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Ducks Not Sitting on Eggs

Raising ducks requires a whole new category of knowledge. It can be confusing at the start to know if something is a problem or not. This is a guide about ducks not sitting on eggs.


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1 found this helpful
May 15, 2011 Flag

I bought a brown speckled female Mallard at an auction, and she has laid 12 eggs but does not sit on them all the time. Are they still good, and will she sit on them to hatch them, or should I take them out? There is a male mallard duck with her.

By Charolette A

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July 22, 20110 found this helpful

Usually birds, all kinds, lay an egg a day or say every other day. But they don't usually sit or brood, till they have laid enough, 12 certainly seems like a large enough number. Questions come to mind 1. does she have privacy, somewhere other animals and humans won't disturb her. 2. Are male and female of same age 3. How often is a human checking on things? If they don't feel safe they won't always brood. 4. Was she raised by mother or incubated, sometimes they just don't know how. 5. Do you know how to candle an egg? If she is tame and used to you, discard eggs, see if she starts laying again. If she does take a marker and date eggs as she lays them. If she's pretty tame this shouldn't bother her. After marking date, you can candle the eggs to see if a chick is growing. If you decide to take current eggs from her, crack a few and see if they've actually been fertilized by the male. Have you seen him mount her? Best advice I have is to get a library book, to help with some of these questions.

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August 20, 20160 found this helpful

I am new to duck raising.. I have a male & female Roan's "oversized mallards".. They are laying now but she does not sit on them!! I believe they are fertilized because I see the male mount every day when I clean & fill the pools.. She's had 2 so far today & yesterday.. Yesterday the egg was half the size of today's but Like I said, it was her very first one ever .. I imagine that one is not normal but what if she doesn't sit on this other egg?? They were bought at tractor supply so not sure how she was raised to know if she knows what to do or not ... Please help!!

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0 found this helpful
May 4, 2009

I have ducks and they are laying eggs. They do not sit on them all the time just a small part of the day. Will the eggs still hatch?

By daddyrabbit from Calhoun City, MS

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May 4, 20090 found this helpful

I had ducks a few yrs back (peking ducks) and they didn't sit on them all the time either, and some of the eggs still hatched (guess the fertile ones). Good luck with them.

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May 9, 20091 found this helpful

It is actually a requirement for waterfowl that the eggs' temperature be lowered for a short while each day if you were incubating them. Since she's doing her job instead, that is the time at which the mom would get off her nest to eat, drink, and (more importantly) swim. She brings back moisture in her feathers to the eggs to keep them from a) evaporating too quickly, and b) getting to hard-shelled. Be sure (as always) to provide adequate swimming water so that she can do her job.

Note - if they do hatch and you pick them up to raise them yourself, do not ever let them run short of water. If they do, reintroduce the water to them slowly - a sip or two then a break for a minute, then three sips etc. You'd be surprised how quickly they can spill their water as they play with it.

If you allow her to raise them, expect losses - it's part of nature. They usually have many babies to cover for the loss of a lot, and they're not as good at parenting as geese are.

Here's a website that you might find very helpful. (Ignore the music heheh.)


But they're adorable! So best of luck with them!

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August 1, 20160 found this helpful

We leave near a water basen where are a lot of geese that had babies one duck that had 12 eggs she sat on them only left them as you said to walk to the water to cool off it has been over 105 here a lot as we went to check on her daily the eggs were cracked open not all at once till all 12 are gone now what happen would the geese have done that

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0 found this helpful
April 1, 2015 Flag

A mallard laid two eggs in our flowerbed. The next day she sat under our bird feeder with the male, but did not lay an egg and today we haven't seen her at all. Is there a chance she will return or likely she has abandoned her nest? How long before I know if she is not returning? I was so excited about the prospective brood, now I'm so sad she didn't come back.

By Judy

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