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Old 10-13-2010, 02:36 PM   #1
Ni!
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Default Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

So...I put up a wood duck box this spring for the first time. It's located on a steel pole so raccoons and other pests can't bother them. I cleaned it out last week to prepare for next season and found that a bunch of the eggs never hatched. I didn't really sort through the mess too closely, but it appeared that there were probably 12-15 eggs total, and that only about half of them had hatched.

Is this normal? I would have expected a better hatch rate than this, but I really don't know for sure what to expect. I had several inches of wood shavings in the bottom of the box, which was built from cedar and based loosely on some plans I found on Teh Interwebs. Any thoughts from experienced duck boxers would be appreciated.

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

Bump.

I know there are some duck box folks out there. Any ideas about what kind of nesting success is normal?
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:35 PM   #3
silkiechicken
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

Know nothing about ducks or nesting success rates so can't help you there.

But as an aside from chicken rearing, you don't want to use cedar shavings in nest boxes b/c the phenols given off irritate the respiratory system of birds making them more susceptible to infections. Cedar coops and building materials are fine as they air out quickly.

Found this on a real quick google search, looks like about 60-80% hatch rate?
http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatr...f/woodduck.pdf

Factors that can change hatch rate of chickens at least include how long the eggs were stored and the conditions the stored eggs were under. If there were 12-15 eggs, the oldest eggs would have been 15+ days old. With chicken eggs at least, eggs stored more than 10 days under optimal conditions start to have a great decline in hatchability. If there was a hot or cold spell in the area when they started laying eggs, this could have easily rendered the first week of eggs useless.

Last edited by silkiechicken; 10-14-2010 at 04:44 PM. Reason: More info.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

Thanks for the link. It looks like I'm not too far off, but maybe below the average.

The shavings I'm using for bedding are fir shavings. I suppose hardwood shavings would probably be ideal, but fir is what I've got for now. I'll see how it goes this year. I'm already seeing wood ducks hanging around the area, so I'm hopeful that it's making a difference. I might try to put another one up around the bend.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

Best of luck with the birds! For poultry, as long as you can't smell the shavings, you're good to go. Fir is probably closer to aspen in quality for bedding, which is more expensive and desired than dried pine.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

In our wood duck boxes we clean them out completely and let the ducks fill them back in with bedding of their own choice and normally have five or six eggs left over.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fish Box View Post
In our wood duck boxes we clean them out completely and let the ducks fill them back in with bedding of their own choice and normally have five or six eggs left over.
That's interesting. So what do they use for bedding? Feathers? Or do they bring in other stuff?
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wood Duck Box Nest Success Rate

nice to know as i was under the impression that they wouldnt use the box unless it had chips in the bottom as wood ducks dont bring in material.

i have numerous boxes and woodies use them as well as mergansers and goldeneyes.
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