Hatching and Nesting

If you decide to get your ducks from scratch (a mother duck), there are some things that you need to know about the hatching and nesting process. 


Don’t get nervous when your duck is about to lay eggs or they are nesting. The mother duck will do the majority of the work. You just need to know what to expect with the process. Eventually, you will get the hang of everything that you need to do.


If you don’t plan on keeping all of the ducklings that the mother duck has, they should not all be hatched. As the mother duck lays the eggs, you can remove them. However, if you do have room and the money to take care of them, then by all means you can do so. 


The best place to do that is on a farm or somewhere where you have a lot of space. If you live amongst others, you’ll probably have to check with your local government to see if you can even take care of ducks.


As far as nesting is concerned, the mother duck should be housed in a safe area, away from other animals. A full nest is considered to be 12 eggs. She will probably want soft bedding, such as hay to rest on along with the eggs. Do not build a nest because she won’t use it. While she is nesting, everyone else should be kept away, especially young children.  


The hatching process requires at least 30 days for all of the eggs to come out. When the process starts, the first one’s hatch in 24 hours. If there are eggs that are forcefully pushed out of the nest, they are no longer alive. The mother is aware of this and pushes those eggs away from the other ones. If there are cracked or broken eggs, there may be an interference with the nest. 


If the mother is nesting, she should be left alone. She doesn’t like people to bother her when she’s at that stage. She can get irritable and agitated. Also, she may show an aggressive side that you may regret later. Even though they know who you are by now, they still don’t want to be bothered. If they see anyone that they do not know, she may leave her nest.


If she is not close to water, provide a reservoir with water in it. She should also have food, but don’t leave it out for a long period of time. Definitely don’t leave it out overnight. There is a great danger of pests and other uninvited guests that can come by. 


To keep her food from being disturbed, you can place a few worms or some food next to the water and leave it there for a few hours.


There may be other times that the mother will leave the nest:

Ø  She stepped away to get water and food for nourishment. 

Ø  She got scared about something and abandoned the nest. Give her a few days to return; if not, then remove the eggs.

Ø  The weather is too hot or too cold.

Ø  The incubation process can move forward without her because of the warm weather.

Ø  If the mother cannot hatch eggs, they will decide to give up and leave the nest.


Keep in mind that all of the eggs from the mother may not hatch. Those that did not hatch should be removed after two days. Take them out carefully so that they will not break. Otherwise, you can smell like rotten eggs.


The father duck should be separated from the mother and the baby ducks immediately. Considering the captivity factor and because there are more in the family now, it’s possible that the male duck can hurt or kill the little ones. 


The mother duck should be allowed to spend some time with her ducklings. They will keep warm and she can teach them a few things. Give it about a week and then place the ducklings in a brooder.