Should A Broody Duck Get Off Her Nest To Eat & Drink?

I have been asked about whether a duck that is sitting on a nest of eggs should get off  the nest and get food and drink.

“This is my ducks first time laying eggs. I don’t know what to expect. I notice there a fox now in the neighborhood and my duck is sitting on her eggs all day and night. My question is she’s not eating/drinking or leaving the nest. Is that normal and how long will she stay there. What can I do to protect her for the fox. Can i move the eggs?

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website.

Your duck does need to leave the nest – once or twice a day to eat and drink, so you will have to encourage her to do so. I would also place some sort of protection around her to protect her from the fox. I would avoid moving the eggs if possible as they don’t always sit on the eggs if moved.

I added your question my free farmingfriends forum which has alot of duck keepers and they may have advice for you, infact Sarah has already left a reply “Hi Stephanie.
Last year I had to move my girl off her nest once or twice a day so that she ate and had fresh water, but this year i have a different girl sitting and she comes out with the others in the morning for a wash and feed, then again about 9pm to do the same – so this is normal.
Are you really sure she is not eating or drinking at all?
If so, you will have to encourage her off the nest and get her to eat/drink and bathe. They go into a sort of trancelike state, but she won’t be able to last for 28 days. Make sure she has close access to food and water so she doesnt have to move far as she is worried about leaving her eggs.
Don’t move the eggs unless there is no other option.
She needs to be protected at all times from the fox so secure her area with a wire netting enclosure or similar.

Do you have any advice for Stephanie about whether it’s normal for the duck not to want to come off the nest for food and drink and how to protect the duck from a fox without disturbing her sitting on the eggs?

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