Blogging · Ducks · Eggs · Farm Animals · New to farming · That's How You Learn

What Do You Know Wednesdays (because that’s how your learn)

Welcome to What Do You Know Wednesdays! As you know, we are still learning how to be farmers (we’ve actually known how to be charming for quite some time). We truly enjoy sharing our experiences (the good, the bad, and the hilarious) here with our Charming Readers. Our motto has become that’s how you learn. We’ve learned by jumping right in and seeing what works, what fails, and what just makes for a great story. And since the point of Charming Farming is to build a community of women who farm – in big ways or small – we would like to start hearing from you too. What has worked for you? What hasn’t?

Each week we will post a question or problem that we face with farming or one submitted by one of our Charming Readers. We are hoping to get input from other Charming Farmers so that we together we can grow healthier, happier farms and families.

This isn’t a linkup per se, although we hope you will post a link to your blog. But you don’t have to have a blog post about the week’s topic to contribute. Just share your insights in the comments (with a link to your blog if you have one). But do please share What Do You Know Wednesdays on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or anywhere else Charming Farmers are gathering.

So, let’s start with this week’s Not-so-charming farming problem…


So here’s the deal. Several weeks ago we found a nest of duck eggs. We were elated because we hadn’t realized Thomas had started laying. She was not sitting on the nest. We gathered these treasures, and after doing the float test, and enjoyed our first duck egg sandwich. Yum! The next day when we gathered eggs there was nothing in the nest – nor the days following. Soon she had laid two eggs in a nest. I let them be. She continued to lay eggs in this same nest for several days, so I decided to leave them in the hopes she would go broody. But the duck expert at Fresh Eggs Daily advised me to pick them up because domestic ducks rarely go broody. Dang!

So as not to freak Thomas out, I snuck about half of the eggs out of the nest and marked the rest with a Sharpie marker. My plan was to sneak out a few eggs at a time, but not disturb her nest entirely. But here’s the thing. Thomas can count. I know this because after I pick up eggs, she does not lay again for several days, at least not anywhere I can find the eggs. Also, I can tell she’s moving them around – rolling them over, covering them with straw. COUNTING THEM. She knows when I pick up her eggs – even if she does not see me do it.

So my question is this: How can I collect Thomas’s eggs without disrupting her laying habits? She free ranges during the day, so she can lay anywhere she pleases. Is there a way to collect her eggs and still get her to lay in the same spot consistently? I can’t wait to hear from other Charming Duck Farmers!

Thomas and Rowan
Thomas and Rowan

9 thoughts on “What Do You Know Wednesdays (because that’s how your learn)

  1. I have seen in magizines “fake eggs” for sale to place in the nest. Do you think that is what they are used for?

    1. That’s a good idea, Barbara. I used a golf ball to get my chickens to start laying. It worked like a charm. I never thought of using fake eggs to swap out for the eggs I gather. I might have to get some. No offense to chickens, but I think ducks are too smart to fall for golf balls.

  2. Hi, I just found you so it’s already the end of February. We had Pekin ducks, each breed may be different, but this is what we found. Our Pekins were very good layers, they also laid very early, usually by 7:30 in the morning. We had a fenced in area for them to spend the night, to keep them safe from predators. Every evening they happily went home, got a treat, and we closed the gate. The next morning we collected their eggs. They could be very good at hiding them, but collecting them never decreased their laying. They never went broody, but we did have a home school family incubate some of our eggs. They had fairly good results with 5 out of 7 eggs hatching. Hope this helps.

    1. Thanks Linda, My gals are penned at night too. And it’s true they will eventually lay again (after a few days) once I take their eggs. I think I might be over thinking it. I worry it makes them nervous to have to keep find new hiding places, and I worry one day they’ll just not bother to lay any more. But you’ve encouraged me. I’m going to start gathering the eggs more regularly and hope for the best. Thanks!

      1. You commented somewhere about ducks laying eggs in their water. Ours did that (but I always disposed of those, cause you know what duck water lucks like) as well as sometimes laying on the run. They would coming running for their morning feed and all of a sudden their would be an egg behind them. We do not have ducks right now but will get some more in the spring. Good luck with your ducks.

      2. Yep. Sometimes I find an egg just lying in the dirt. I hope to have babies in the spring either by incubating own or buying some hatching eggs. I can’t wait!

  3. Read up on the humidity level in your incubator. My friends who hatched out our eggs had a hard time with the baby ducks getting free of the egg shells, fyi. How is your weather down there, we are expecting -26 temps tonight.

    1. Whoa! -26? It is 27 here right now. I other words, miserable. Where do you live?

      I will read up on incubating duck eggs. It makes sense that they would require a high humidity level. The shells are so thick and waxy. I’m glad you reminded me of this because I was going to incubate with my chicken eggs – but I bet that wont’t work.

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