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Mallard Duck Laid Eggs

March 19, 2007

Mallard Duck Tending Nest of EggsMallard ducks have laid 2 eggs but the female and male both just left them there. What do I do?

Chris

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March 21, 20070 found this helpful
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Hi, Chris. I believe that the ducks will lay their 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

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By ROXY (Guest Post)
May 10, 20071 found this helpful
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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.

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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!

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May 21, 2021

A Mallard duck built a nest in the bush of my front yard. Four ducklings were hatched yesterday, and the mother duck and the four ducklings left their nest this morning. However, there are still two unhatched eggs in the nest. Will the mother duck come back to incubate these two eggs again?Two eggs left in a duck's nest.

 

If not, what should I do with them?

Should I continue incubating until they are hatched? Also, why this mother duck only had a clutch of 6 eggs, while typically it should be around a dozen?

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
May 23, 20211 found this helpful
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If the mother duck has left with her ducklings and not returned in a couple of days, the eggs will probably not hatch. Sometimes, ducks aren't good at parenting, especially if this is the mother duck's first time raising little ones.

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Another possibility is that the mother duck knew that for a variety of reasons the other eggs weren't going to hatch.

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 425 Answers
May 23, 20212 found this helpful
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Nature has given critters a "sixth sense" so to speak. Whether bird eggs not going to hatch, a deformed or sickly kitten or puppy, or any other species' young, the mother seems to know when her young are not going to make it. In the case of the duck walking away with ducklings that DID hatch, she knew the other eggs were bad, so deserted them. She won't be back. As for the abandoned eggs, you can leave them and nature will take care of them - raccoons, skunks, other birds, something will eat them, as it's nature's way. Feel good about the four that hatched !!!

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
May 24, 20211 found this helpful
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Most likely the mother will not return but you cannot be sure so do not disturb (even touch) the area or eggs for at least another week just in case the mother returns.

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You can always call or email the Wildlife Center for information about what to do.
Here is contact information:
Contact
(540) 942-9453
wildlife@wildlifecenter.org
For more advice on specific duck nesting situations, call us at 540-942-9453.

These links offer information about how to handle situations like this and also has a YouTube video.
www.wildlifecenter.org/mallard-duck-nests

www.thriftyfun.com/Abandoned-Duck-Nest.html

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March 12, 2021

Mallard duck laid egg on concrete. Is this normal? She hasn't made a nest yet. The egg is now cold.

A duck egg on the sidewalk.
 

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
March 12, 20210 found this helpful
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This happens all the time. While it really pains me to say this, you should let nature take its course and leave the egg be to see if she comes back for it (which she won't in all likelihood). They seem to know if an egg is not viable and leave it.

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If you can't leave it, call a wild life refuge and see if they will pick it up and incubate it. They will ask lots and lots of questions and give you the best guidance based on how long it has been there and what you see.

Very sad.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
March 12, 20210 found this helpful
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This egg would have to be warm to survive. It looks like the mother has left the egg, often when they leave they do not return. This mother duck has her reasons . The egg may not be a good one, and was left behind because of it. It happens. Here is answers from this site on the same question - www.thriftyfun.com/caring-for-duck-eggs.html

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June 1, 2017

We had a mallard who laid eggs in the front of our house. We noticed her sitting on them for 2 weeks.

She is now gone and so are the eggs. There is no sign of cracked eggs anywhere. What happened?

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April 26, 2017

A mallard hen laid eggs in my yard. She seems to be sitting on them and incubating them now. Should I provide anything for her? She already has my little dog trained to stay away :-)


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Anonymous
April 26, 20170 found this helpful

OMG that is super cute!!!!!!!

I have to imagine that what she most wants is to be left alone, because being approached by you (or the dog) for anything will most likely spook her

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I also would think that she can take care of herself in regards to food, water, etc and any approach to help her will be misinterpreted

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 26, 20170 found this helpful

Let nature take its course.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
April 26, 20170 found this helpful

You are a lucky one! Be careful about the dog and make sure he/she does not aggravate the mom or she might abandon her nest and that would be sad.
Here is a site that tells about your duck:

wildliferehabber.com/.../duck-information

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April 26, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you for the site. Our concern is how to get them to the water when they hatch. They are in a block walked fence and a row of houses away from where we believe her water is ( pond on a gulf course) We live in the desert so there are not many options for water around here.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
April 27, 20171 found this helpful

I can understand your concern especially since water may be that far away. If you read from the site that I gave you will find some instructions on maybe how to handle this problem.
Find this article on that site and it may give you something to think about:
If a mom and ducklings are already on the move and are headed for imminent danger.
Here is some information from one animal protection site:
If you go near the nest the ducks may abandon the nest or be afraid to properly incubate the eggs. Wait at least 45 days before approaching the nest. If you approach while the eggs are being incubated they may be abandoned. It may take a duck 10-14 days to lay all her eggs. They will all hatch within a couple days. The female doesn't start incubating the eggs until they are all laid.

If you feel you need more help you can contact someone from the US Department of Agriculture. here is their national web site and also a contact site but you can also contact your local office and ask for help.

www.aphis.usda.gov/.../home

www.aphis.usda.gov/.../

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April 27, 2017

A female has laid 10 eggs, she returned this morning to see 1 broken out of nest and one moved from nest and then flew away. Will she return to finish nesting?


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May 24, 2017

I noticed a mallard duck nesting next to my front door. I went to put up some signs to tell people not to use the front door and she got up and she flew away. She has seven eggs in her nest.

She left yesterday at 3 o'clock and now it is the next day at 7 AM and she still not back. What can I do for the eggs and who can I call to help? And will she come back?

Mallard Duck Left Nest - duck nest with eggs
 
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April 26, 2020

Yesterday when I looked in the nest I saw 10 eggs. Today I saw only 4 eggs. Did she hide the other 6 in the nest somewhere?

I don't want to dig around and accidentally crush an egg. A predator did not attack the nest.

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April 25, 2019

A mallard duck and her mate hang out near our boat dock everyday. Yesterday we found 2 eggs, not in a nest and not even near each other.

Just laying on the dock in different corners. What should I do?

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April 11, 2018

I have ducks all over my neighborhood. We always feed them and one female laid eggs (12 eggs) on my roof. I don't know what to do because we got a ladder and my brother touched one. They are brand new. I just wanted to know if you touch it does the egg rot?

And also she is now away from the eggs, but still on my roof. Do I leave the eggs? Please answer as soon as possible because the eggs are on the roof and I don't know what to do. Also the other ducks including the dad left and are always in my yard and we feed them.

On my roof there are 12 eggs, but my neighbor also has 9 eggs and I don't know if they're hers, but I'm pretty sure they are although she doesn't take care of those, only of the ones on the roof.

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July 19, 2017

A wild Mallard has sat on her eggs for 31 days and still is. What does that mean? Are the eggs still viable?

How much longer until the ducklings will hatch and how long will she continue brooding?

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May 3, 2017

My mallard hen decided to come into my home; she followed my chicken hen inside. I was running bath water and she jumped in the tub with me after I bathed. She decided to stay and chose my bathroom closet to lay her nest of eggs. She is now brooding her eggs. Is this strange that ducks come into the house to make their nests? Has anyone else had this problem? Please help.


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April 17, 2017

A duck built a nest in the bush by my front door. I had someone come over and aerate my lawn. The machine was loud, and scared the duck away. I just found out 10 minutes prior that the duck was in the bush. My intention was not to have her scared from her eggs, will she return?


I hope so.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
April 17, 20170 found this helpful

She probably will. The noise isn't bound to come back and she is probably nearby. Keep us updated.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 17, 20170 found this helpful

From a cooperative extension website:

The incubation length on duck eggs is 28 days. At times, ducks will abandon their nests to re-nest in other areas. Other predators will feed on the eggs, so fox & other birds may have already cleaned out the nest. The eggs could be under the mulch, and can survive for 12 hours or more until she returns. I suggest you wait and see what happens.

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