With the number of people keeping pet ducks for pest control in their gardens or vegetable patches increasing and the number of people feeding the local ducks at their parks, rivers or lakes also increasing, we have started to see more and more people reaching out to ask various questions about the behaviours of ducks. Although ducks really do have some strange behaviours that the majority of people are not aware of, we have noticed more and more people asking if ducks eat their own eggs or not recently.
From what we have been able to see, this is usually due to people finding broken duck eggs where the insides of the egg have seemingly been eaten by something with most people presuming that it was the ducks who did it. We have actually seen a surprisingly high number of people asking about this over the last six to eight weeks so we wanted to publish our own dedicated article going over the topic.
Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who are having problems with something eating their duck’s eggs. There are a number of efforts in North America and Europe to try and help boost the populations of local ducks at various parks and lakes too so it can be frustrating to see something eating your duck eggs that you work so hard to have the current ducks product in the hope of chicks hatching.
Do Ducks Eat Their Own Eggs?
The vast majority of ducks will not eat their own eggs and although ducks are omnivorous meaning they will eat plant and animal-based food, eggs do seem to be off-limits as ducks won’t eat the eggs of other bird species either. There have been some recorded instances of ducks seemingly accidentally breaking one of their eggs and putting their beak into the egg to investigate but they rarely actually eat the egg.
It is very rare that any omnivorous birds will break and eat their own eggs though and we would guess that the various bird species are intelligent enough to know that if they eat their eggs, their population will decline. There are plenty of documented instances when ducks have been able to break and eat the eggs of other ducks or other bird species and they have ignored the eggs and continued their search for other food types too.
In addition to this, it doesn’t seem like ducks will eat their own unfertilised or underdeveloping eggs either where as some omnivorous birds will actually eat their own eggs if they detect that there is something wrong with it. Due to this, we really would doubt that your ducks are the ones eating the eggs that you are having problems with and that if you are noticing broken eggs that have been eaten it is probably due to another animal.
Can You Feed Ducks Their Egg Shells?
Many people who keep ducks will grind up the empty egg shells of their ducks and feed them back to their ducks as a source of calcium that is also jam packed with vitamins and minerals too. The majority of ducks will happily eat their empty egg shells provided that you grind them up with more and more duck keepers implementing this practice into their own duck keeping operation.
Although some people do have a moral dilemma when it comes to the practice of feeding ducks their own egg shells back, it is usually considered to be fine within the community. It’s not like you are feeding the duck’s duck meat or their eggs boiled, it is just their egg shells and they are essentially a useless byproduct once the duckling has hatched from the egg.
Duck eggs really are an excellent source of calcium with a ton of vitamins and minerals being in them too making them an excellent way to boost the nutritional values in your duck’s diet. The process of cleaning and grinding the duck eggs up ready to use as duck feed can be time-consuming though with many people just choosing to use a duck feed vitamin suppliment as a way to help make their ducks diets nutritionally complete instead.
What Eats Duck Eggs?
The most common animals that will eat duck eggs include foxes, coyotes, wolves, bears, raccoons, mice, rats, dogs, cats, opossums, and snakes. Depending on your exact location, you may have other animals that will eat any duck eggs that they find too but the list of animals that eat duck eggs really is long.
If you do keep your own ducks in your yard or garden in an urban area then it is probably foxes, cats, dogs, mice, rats or snakes that are eating your duck eggs, not your ducks. If you notice that something starts to attack your ducks then this indicates that you have a problem with foxes, cats, dogs or snakes. If your duck eggs keep breaking and being eaten but nothing attacks your ducks after a couple of weeks then it is probably rats or mice.
Being able to identify the specific animal that is eating your duck eggs helps to workout the best way to prevent it from getting into your yard or garden to eat your duck eggs. If you do have a duck coop where they lay their eggs then getting an automatic door for the coop can be a quick and easy way to prevent animals getting in to eat your duck eggs.
That brings our article going over if ducks eat their own eggs to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you workout what is actually eating your duck eggs as it is very unlikely that it is actually your ducks. There really are a wide range of animals that will happily eat a duck egg if they get the chance so it can be difficult to workout specifically what is raiding your duck eggs too.