Eggs Spring is in the air, and it’s making the ducks go all broody. I’ve had two sneak off and hide nests of eggs. It’s hard to find them sometimes, they could be anywhere! Kirk found this one: by nearly weed-whacking this duck’s head off before he spotted her in the grass! :-0 Of course, the ducks insist on staying on their nest to the death, so he left her in a little tuft of un-whacked grass. 😀

I do not like to let them brood. I think it’s a waste of resources because I have to feed them all the time they are setting and raising hatchlings, and they are not producing more eggs. I believe the little bit of electricity required to run the incubator is much more economical. And incubator-raised babies are tamer and easier to handle than those raised by wily, broody mothers! Not to mention, when they hide out in the bushes for a month, they are vulnerable to predators, as are their eggs, during the night.

HidingDuck So, I took this girl’s eggs, much to her annoyance. You can see in the picture that while I was peering at her, she was fluffing out all her feathers to look fierce, ready to fight me for those eggs! Her feathers are so fanned out, you can see her oil glands there in her tail. As I stole her clutch, she pinched me and threw herself at me, and then waddled around squawking loudly.

But after a day or so, they forget they had a nest, or at least accept that it’s been ruined, and they move on.

Duck2 I candled this hen’s eggs, and they were all infertile. I think the young drakes were just getting started with mating behavior when she decided to set, so perhaps that’s why all of these eggs didn’t take. I even left them in the incubator for a week to be sure. I’m glad I took them from her, or she would have sat out there a long time before the eggs finally rotted and she clued in that no babies were forthcoming.

I raided a second duck’s nest this week and candled five eggs that were fertile and look like they are about two weeks along. There were two more broken, infertile eggs in the nest (perhaps broken while she was pugnaciously attacking me) and two or three more that were also infertile. I’ll let the good ones finish in the incubator and let their mother get back to the business of laying eggs!

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