Will A Drake Attack New Born Ducklings?

I have been asked if a drake will attack new born ducklings by Cristine who has emailed about her pekin duck who is now sitting on some eggs and Cristine is concerned about the weather and how the drake will react.

Hi Sara:

Awhile back I wrote to you about my Pekins first egg. Well, I really have a predicament I hope you can advise me on.

It is February and 30 degrees outside. The female seemed worn out from all the laying (1 egg a day since Oct) and the bitter cold, so I decided to let the eggs collect in her cage hoping she would stop laying once she had 12 or so and figuring she would never sit on them. We’ll now she has 15 eggs and has become super-broody! She refuses to leave the nest and has pulled out some of her down which is incorporated into her nest. I have no idea how many have been fertilized (I have a very persistent drake) and am afraid some of these will hatch… again it is 30 degrees outside.

Any suggestions? I feel bad to take the eggs away now in case some have begun to develop. What about the drake? He is very protective of her and the nest but will he harm the chicks?

This is crazy – all the books say the female doesn’t lay at this time of year and that she will not sit on the nest??

Any advice you may provide would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! I have no idea what to expect each morning. We are expecting 6-8 inches of snow tonight.

-Cristine

This was my response:
Hi Cristine,

I don’t think I would take the eggs away. I would make sure the duck has plenty of straw and a drinker and feeder close by. When do you think the eggs are likely to hatch, how long has she been sitting?

I don’t have experience of a duck hatching the eggs herself with the drake as I hatched my eggs in the incubator. One of the farmingfriends forum member Sarah, maybe able to tell you how the drake might react as her ducks hatched some eggs last summer.

If you are worried about the ducklings then you may decide to section the sitting duck and her nest from the drake when the duck is close to hatching. You may want to make it so that the drake can still see the duck so that when the ducklings are old enough to fend for themselves you can mix them again and the drake will be used to seeing them.

If it is really cold then you may want to set up a brooder area for the duck and ducklings when they hatch with plenty of straw and a heat lamp so that the ducklings can keep warm, although the duck will keep them warm as they will stay close to her.

I have put your question on the forum so that Sarah and the other members can help if they have any advice. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=416

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

I knew Sarah would send a response for Cristine and Sarah’s experience was

” My campbell drake was an excellent father and was constantly on the lookout out for danger – which amongst other things means you. Let him stay with them. She may get anxious if he is removed and then desert the nest and he will guard them with his life.  Sarah”

Do you have experience of a drake attacking new born ducklings or experience of your drake being good and protecting the ducklings? If so please leave a comment as we would love to hear from you.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

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