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Common duck problems, unsolved so far :-(

My "pet" khaki Campbells seem to have a well publicised couple of problems.

The eggshells are often thin and suffer breakages. I have changed to "layer" feed a couple of months back and mixed oyster shell with their food, there has been no noticeable improvement.

Apart from the feed, I cook up root vegetables and provide thawed frozen peas as a "treat" with a few liquidised eggshells. The ducks eggshells are still thin though and I am at a loss as to why.

Can anyone suggest an approach to rectifying the problem please?

The other thing is that I usually donate the eggs from my five ducks to anyone showing a desire, and I do not like to wash them. Cleaning was done on dry eggs with a wire dish scrubber, it's hard work and still leaves brown stains on the shells.

I use wood shavings and it isn't practical to do an entire change of "bedding" daily. I use Lidl and Aldi cardboard vegetable boxes for "nesting" and top up the shavings until the box gets soggy.

The floor gets a fresh few handfuls on the dirty bits each night too.

Now this made little difference, but I notice that the shaving bale which is in plastic has now become a "clean" nestbox. The eggs are spotless and for some reason the ducks don't defecate in this and even get inside the flat empty 2/3rds of the bag, lay and leave.

My question is, if they do this by chance, why is is so difficult to get them to lay somewhere they will keep clean and dry deliberately?

Is there a tried and tested design for a duck nestbox that tackles the problem?


Thursday, November 18th, 2021

In answer to the last question I personally don't think so. We too keep Campbell type ducks and other people get the eggs as well. I clean them in slightly warm water under a running tap as it's supposed to not open the pores as much. So far I haven't poisoned anyone or had any complaints! I use the bigger Tesco plastic crates filled with wood shaving for nests but still there will be some eggs on the floor or out in the run. When there is a good depth of shavings the ducks like to hide their eggs maybe that's why they choose the bag. There is a lot more of the wild nature about ducks than hens and I don't think we can change that.

Joseph lawler
Friday, November 19th, 2021

Thanks, you are right I guess.

Really, it's the unpredictable nature of the ducks that makes them so much fun.

I found warm water effective, but somehow it seems to contradict what I know about bacterial growth to use it. Fishing the clean eggs from the sawdust is a delight!

I expect it will not last though.

Many thanks.

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

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