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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live up here in Minnesota where it is still very cold for another 2 to 3 months. I have some pet ducks and when I went out there today to give them some water to swim in, I found a white egg frozen on the ice. I have 2 male and 2 female mallards and 2 pekin ducks. the question is: what kind of egg is it, and why is it so early?
 

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could be because of extended sunlight during the day
 

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or just the fact that nature never intended birds not to sit in one spot... Non migratory birds Lay egg's more early.. Never knew this early but.. who know now days..

The just sit in one spot, plenty food, No flying around.. Therefore they have everything they need to reproduce.
 

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I have had a few early eggs with my pet ducks too. They coincided with the couple of 60-70 days we got....which were followed by massive cold fronts.

I guess the warm temps got my drakes in the mood :biggrin:
 

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My ducks do nest, and I hatch out 8-15 a year, usually in two broods. However, I must seperate them into the pairs that they choose (all of my hens currently are paired with a specific drake) so that other drakes do not disrupt the nesting pair. I have 25 ducks with a few more drakes then hens so some of the smaller hens can get picked on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
this is our first year raising ducks. we just got them as ducklings last spring. I dont know if they nest or not though. we have lost like 15 ducks to racoons so we dont have many left. but I found the egg frozen solid on the ice.
 

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If they are highly domesticated, my guess is they will start dumping eggs early and keep dumping them and they will never nest. If they are not as domesticated, then they will be more consistent and actually nest. However, even wild birds will sometimes nest early and keep nesting until very late in the season. A couple years ago I saw mallard ducklings (< 1 week old), in September.

My parent's have a variety of birds. Some chickens lay eggs pretty much year round and some actually nest. The peacocks only lay them at certain times and try to nest. However, my Dad takes their eggs and hatches them in the incubator. Only one of their pheasants has ever tried to nest, the rest start laying eggs early and just dump them. My Dad collects their eggs until he has as many as he wants to raise. I'm not sure what their fancy pheasants do.

Good luck with the raccoons. Just about every predator in the area has raided their birds. Confirmed so far are Fox, Coyote, Mink, Black Snake, their Chessie, My Chessie :oops:, and a couple varieties of hawk. The Red Fox was the worst. It was a female that raised 5 pups to adulthood. You have no idea how many chickens it takes to feed five pups and one adult fox.

A stupid chicken ran past my dog and then hopped through some wire and stopped. I guess it thought it was safe, but my dog could just fit her head through and grabbed the chicken. It wouldn't have been a problem since my dog has a soft mouth, except now the chicken didn't fit back through the wire because it was sideways in my dogs mouth. My dog gave several good tugs and the chicken fit back through the wire :no:
 

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If they are really trying to nest, then there should be a scraped nest with weaved hay or straw. For my hens, I just add some straw when I believe the temps will stay warm enough, and there a nest is usually built in a few days. The best way to get them to nest is to seperate each pair into there own nesting area. Also, pay attention to what drake the hen is paired with. Last year I tried to seperate my mallard hen, but I failed to put the right drake in there until the third time. After I put the right drake in there she began to make a nest, which got flooded. However, she renested and hatched out 5, of which 3 survived.

I have had no problems with foxes or raccoons, even though they are in the area. Hawks have gotten a few, and I caught a few black snakes eating eggs.
 

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When I raised Pheasants and Ducks they laid all season. It slows in the winter, but they still lay. I think when the days begin to get a little longer it kicks in their reproductive system. If the eggs hadn't been frozen to long we thawed them and ate them, their good!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I went out there this morning at 7 and found they just laid the egg like a half hour ago. this time its not frozen, so I want to eat it. but how do I prepare (wash)it?
 

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domestic ducks lay year round, I have been eating them daily all year, fry them just like a chicken egg. The shells are a little harder to crack and the white is a little stiffer than a chicken egg but taste is the same. We buy all our eggs from a local family whose kids do 4-H, since we don't mind the duck eggs we usually get them half and half with the chicken eggs as other people think it's wierd or something. Some of the smaller ducks they have (teal sized) lay eggs that are just a little smaller than the average chickens egg and have a slightly blue hue to the shell, those are the tastiest. Once we got a Duck double yoker, that is a big egg!
 
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