Mallard ducks have laid 2 eggs but the female and male both just left them there. What do I do?
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By 4TruLady 05/11/2015
People mistakenly think that keeping eggs warm is all that must be done for them - not true at all. The duck (or hen if you're talking about chickens) also regularly turns the eggs, and keeps them moist by pulling feathers from her breast so they have contact with her skin.
I have found that a lot of ducks make "lousy" mothers in that they don't want to sit on the nest. That said, even the good mothers will lay a lot of eggs before they finally settle down to incubate them. It's like they're collecting a whole bunch before they are willing to go to the trouble of brooding.
The only semi-reliable way to hatch duck, chicken, quail, or any other eggs is with an incubator. That way the heat is kept even and the humidity can be adjusted as the eggs develop.
One last thing - even a good mother who is brooding her nest of eggs well will take a break for 10-15 minutes a day if the weather is warm. She will stretch her legs for a few minutes and maybe dabble for some bugs or preen herself, wandering off from the nest briefly. That doesn't mean she has abandoned the nest.
Hope this information helps - you need to get these eggs to an incubator or slip them under a broody chicken (at night when she's sleepy and it's dark - seriously! This works! A broody chicken will hatch duck eggs!) or barring that give them to the conservation department or a farmer who has experience with this kind of thing and is willing to help you.
By Shalana Tasha M.05/10/2015
My mom and siblings found 9 duck eggs today & my younger sister went and touched the 9 eggs and now the mom didn't come back, I currently have them under a light (where you usually put baby chick's under) and now I don't not know how to care for them...Help!
Last year we noticed a mallard hen come around the front of our home and she ducked under some bushes and later I saw her sitting on a nest full of 14 eggs. I kept an eye on her for the next 28 days or so and only caught her off the nest a few times. She had laid one a day for 14 days and I caught her incubating them. They started hatching at 9 one evening and within 12 hours they all hatched. She took them around the rear of the house to a pond and got them to the water for safety. We are watching to see if she chooses our home again.
By darren (Guest Post)02/24/2009
I'm a hunter and I say to take them give them to your local game warden or wildlife bio. and they know what to do with them.
By Barbara (Guest Post)12/07/2008
What if the duck have 15 to 20 eggs and the hen cover the nest and we don't see her on the nest?
By Barbara C. (Guest Post)12/07/2008
What if a hen reject a small duck?
By lauren (Guest Post)10/29/2008
You should put them in a basket or something, and put a heat lamp on them, if its not to late!
By Danielle (Guest Post)06/01/2008
My friend and I went on a walk yesterday. We saw a duck nest with two eggs in it. There was no mother, just the eggs. Today we went to check on the nest but still no mother. My friend took one of the eggs, he says his parents and him are taking care of it. It is really hot so the eggs are still warm should I take the other and attempt to care for it?
By (Guest Post)04/28/2008
I was mowing and I came by a duck nest. The duck flew away and now she hasn't came back yet. It's raining and the eggs are not covered. Will she come back?
By Kelli (Guest Post)04/06/2008
I would let the grass go tall as long as you can. The mallard will leave sometimes to go get food or be with her mate and that is when you can do a quick mow or weed eat the grass around the nest. However you are going to have to keep your eyes open for when she leaves. She would probably prefer tall grass so she is hidden and it blocks the wind. Best of luck with the ducks!
By Christi Langas (Guest Post)03/30/2008
We have found a Mallard Duck sitting on Eggs in our Iris Flower Bed. We have provided water and bread, and seldoms leaves. What should we do? We live in a residential neighborhood, and have no idea where the duck came from. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
By Leslie (Guest Post)03/26/2008
I discovered today that a mallard laid 6 eggs yesterday and we are planning to put a fence in tomorrow or the next day. Even if we were not putting in the fence my son, as he did today, scared her away. She has not returned today to sit on the nest or lay any more eggs but has fed on some bird seed at a feeder in our yard. I was wondering if I should move the nest or I am not sure what else. Any recommendations?
By marie (Guest Post)07/30/2007
i have 2 mallard ducks that have been 1 egg a day for 10 days, the last 2 days she has not layed any more, yet she wont sit on them. I candeled them and they are all alive, what should I do?
By kathie (Guest Post)06/05/2007
We have a duck nest by our front door also. She had laid 5 eggs and now there is only one in the nest. She has been scared away several times by the family using the front entrance. So I was wondering if ducks will move the eggs to another location? What do I do with the one remaining duck egg ? I have not seen the mother duck in a day nor have I seen a male duck nearby.
By jad (Guest Post)05/22/2007
We found a pair of Mallards in our pool yesterday. Later, after they had flown away, we noticed an egg on the stone just inches from the edge of the pool. It sat there all day and we didn't see them return. Last night we gently moved it away from the edge of the pool and placed on the mulch around a bush (only about 18 inches from where it was originally). This morning the mallards were back but they haven't gone anywhere near the egg. What do you think?
By John B (Guest Post)05/15/2007
We have the same problem... This site has much info about what to expect.
By Rae (Guest Post)05/12/2007
A mother Mallard laid 9 eggs by our garage, behind a budding bush. She came and went everyday for about 2 weeks. Then, on Monday, she must have frightened a skunk near our trashcan. It must have sprayed very near to her because our house stunk and that area of the garage was potent. She stayed on the eggs 1 more day after that, and I haven't seen her since Tuesday a.m. I called the Audubon Society and they felt that 4-5 days away from the nest wasn't a good sign. I "candled" the eggs to see if the fetuses were moving, and they are! I warmed them up under a lamp for 2 hours and returned them to the nest. She still has not returned. What should I do?
By ROXY (Guest Post)05/10/2007
A duck has laid at least 6 eggs at the base of a boxwood bush that is elevated in a planter. She didn't appear to be sitting on the nest for the last 2 days, but suddenly this morning she is sitting on the nest. I thought she'd abandoned the nest, but now I realize she wants to all hatch at the same time. Glad I didn't touch any of the eggs!
By email@example.com (Guest Post)04/29/2007
I have a Mallard Duck and its mate, a white duck. They have been living on my deck and around my pool (currently there is a tarp and water in it, I have discovered two eggs about 5 feet from each other on the top of the edge of my tarp). The Ducks come and go and I have not seen the female sit on these two separate eggs. What should I do?
By Jan (Guest Post)04/20/2007
I have a Mallard nest in just in front of my house. I was in the yard and the male and female came up to the house. The male waited close by while the female made a nest under a small Gardenial bush in some fresh pine straw. There is a lake a couple of blocks away so I was surprised they came all the way to my house. She has left one egg per day and there are now 6. Is there anything I should do to help protect it from predators? So far all eggs look ok. The nest is near the edge of a grass area that is usually cut weekly; should I let the grass grow tall?
By angela nemecek (Guest Post)04/19/2007
well we are having the same problem here at our front door. what do we do here?
By Trish Mastriano 03/21/2007
Hi, Chris. I believe that the ducks will lay thier eggs one at a time & then when there is about a dozen they will set on them to begin the incubation process, this way they will all hatch at the same time.
I have hand raised mallard chicks a few time, the kids incubated them in school, and then they came to my house. They are great fun, as they will imprint on you, follow you all over the yard, like you are the mama. They would even come down the street with me when I brought the kids to the bus stop in the fall...lol Then in the fall they fly away with the rest of the ducks. I have a female who has been coming back for years to my yard to lay her eggs each spring.
Trish in CT
Here are questions related to Mallard Duck Laid Eggs.
About 6 hours ago, we found 9 duck eggs in front of our house in our flower bed under our bush. When we opened the front door the duck mom left, she did not come back. We are worried. I have a small basket and I've put a soft blanket underneath and we've put all 9 eggs in the basket. I covered them with a tea towel and two soft table cloths. The basket is now in the garage. Our questions:
What do we do now?
How do we take care of the eggs?
Will the mom come back?
Do we put the eggs back?
Please give us some answers, it is urgent.
By Kathy 06/25/2013
I would suggest putting the eggs back where they were. The mama may come back to them. Do not leave the blanket or anything with the eggs! If she doesn't come back in the next day or so,put the eggs back in the basket with the blanket. You will need to hang a light of some kind (for warmth) about a foot or so from them.
Also, turn the eggs over at least twice a day.That's what we did when we found our duck dead.We had about 12 eggs in all. All of them hatched out in about two weeks, except for one. We gave them away to our farmer friend. LOL
There is a chance that the mama will come back! Give her a chance first before you do anything else. Good Luck, Kathy
All summer we have found duck eggs buried in the mulch around the trees in our yard, only one at a time. We have left them alone for days without the female returning. We have lived here along the lake for 22 years and never had this happen before. This is the first year we have had no ducklings at all. The neighbors are all in suspense as to what is going on.
By April 07/17/2012
The eggs may not be fertile, If they are fertile, she lays them all togther and sits. They lay an egg daily with or without the male, so I would say there is no male so the eggs are just unfertile eggs.
If a predator got the first eggs in nest (8) will mother return to lay more?
By teresa 04/01/2012
Yes, but the predator remembers where it found the eggs and will return. It is most likely a raccoon or an opossum or possibly a big rat!
At my school we have 4 mallard ducks, 2 males and 2 females. I know the hens are laying eggs; they had about 7 nests. Now they finally picked one nest. So they have been sitting on the nest for about 20 days. One day when I went to school in the morning. I saw some egg shell on the floor then I went to see if they were OK. When I got there I saw them and they were OK. I went to put out the water and food for them to eat and drink. When I went to look around I saw about 11 egg shells with dead baby ducks inside. That was very sad for me. I went to see the hens and I looked in the nest and saw only 5 eggs and they usually had 20 eggs. My question is what should I do to stop animals eating the duck eggs. Please help. Thank you, A duck lover.
By Ricardo S.
I have 2 Mallard ducks and the female laid about 20 eggs the first time this year and never sat on them and since has laid 2 others next in the yard that predators got. So I cleaned out the solarium and put hay down and she made another nest and has laid more eggs. Three days ago she started sitting on them all day and then today she has been roaming with the male for almost 4 hours now.
How long does the female Mallard usually leave the nest a day to eat once she has started sitting on her eggs? Do you think she will go back to sitting again?
By Reannon S.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have been feeding two mallard ducks (male and female) for a long time, and my female (named Peepers) just laid eggs. She has six so far, but I'm worried because she only goes to the nest to lay a new egg every night. She and the male (Beepers) still come to me 3 times a day to be fed. Otherwise, they're swimming in a nearby pond. It's getting cold now, and Peepers still doesn't sit on them at all. What should I do?
By duck man.
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