My garden is Ducky!

Wow, my biggest fan mrs duck!

I’m a mile away from any water yet I found this in my garden

These duck eggs look bigger than chicken eggs! I don’t see how this is going to work. i should have just cooked them up!

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Get one of those plastic pools for children. Good luck, Bill

:smile: :smile: :smile: There ya go. Natural insect and slug control.

This is so cool! How did the mother duck even find your garden! So what now?

During memorial weekend we had torrential rains. I was out of town, and my theory is the local Red Run river overflowed it’s banks. The duck might have had a nest on the banks. And it was going to lay eggs any second. It must have seemed like a good place, quiet, nobody around. It is behind an old bird fountain.

I don’t know? Any suggestions welcome.
the nest is under this fountain, right by the front door!
Maybe it liked the porcelain duck? :smile:

I found out that the eggs take 28 days to hatch! Also usually a male is around and in this case, something happened to the male! I’m not sure what she is eating? But when i offered oats and corn, she would not take them. I read that is food that they like.
Off subject but that fountain is on the south side, close to the house. I used to grow that cactus in there, in the fountain. Then somebody threw away 4 or 5 really wide pots. So I put the beast in one. I love garbage picking for pots! The pot is brand new! Anyway I’m going to remove fountain and try and grow a fig there. Protected from the north winds, close to the house for warmth, a southern exposure. It’s the best spot I have for a fig tree! I have obtained a Florea fig which is slightly more hardy than Chicago Hardy. Not as good, but a better chance to survive. I am in zone 5b/6a. Best start with the most hardiest fig possible. I will grow it in a pot this year, and plant it next spring.

That’s really interesting. I’ve found ducks in my yard, but they are dead ducks, no eggs.

This reminds me, when I retire I want to start raising Indian Runner Ducks. Too much trouble while I’m working.

Well give it time, I don’t see a good outcome. I guess I can bury them next to that body in my garden :smiling_imp:

If I can help the duck i will, but I don’t think I can.

That 28 days to hatch is from the time they lay the last egg and start sitting. That way they all hatch together. How far away is the creek that overflowed? Is that a mile? It’s been a long time since I had to feed baby ducks. Unlike chicks, I think I had to serve up their food as wet mash. I’m not even sure I’m remembering that correctly. If you can, try to make sure mama has access to at least a washbowl size of water so she can rinse down whatever food she’s eating.

I have been reading up on care of ducklings and I may take them away from the mother to make sure they survive. Seem easy enough to care for although they may never leave!

Drew maybe there is a wildlife rescue facility you could consult with. I used to volunteer at one and I loved it.

I’m leaving town in a few hours. Monday I will inquire, thanks. I will take care of them if I have to, i just do not want to. I have a garden to tend to.

For what its worth Drew, duck eggs are very tasty.

Finally…something I know a little something about! Let me first say I think that is really, really neat. You’re right…its pretty unusual for Mallards (what that is) to have a nest so far from water…but its not unheard of and the do sometimes lay near tiny bodies of water not much bigger than a puddle. Perhaps the fountain was enough-though it looks dry.
She may not be as dumb as people think for laying there. She will come to tolerate you passing by, and your presence makes it less likely that many natural preditors will get her or the eggs. Coyotes of course like ducks, as do foxes, large hawks and eagles and none of those will likely be at your doorstep. Opossums, Racoons, minks, foxes, and weasels among others love eggs, and while some of those come around houses, they are usually a little bit shy about it.
My mallards usually lay about 10 eggs so she may not be done laying. If she is off the nest very much at all, then she isn’t done probably, because as @MuddyMess_8a pointed out, they don’t sit until they are done laying eggs so that they can all hatch at same time (which will indeed be amazingly close to exactly 28 days after she starts setting.
The good news, if you don’t know, is that baby ducks are among the most hardy and mobile babies of any kind. Of course predators are a HUGE problem and will almost certainly get many of them, aside from that they are very easy to care for and really won’t need anything at all from you. Unlike many avian babies, ducks are up and running and swimming and catching their own food within 24 hours of hatching! If you do want to feed them, go get some high protein chick and duckling “scratch” from a feed store or tractor supply. They sell big and small bags. Lots of people give corn, and they will eat it, but it has VERY low nutritional value for growing babies. The dad ducks often kill the babies, but since he is gone you don’t need to worry about that. I see no need to take them away from mom. However, if you don’t she will very likely leave with them (and start leading them to water…no matter how far it is she knows where and will walk them to it in spite of roads, dogs, and other hazards that might harm them.
Anyway, for my 2 cents you now have another fun project for the coming weeks. If you get really curious, you can shine a really bright lite against the egg in a dark room and you can watch the embryo develop and move around. Also helps make sure the eggs are viable and progressing. If someone says touching them will cause her to abandon them they are wrong-its just a wives tale. Good luck. Keep us posted!

BTW, @Bear_with_me, I have had indian runner ducks for years (though my last 2 were killed over the winter). You should get some…they are very entertaining. The way the run is just hilarious and people really enjoy seeing them!

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I vote for setting up a kiddy pool for the duck and watching the eggs hatch. I can see from the picture that you have a very neat garden, having mother duck and ducklings there is going to be messy. But, this is once in a blue moon thing, it will be really neat to be able to observe the whole process. Desides, you can alway consult cityman when it comes to helping the mother duck raising her young :smile:
I have bluebird house in my yard, I enjoy watching the eggs hatch, baby birds grow up and fledge a lot.

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Thanks for the info cityman, that really helps a lot. i would rather she just lead them to water. I may be able to spot for her. I was thinking of moving them myself when hatched, and hope she follows me. We can do it together. We do have Opossums, Racoons and hawks around here.

Hey drew…just wondered what ever happened to your duck?

yeah…I was curious about this too

It looks like the duck tried to take the chicks to a pool, and they all died!! One egg is in the nest, and she just left today. She was sitting on it until today. They didn’t hatch all at once. I never saw a live chick. I’m out of town every weekend. So the neighbor told me she found dead chicks in the pool.

there’s something quite magical about birds’ nests and eggs.