wild ducks swimming in calm water of lake in park

Where Do Ducks Lay Eggs? (Explained for Beginners)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If you keep ducks for their eggs and you want to know where they usually lay their eggs, then you should read this article to the end.

Duck eggs are very nutritious, big and they contain vitamins and minerals that boost the growth of humans.

Where do ducks lay eggs? Ducks will lay their eggs wherever she is comfortable. Most times they prefer to nest close to a water source or a place covered with vegetation or in a natural hole in a tree. Basically she wants a place where food is plenty, a place that is not too cold and secure from predators.

Factors that determine where a duck will lay her eggs

Where Do Ducks Lay Eggs
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

As a duck is about to lay eggs, she finds a comfortable place that is ideal for her

After watching most ducks and seeing their nesting areas, here are some factors that I think influence their choice.

1. Access to food

This is probably the most important factor that a duck considers when choosing a place to lay her eggs.

She wants a place that has easy access to lots of food for her and your ducklings

This is why most times, she builds her nests near water sources so she can have access to food such as tadpoles and bugs which are around the pool

Ducks have been known to exploit any open water where food is plentiful and easily accessible.

Town ponds with an abundant and reliable food supply often attract lots of ducks especially during nesting season

2. A warm location

Next while picking a location for nesting, ducks want a place that is not cold

Ducks are birds that hate cold environment and will thrive in areas that are warm

Warm areas are naturally good for birds because it keeps them comfortable and they can go about their business without any issues.

The space for nesting must also be big enough for them to walk around and have enough lighting.

Ducks also have the ability to use their feathers to keep them warm.

3. It must be safe from predators

Lastly the areas chosen for nesting must be safe from potential danger and predators

Like all birds, ducks and her ducklings are prey to other birds and animals such as hawks, eagles and coyotes

So while looking for a place to lay her eggs she wants to ensure that the area is free from predators

This is why she usually picks enclosed areas with lots of vegetation as these places are well concealed and very hard to spot.

What time of the year do ducks lay their eggs?

Ducks in the wild usually start laying their eggs during spring as this is the start of breeding season for most birds

If you have domesticated ducks, especially mallards, these are somewhat seasonal in their duck laying but should also start laying eggs around spring

This is because spring is usually warmer and is ideal for female ducks to mate and start laying their eggs

If you use artificial light in your farm to delay the length of the day (which is usually done in winter to keep them laying all day) then they are likely to start laying eggs when they are mature instead of at the start of breeding season.

So basically your ducks should start laying eggs when they are above 28 weeks old or at the start of spring.

Do ducks lay their eggs on water?

Yes most ducks prefer to lay their eggs on water or close to a water source as this allows them to easily access food.

During the day when the weather is a bit hot, the water also cools the area and has a calming effect on the duck and her ducklings

This is the reason whenever you see a pond, there are usually lots of ducks around splashing and playing in it

Most times some of the ducks are mating and hatching their eggs.

Do ducks hide their eggs?

Duck are one specie of birds that do not necessarily need to have their own nesting house made for them unlike chickens

Female ducks will create their own nesting houses when they want to lay their eggs.

It is because of this habit that ducks are notorious nest hiders

They tend to build their nests and lay their eggs in areas that are very difficult to find

Personally I have had situations where I found nests of ducks in my farms with as much as 20 eggs in them

The only problem is that since the nest is hidden by the time I got there almost half of the eggs had gone bad

So in my opinion the one way to prevent this from happening is to build your own nest box for the ducks.

But then how do you get them to actually take interest and like your nest box.

Here is an article I found online that talks more on this

Do male ducks sit on eggs?

No they do not. This is usually done by the female who sits on her eggs after she has laid them so they can incubate.

What the males usually do is to stay near the nest so that when predators arrive he can act as a decoy and draw them away

Drakes also guard the female during courtship and mating to drive away rivals males.

In general, they don’t play any role in care of eggs or ducklings. 

There is a real problem of human-managed ponds not having emergent plants near shore and in the wetter areas onshore, because nesting females depend on plant cover to be able to forage without males harassing them to the point where they can’t get enough rest or food, and abandon their nests.

Do ducks leave their eggs unattended?

Yeah ducks can leave their eggs unattended for a while.

She usually does before she starts incubating the eggs

So what happens is that she lays the eggs, producing about 15 to 15 eggs in a day but she won’t start incubating until the last one has been laid

During this time she can leave the nest and the eggs unattended for a long time and the eggs will still be fine as long as a predator does not get to them.

Once she has finished laying all her eggs and her clutch is full she now sits on them to incubate only leaving briefly to get food.

Do ducks move their eggs?

Ducks do not move their eggs before it is hatched

What happens is that after she has finished laying all her eggs she then sits on them to incubate them which happens in 24 hours

But for moving the eggs before they are hatched might not be a good idea and does not happen


Ducks will lay their eggs wherever she feels comfortable and safe.

Usually she wants a place that is warm, has access to food and safe from predators. Wherever she finds such favorable conditions, she builds her nest and then lays her eggs.

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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