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Why Do Ducks Kick Eggs Out Of A Nest? 6 Surprising Reasons!


Why Do Ducks Kick Eggs Out Of A Nest

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Ducks may move their nests and eggs around during breeding season for various reasons such as protection against predators or adapting to changing environmental conditions.

They will also abandon them if disturbed or threatened by possible harm.

By understanding why ducks kick eggs out of their nests, we can gain valuable insights into the complex world of avian behavior. So, Why Do Ducks Kick Eggs Out Of A Nest?

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why ducks kick eggs out of their nests and what it means for both the ducks and their offspring.

We’ll also take a closer look at how different species of ducks differ in terms of nesting habits and what factors influence these behaviors.

Can Ducks Move Their Nest And Eggs?

Ducks are known for their nesting habits, but they can be quite unpredictable when it comes to where they choose to lay their eggs.

It is not uncommon for ducks to change the location of their nest during the breeding season.

While this may seem strange, it is a common behavior in ducks that allows them to adapt to changing environmental conditions and protect their young.

However, sometimes ducks may abandon or move their nests due to disturbance or threat from predators.

When this happens, the duck will usually kick out all her eggs before leaving the area.

This act is known as “nest abandonment,” and it’s an instinctive behavior designed to prevent predators from finding and eating the eggs.

Why Do Ducks Kick Eggs Out Of A Nest?

Here are the most common three reasons that clear this concept why a duck kick out her eggs from the nest.

1. Preventing Overcrowding

One reason ducks may kick eggs out of a nest is to prevent overcrowding. If there are too many eggs in the nest, it can lead to inadequate space and resources for all the ducklings once they hatch.

By removing some of the eggs from the nest, mother ducks can ensure that the remaining ones have enough room and nutrients to thrive.

2. Removing Infertile or Unhealthy Eggs

Another reason ducks may kick eggs out of their nests is to remove infertile or unhealthy eggs.

These eggs will not hatch and may even harm other healthy ones if left in the nest.

Mother ducks may be instinctively removing these non-viable eggs from their nests so that they can focus their energy on incubating viable, healthy ones.

3. Avoiding Predators

Lastly, kicking eggs out of a nest could be a way for mother ducks to protect them from potential predators.

By scattering their clutch across multiple locations, mother ducks make it harder for predators like raccoons or snakes to find all of them at once, increasing the chances that some will survive until hatching time comes around.

4: The Eggs May Be Rotten: 

Ducks are known for being conscientious mothers, they spend a lot of time and effort in building their nests, incubating their eggs, and caring for their ducklings.

However, sometimes they can be seen kicking out or abandoning some of their eggs. The reasons behind this behavior can vary, but one common explanation is that the eggs may be rotten.

Rotten eggs emit an unpleasant odor due to the chemicals released by the decomposing material inside.

This smell can attract predators who might harm or eat both the mother duck and her remaining healthy offspring.

Therefore, it’s not uncommon for ducks to dispose of any bad eggs by pushing them away from the nest.

5: Eggs Are Nonviable

If an egg is nonviable, it means that it was not fertilized or has some other defect that prevents it from developing into a healthy duckling.

For ducks, nonviable eggs can pose a risk to the health of the remaining viable eggs in the nest.

This is because they can attract predators or become infected with harmful bacteria or fungi that could spread to other eggs.

By kicking out nonviable eggs, ducks help ensure the overall health and safety of their brood.

While this behavior may seem counterintuitive at first, it’s just one example of how animals have evolved over time to protect themselves and their offspring from harm.

6: Ducks May Have Stress

It is not uncommon for ducks to kick eggs out of their nests, and this behavior may be a sign of stress.

Ducks can experience stress from a variety of factors, such as overcrowding or being disturbed by predators or humans.

When a duck is stressed, it may act out in various ways, including the kicking of eggs.

This behavior could also be a result of the duck feeling like its nest is not safe or secure enough.

To prevent this behavior and ease any potential stress on your ducks, it’s essential to ensure that they have adequate space and shelter to feel comfortable in their environment.

You should also avoid disturbing them unnecessarily and try to keep predators away from their nesting areas.

By providing them with optimal living conditions and minimizing disturbances around their habitat, you can reduce stress in your ducks and promote healthy breeding habits moving forward.

Why Do Ducks Break Their Own Eggs?

It may seem counterintuitive for a duck to destroy its own offspring, there are several reasons why they do so.

One reason ducks break their own eggs is due to infertility or other defects in the egg.

By breaking these eggs, they prevent them from taking up valuable space and resources in the nest, allowing them to focus on incubating viable eggs instead.

Additionally, broken eggs also help keep the nest clean and hygienic by reducing the risk of bacterial growth.

Another reason ducks break their own eggs is for protection against predators.

When predators approach a duck’s nest looking for food, destroying some of its own eggs can make it appear as if a predator has already been there and taken what they wanted.

This reduces the likelihood that a predator will continue searching for food in that area.

Protecting Unhatched Eggs

Ducks are known to be protective parents. However, they can sometimes seem to act counterintuitively by kicking eggs out of their own nests.

This behavior can occur for a number of reasons, including the fact that ducks may perceive some eggs as being infertile or damaged.

In these cases, the birds may remove these eggs from the nest in order to give more attention and protection to healthy ones.

Another reason why ducks might kick eggs out of a nest is due to overcrowding or lack of space. If there are too many eggs in a nest, this can lead to problems with incubation and hatching.

As such, ducks may instinctually try to reduce overcrowding by removing some of the less viable eggs from their nests.

Bottom Line:

Why Do Ducks Kick Eggs Out Of A Nest? The behavior of ducks kicking eggs out of their nests is a natural and instinctive action.

It is done to ensure that only viable and healthy eggs hatch into ducklings.

By removing any damaged or infertile eggs, the mother duck can focus her attention on taking care of the remaining ones. This increases the chances of survival for her offspring.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that interfering with this process can have negative consequences for both the mother duck and her eggs.

Attempting to move or relocate a nest can cause stress and abandonment by the mother duck.

Similarly, replacing removed eggs with new ones can result in overcrowding and less space for healthy development.


Is it normal for ducks to kick eggs out of the nest?

It is not uncommon for ducks to kick eggs out of the nest, however, it is considered normal behavior.

How can I stop a duck from kicking eggs out of the nest?

To prevent a duck from kicking eggs out of the nest, provide adequate space for the birds to nest and lay their eggs.
Make sure the nesting area is clean and free of debris.

What can I do if I find an egg that has been kicked out of a nest?

If you find an egg that has been kicked out of a nest, it is important to handle it with care and place it back in the nest.
If you are unable to place the egg back in the nest, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

Are the eggs that have been kicked out of the nest still viable?

It is difficult to determine the viability of the eggs that have been kicked out of the nest.
If the egg is intact, there is a chance it may still be viable, but it is best to contact a local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance in determining the viability of the egg.

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