Leave them. Ducks do and must get off of their nests a lot. If it’s been over 21 days, then likely the eggs are bad and she decided not to hatch them. (They might be bad in fewer days, too – but at least 21 days is needed to hatch). If they were viable and it’s not very hot all day and night and she’s been gone, likely they’ve died in the shell. That’s the way that nature keeps the duck population from over blooming. I’ve learned to respect that, and duck eggs must be kept 99 degrees, but not allowed to dry or the babies will die trying to get out.
You should never help them out because the long time (sometimes a day) that it takes them to leave the egg allows all the blood vessels in the inside of the albumin of the egg to slowly dry up. If you try to get them out too soon, and they can bleed to death as their naval will wick the blood out and not dry up like it should and separate naturally from the albumin.
Also, they’re closing up the last of the yolk into their bellies at that time and you don’t want to open the egg too soon or you risk them getting infected. Let the ducks handle it- they really know their stuff. And hope for babies! Don’t have your feelings hurt if they have more babies than survive – again it’s how mother nature takes care to keep populations correct, not too many and thus diseased and starving ducks. It’s hard to do – ducklings are the cutest creatures on earth!
My cat scared a duck nesting in a planter on my deck. She has been sitting on the eggs for over 2 weeks. Will she come back? What should I do if she doesn’t? How long should I wait?
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She will come back to sit on the nest after all the eggs are laid.
keep your cat inside. it takes 25-29 days to hatch after incubating has begun, so these eggs have 11-15 days left. if you are certain she is not returning (2 or 3 days of no return) contact your state wildlife agency because disturbing the eggs is against the law.
It appears the duck has already laid all of her eggs if she has been sitting/nesting full time (not just coming and going – still laying eggs) for over 2 weeks as she will not start to incubate until all her eggs are laid.
You do not say what kind of duck you have so I have two sites listed that you can read and decide what to do but no matter what – make sure no animals go near the nest.
We farm and have chickens and ducks. They usually come back.
It was a mallard and she had layer all 12 eggs and was sitting on the nest constantly for over 2 weeks. She did not come back overnight or all day so I found a rehaber that had room in her incubator. She let me know that all 12 eggs had live babies. And she is going to let me know if they hatch. Thanks for all the help.
The duck was a mallard and she had been sitting on her 12 eggs consistently for over 2 weeks. She didn’t come back overnight or all day so I found a rehaber that had room in her incubator. She let me know that there were 12 live babies and will let me know if they hatch. Thanks for the help!
A mallard has chosen a very small space in front of our condo to nest for the 2nd year. Last year was perfect and she hatched beautiful ducklings. This year she left her nest yesterday morning at 7, after running and squawking throughout the parking lot, and hasn’t returned. It’s been over 24 hours. She left her nest uncovered. We used a small rake to cover them with her feathers.
How do we know if she abandoned the nest? and what could we do to help?
Leave it be. They don’t start sitting until they lay their last egg. I would give it several days. Don’t mess with the eggs, that can prevent her from returning, as she will associate that with a predator in the area.
I would leave it be. It’s highly likely she will come back.
Hopefully she will return soon! Or she has just at a different time then when you checked.
Ducks sit on their nest after the last egg has been laid. She may not have finished laying her eggs. Just wait and see.
Our momma duck has been missing for at least 48 hours. We have a nest of 15 eggs. Will they still survive if we get them to a incubator?
The mother may not have finished laying her eggs. She may come back and lay some more. When she is all finished laying the eggs, she will sit on them.
She was on the eggs for 7 days, now shes gone
Is this a duck that belongs to you and lives in your yard? Did something frighten her? Is this a regular home style duck and not a “wild” duck? i know most people do not think about this as to them – a duck is a duck – but that may not be the case. if the eggs are cold it may be too late to save them.
here are a couple of sites with information on what to do.
My dog was in my back yard and saw a duck (mallard) nest and scared off the hen will it come back?
Most likely not as she would assume her nest was not safe from predators and would either find another area or leave altogether.
Here is a link that has a lot of information about this subject.
Mama Duck has been sitting on her nest for at least two weeks. We don’t know how long before, as we were out of town.
We put out a low bird bath so she has water nearby – we are a few houses from a creek.
She was sitting on her nest last night. This morning we found parts of an egg in the birdbath. A larger broken egg was a few feet away, and another one was a few feet from that in the vinca with the yolk inside. There are several more eggs in her nest that are unbroken, but at least one broken with the yolk inside.
If a predator got to her eggs, will she come back for the others?
Should we just leave them alone?
Is it possible one or more hatched and she already took the babies to the creek?
If a predator got to the eggs, the mother duck will probably not return to the nest. Sorry.
That’s what we wondered, just not 100% sure if a predator was there as some eggs looked hatched and some still intact.