Ducks.. Eggs..

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Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby seatil » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:22 am

As well as the two cute ducklings in "My Birds" I picked up two grown up indian runner ducks yesterday. I just realised that I don't have the faintest clue about when their egg laying season is, if they prefer to lay in the same spot like chickens, or if they'll use the same nest as chickens given the chance. Now I could just wait and see what they do, but I figure it might be good to learn from other people's mistakes rather than repeat them. So yeah, egg laying habits of indian runner ducks?
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Re: Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby Kracka » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:30 am

okay, at the risk of catching the wrath of the chicken fanciers....

ducks are more intelligent than chickens!

if you collect all their eggs out of their nest, they will abandon that nest and go and create a new one - you must leave decoy eggs (either old ones you don't want, but remember to swap them out every so often, so they don't explode) or good heavy plastic ones (lightweight ones will flick out the nest as they are turning around & taking a good look)

my Khaki Campbells will build their own nests, under a pittosporum, tucked under a large long tuft of grass and they are remarkably difficult to find - so you want to keep them happy with the nests you've provided

as for the nests - I just made them similar to a hen nest (these are all at ground level too) - but a bit bigger - I made a bank of 4 nests with a lift up lid on it - probably the floor measures something like 40cm x 60cm - big load of hay in it (help them by forming it into a nest shape & drop the decoy eggs in the middle)
my ducks also make things pretty darn muddy at this time of the year - so I spread hay in front of the nest as well (but any non-muddy covering) so hopefully their feet are reasonably clean by the time they get in

the only problem with a bank of 4 nest that all look the same, if you have a sitting duck in there, she might go back to the wrong nest (especially if someone else is in there when she returns) and the hatch is ruined

otherwise I've got a few dog kennels dotted around the orchard - but its MUCH nicer if you have a lift up lid, grovelling down in the mud trying to reach that egg at the back of the kennel is well overrated :(

my Khaki's are starting up laying now - they'll go right through, maybe hiccupping a bit when it gets really hot in summer - autumn is generally when they shut down for a while - not so sure about Runners

you normally can collect the eggs by about 10am, they generally lay in the morning
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Re: Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby seatil » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:01 pm

Cheers. Are they also smart enough to know that a golf ball isn't an egg? ;-) Or that the egg is actually a chicken egg?
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Re: Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby Marina » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:28 pm

Kracka wrote:okay, at the risk of catching the wrath of the chicken fanciers....

ducks are more intelligent than chickens!

if you collect all their eggs out of their nest, they will abandon that nest and go and create a new one - you must leave decoy eggs (either old ones you don't want, but remember to swap them out every so often, so they don't explode) or good heavy plastic ones (lightweight ones will flick out the nest as they are turning around & taking a good look)


That depends on the chicken breed :mrgreen:

I agree, ducks are more intelligent than Orpingtons (but what breed isn't :roll: ).

I usually have to leave 2 eggs in a nest but for my 12 year old banty cross I have to leave 3 of her own eggs in there - she can count to 3.

Golfballs are only accepted as egg subsitutes by very few hens and I doubt a duck would accept such a bumpy round thing.
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Re: Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby Kracka » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:44 pm

:lol:
maybe that's what they mean when they say Orpingtons are placid.....

I haven't tried my ducks with golf balls - I've had hens lay eggs in their nests, but I prefer not to leave them in there, the duck eggs have a much harder shell & its better if you're going to leave some in there, that they are pretty tough
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Re: Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby seatil » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:18 am

The older girl duck has been laying for almost 2 weeks now. She started laying in the spot that I most expected her to lay in. A couple of the chooks have joined her in laying there. I've been leaving three eggs in the nest each day; two chicken and one duck. Happy to say that so far she hasn't changed her mind and tried to lay elsewhere.

Looking forward to poached duck eggs on English muffins for breakfast tomorrow. :D
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Re: Ducks.. Eggs..

Postby Kracka » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:42 am

that's great
I think I've got 3 ducks sitting :? they make an amazing nest - the more hay you leave lying around, the higher the build their nest!
not sure what I'm going to do if anything hatches.... :o
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