Each morning, we collect the duck eggs from the nest boxes in their coop. We time it so that the group is out eating breakfast while we take the eggs; otherwise, we risk invoking the wrath of the broody who’s been sitting in the corner nest (she knows we steal the eggs, I can feel it in her glare). Several of the girls have already gone broody, but this duck has been particularly committed to defending “her” eggs.
There are four nest boxes in the duck coop: three jumbo covered boxes and one small, shallow one. For some reason, some of the ducks prefer the shallow, open one – there are typically at least two eggs in there in the morning. We usually find several in each of the other boxes, with the broody’s nest being the cleanest, beautifully down-lined, and full of carefully hidden eggs. We’ve learned that you can provide the most deluxe, plush nest box, and that’s still no guarantee that the ducks will lay their eggs in it, so offering variety seems to work best – and an egg laid in a nest box has a much better chance of being a clean egg.
Muscovy eggs from mature layers are typically very large. They have a wonderfully smooth – almost polished-feeling – shell, and range in color from olive to khaki to light tan. As with most eggs, the shapes can vary from nearly spherical to slightly pointy. Occasionally, we’ll find an egg where it’s almost impossible to tell which end is the “large” end. We enjoy the diversity and appreciate the effort required of the ducks with each one we collect.
Sometimes, you get a surprise when you collect the eggs. Yesterday, we found a basketful of big, glossy eggs…along with one tiny one. New layers can lay a smallish egg when they first begin laying, but this one was much smaller than we’d expect. In fact, it was about the size of a [chicken] pullet egg!
When we cracked it open for breakfast this morning, it turned out to be a fairly normal egg, not a “fairy” egg. The yolk was a bit irregularly shaped, but it had a yolk and normal-looking white…just in miniature. While it was entertaining to find and open, we know this is most likely just a rare anomaly; in fact, all of the eggs collected this morning from the duck coop were normal-sized. It would take quite a few of those tiny duck eggs to make breakfast!