Where do ducks lay their eggs

Information about ducks


When does the duck lay eggs?

The laying period begins around mid-February. But there are also reports of ducks that take their time until May.
Some ducks lay in the year in which they were hatched, but usually it is not laid until the first spring after hatching.

How many eggs does a duck lay

In general, ducks are very good egg layers, pedigree ducks lay around 160 eggs per year
The laying performance can vary greatly from duck to duck and also depends on factors such as climate and feeding.

When does the duck start brooding?

That cannot be said in general. Ducks collect eggs until they are convinced there are enough, then sit on them. But it doesn't have to be.

What should the nest be like?

The duck should be able to breed without being disturbed. Food and water should be available, as the duck usually leaves the nest at least once a day to eat, defecate and moisten its plumage. The latter is particularly important for breeding success.

It often happens that several ducks lay their eggs in one nest. At some point there is usually a dispute about who is allowed to hatch the whole portion. Here it is a good idea to provide as many nests as possible so that each duck has its own, preferably without direct line of sight, otherwise the eggs may constantly wander back and forth.

Old fruit boxes, for example, are gladly accepted as a substructure.

Are the eggs fertilized?

To determine this, the eggs are sheared, i.e. shone with a bright lamp.
You can do it with simple means, I do it like this: Take a Schukarton or something similar, cut an oval hole in the bottom, 1 cm smaller than an egg. Take the eggs when the duck takes a bath, go to a darkened room, lay eggs one after the other in the box on the hole and shine a light from below with a desk lamp or a powerful flashlight. Fertilized eggs can be recognized after 5-7 days by the fact that, starting from the yolk, a clearly visible network of veins has formed under the shell. Unfertilized eggs have no structure, you can guess the yolk, you can test that on unhatched eggs for comparison.
The shearing should be done without a long delay. So prepare the utensils and above all provide a padded basket in which you can safely transport the eggs.
Schieren only delivers results up to about the 10th day of incubation.

A different method can be used from around the last week of breeding:
Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and carefully place an egg. If the egg moves easily, one can assume that the occupant is alive.

How long does the brood last

The brood lasts 28 to 30 days.

How do I prepare myself?

In order to be able to determine the hatching date, the start of breeding is marked in the calendar. Then check out the following points in good time:

  • Has everything been prepared to be able to separate the drake from the young mother and offspring?
  • Is Chick Food Concerned?
  • Drinking facilities available?
  • Is there a heat lamp available for emergencies?

Help the chicks come

Hatching can take up to 24 hours (from the first crack in the egg to the complete freedom of the chick). You should neither disturb the duck during this time nor help yourself if you have the impression that a chick has problems. The mother duck knows her way around!

What am I feeding the chick

The chicks do not need any food on the first day, they cover their needs with the enclosed yolk sac.

For the following time there is special food for rearing waterfowl in specialist shops.

Forum post by Gabi

My offspring (tomorrow 8 weeks) is well developed, already bigger than the mother and was fed with: Chick grain from WLZ = basic feed, was always ready.
Wheat bran, oat flakes, spelled meal, maize flour, kernel sprouts or canned vegetable corn, mixed with minutely chopped stinging nettles, clover and dandelion (alternatively iceberg lettuce), mixed with water to make muddy mushrooms, mixed with a raw egg twice a week = boiled potatoes 3 times a day, Rice, pasta, salad leftovers (without salad dressing) are still occasionally mixed with grains as an extra.
Since they were 6 weeks old, I have slowly switched them to poultry grain and crushed oats, first mixed wet, now dry. Since then, they have been fetching their greens and endless snails themselves.

Very popular with my team were:

  • Mashed bananas (is particularly nice to slobber around)
  • Canned peas & carrots (enthusiasm)
  • Canned green beans
In order to process the ingested food, the ducklings must also have the opportunity to ingest small stones.
Please do not use rearing food for chicken chicks, it may contain ingredients that are harmful to the ducks

When can the little ones go outside?

In the case of natural breeding, the duck decides. It may well be that she goes into the water with the little ones on the second day of her life, that's no problem, if you're afraid, you can be careful not to overdo it ;-)

With artificial brood you can let the chicks outside when the weather is good after the first few days of life. In the first few weeks, however, there must be a constant source of heat under which the chicks can take refuge if necessary. This can be an infrared lamp, a dark radiator is better, both available e.g. at www.bruja.de.

What dangers are chicks exposed to

  • drake
    The drake should be kept separate from duck and chick for the first 6-8 weeks, there is a great risk that the chicks will be killed by the drake.
  • water
    The fluff of the chicks is not yet as water-repellent as the later plumage. If you stay in the water for a long time, the fluff soaks up and the chick sinks. There is therefore a possibility that chicks will drown in water containers or ponds with steep or smooth walls, even when the water level is low. Even if there is a shallow exit, panicked chicks can no longer find their way there. All sides of the swimming area must be flat for the first few days.
  • Birds of prey, crows, magpies, herons
  • Cats
  • fences
Choking hazard with snails
Young ducks in particular are at risk of over-attacking large snails. The snail gets stuck in the duck's throat, and as a result, the duck suffocates.

  • Massage the snail up or down in the throat
  • Remove the snail with tweezers
  • always provide enough water so that the duck can rinse well before and after

When should the duck not breed?

  • too early in the year (before the beginning of April)
  • If it is not certain what will happen to the chicks later
  • When inbreeding is to be feared
  • too late in the year (breeding begins later than July) because otherwise the chicks do not get well into winter

How do I keep the duck from breeding?

by removing the eggs, possibly replacing them with plaster eggs, blown eggs or golf balls.

What is to be made of artificial brood?

nothing, the duck can do much better!

Duck brood for beginners

Because the topic haunts the forum every spring, here again in detail:
  • Ducks can lay all year round, which is not uncommon. But they don't have to, that's not unusual either. The average starts around the beginning of February, but even if there are no eggs by April, this is not a cause for concern. Usually the first eggs are scattered all over the place. Once the duck has decided to get serious, it lays all the other eggs in a heap. This pile can look anything from a messy to an "intricately built nest".
  • Now the duck lays an egg every day (possibly with interruptions). These eggs stay in the nest during the day and the eggs don't care if they get cold.
  • Even at night, the eggs are not damaged in the cold, the duck usually sits on them.
  • The duck may lay many more eggs than it can incubate. Loyal duck keepers label each egg with a serial number (pencil, not an ink pen!). When you have 12-16 eggs, you remove the egg with the lowest number.
  • Only when the duck is convinced that it is time will it stay on the eggs. The duck does not care how impatiently the owner waits for the brood to begin, it has its own idea of ​​the right time.