are obviously completely silent until you're within 2 to 3 feet away.

    I have 4 Mallard males, 3 from the one father Duck i had from the start. 2 of them have bright green iridescent heads. The Father duck has a black head, and the other has a black head but with a very light almost indiscernible green hue to it. Not green like the other 2. So thats not always the case, they're all Mallard males.

    What I've found and it was very obvious over time: Males have Yellower and brighter bills, and generally narrower than females, their feet are generally smaller than the Female's, and they're silent up to a certain age, they don't really chirp after a certain point. I can't find anything to describe the type of sound the make creates, very quietly. Keep them away from ducklings, they jump on them and nip at the feathers at the back of the neck to hold on which is a fine and normal practice for adults but absolutely not when the ducklings are only the size of a softball. They will kill them if they're not separated. The mother duck will nervously run around but do nothing other than quack at it. Males are relentless at it also.

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    7 years ago

    If you have a lot of new ducklings, its more beneficial to separate them from the mother only if there are tons of eggs in one nest. If she's not large enough to cover them all and keep them at 99 degrees; the eggs on the outside will die. The also roll out of the nest. She will also step on them accidentally (even thought they are extremely careful at rolling the eggs over to incubate which is really cool to watch from a distance). But separate (again if there are too many) them especially in the spring when its still 35- 40 degrees at night. The mother will follow them to their new baby duck-playpen and will not leave other than to eat/drink, go to the bathroom etc.

  • shelbyhickerson
    6 years ago

    Ducks AND chickens will lay eggs even if there isn't a male present. It is part of their biological functions. Ducks are the #1 offenders of rape in nature. Female ducks have a complicated reproductive system with multiple canals to get to the uterus. Many of these canals lead to a dead end so the females can choose who sires their babies. Ducks will lay eggs during their laying season. If they don't sit on them, remove them from the nest. These eggs will not hatch. Only let a duck sit on 8-11 eggs. Mark them with an X. Don't disturb them much. After there are 8-11 eggs remove the extras she lays. If you are looking for quality eating duck eggs, remove the males from the flock.

  • donna_jarvis11
    6 years ago

    Our first brood of ducks just hatched today, 9-10 that I can see so far. Will I have to separate the male from the babies? Not sure if he will hurt them.

  • Melissa Johnson-Trimble
    6 years ago

    We bought a creek front house a couple of years ago and it came equipped with 2 adult mallards (1 male, 1 female) and their 3 female teenagers. The momma is very bottom heavy right now, almost to the point of dragging the ground. The last time she was like this, she laid an egg underneath the deck by our pool. That was last spring and the egg is still there. We have also found broken eggs and shell remnants on our back deck as well as on the ground around it. Is the "fat bottom" syndrome indicative of her having eggs to be dropped?

  • Hayden Dillard
    5 years ago

    I have one male and female Muscovy and a female mallard. He has mated with both. When should they start laying eggs.

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    5 years ago

    Over time Ive realized that when they are to lay eggs that they will hatch, they will do it in the quietest place possible, away from all the other ducks. Chaos in all directions with a whole flock of other chickens and birds stresses them out too much. And although they might be used to other animals, like your dogs or cats, goats, they are not ducks, and the mother will turn on the protective shield and be hostile to any animal that comes near the nest because of that. The other females are smart and stay clear. The male creates no response from the mother Duck when around the nest. If you see that a couple of ducklings are too weak and have wandered, temporarily try to help them out but at the same time, you cant stop nature and maybe theres something wrong with it/them in some way. Mine had so many eggs that she couldn't cover them all and she was HUGE for a duck. Try to keep them under the duck (when she's away) without creating too much hassle, she would allow me near her but nobody else. I would watch her slowly rotating the eggs, pulling them under her with her beak, the whole time standing on top of them without breaking them. It is an amazing thing to see, and then, for 2 weeks after, every time the ducklings got loud and out of control, she would make one large "Quack" and there would be silence. All of the `12 eggs hatched. If the nest has more than 10 eggs youll have to push them back into the circle, they roll away from the nest if its higher than the ground. We had one female that was blended from the color from the Indian runner cross Male, and the mother and her feathers were grayish blue-purple in color, was iridescent in sunlight. A complete genetic anomaly..

  • sumartae
    5 years ago

    My Mallard duck has been laying rubbery eggs since she started laying this year in February. She is three years old and last year her eggs were normal. She is one of two female ducks. The other duck is an Indian Road Runner and has never had an egg problem. They both have been good egg layers. They are a mixed family housed together with two male geese, one African brown and one White Chinese. The four are allowed to free roam and have assess to two large ponds. The geese fight daily while in the pond and they both favor the Indian Road Runner but I'm sure they don't totally neglect the Mallard. I have been feeding them All Flock feed and have started supplementing with chicken organic layer feed and oyster shell. I don't mix the oyster shell with their food but offer it in a different container. Any words of wisdom as to how to help my bird start laying healthy eggs again? Started the calcium supplement over a month ago.

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    5 years ago

    Dumor makes an egg laying mixture, get that and you won't have the problem anymore. I had the two elements separated at first, and the tiny little shell fragments by themselves aside from the food is not going to make them want to eat it. My ducks didn't even bother trying to eat the shell pieces. They would eat the food around the shell mix and leave it alone. Dumor takes the shells and turns it into a powder so it blends in with the food and they eat it regardless. And they love it, youll see a big change in their interest to eat. The shells in the food that the specific manufacturer produces were so tough i had to pry them open after the whole egg was cracked all over. The membrane on the inside of the egg had to be torn through it was so well made. Theres not much else to say other than to use that feed. All ducks were laying eggs of that quality. They also need tons of water to produce them but it sounds like you have that covered. The food is formulated specifically for Ducks and Chickens. Other Full flock feeds contain a broad range of grains that Ducks sometimes don't need as its not what they eat naturally, but its food nevertheless and its in front of them so they eat it. Or parts of it. You also have to give them worms every now and then which contain protein. They go absolutely crazy over them. But youll have super healthy Ducks with this feed. Good luck with it/them...

  • spitfire60
    5 years ago

    I have an unusual situation I think, I have a male and female duck, don't know the breed, my male


    is sitting on duck egs and chickens eggs with my hen that went broody. The female will jot stay in the nest. It is big enough. Every time I try to move the ducks to a nest I built they go back to the hen house. Even though I move egs too. Do I need to lock them both into the nest I built? Does the Drake usually set on the egs? They roost with the chickens which I found the roost in the wild too!! Is it normal, and can you identify the breeds?? KAITTE

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    5 years ago

    They look like Muscovy hybrids, the variations are endless. My suggestion is to separate the Male from the nest. The females might be more skilled at not crushing the eggs, males are not very careful, or not as careful.. What you don't want is Chickens and Ducks together. Chickens have very sharp beaks and can very quickly make a Duck bleed, and are territorial. Only very large ducks are big enough to fight back, and even still they cant peck like a Chicken. The male is probably there to protect the female because there are Chickens around. If an egg breaks, and a chicken finds one, they will start eating all of the eggs because obviously its a source of food.

    The conditions in the nest for the female have to be quiet, and away from other birds in general. . Or she won't stay on the nest at all. They don't lay eggs in chaotic environments in nature. It basically comes down to that. The male (and I'm not sure of your specific environment) should be kept separate until they are hatched and walking around, and even still they (the hatchlings) should probably be kept away from the male entirely. If you create a closed environment where the female cant leave all the time, she'll use her innate behavior and not let anyone near her, which is the way it should be... good luck and i hope that helps..

  • PRO
    Richard LAROW
    5 years ago

    PS, i forgot to mention, try creating a much larger nesting space, like 3 feet by 3 feet square. It appears there's not enough room from the photo..and what you don't want is them trying to lay eggs in the chickens' nesting box, that happens sometimes..

  • Jakobus Van Der Westhuizen
    2 years ago

    I have two very old male Khaki Cambell males. They are still in super condition and very healthy.

    Untill what age will they be fertile?

  • Sneaks boy
    2 years ago

    my female duck is one years old she’s a Muscovy duck and I also have a male one, she have layed five eggs the past few days. but my real question is in the process of her laying her eggs does the male duck have to keep mating with her or once they have mate for the fist time she will continue to lay her eggs day by day which will hatch 🐣. Please if someone have the answer email me at tyreserobinson66@gmail.com

  • Dawn Biddle
    last year

    I have a moscovy female and male she layed eggs for the first time and there are 6 eggs. She layed them in the open in my yard. I have a duck pen. Can I move her and her eggs into the pen?

  • Jeremy Alexander Mauli
    last year

    My Muscovy duck Bossy has been sitting on her 16 eggs for over 32 days . She has literally only been out to eat, defecate and bath all up over the 32 days for 30 min. Amazing !!! Not long now


  • Linda Martin
    last year

    If she was in the bush she was probably building a nest behind it...they hide their nests quite well. You should check behind there. They dig a deep hole so it's not easy to spot so look real well. The male will guard her while she builds a nest. You could possibly have eggs