Can I Move a Broody Duck’s Eggs?

I received an email asking this:

I have a question regarding my female Muscovy duck she has laid her eggs in my closet inside the back room in my house I’m wondering is it possible to move the eggs back outside I can’t keep up with the mess that she’s making in my house any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thank you

My reply:

I assume she’s broody and you want to let her hatch the eggs, just not in the closet. No, moving the eggs won’t make her move herself. They seem to fix themselves on the location instead of the eggs themselves. The only way to make her stop laying or sitting in the closet is to completely board off her access to the closet (at least temporarily). That will make her stop being broody and stop laying, so you’ll have to wait until she tries again elsewhere.

One possible solution would be to put the eggs where you want them and prevent her from leaving the area. It’s possible she may decide to go broody on the eggs in the new location if she can’t leave for a few days. Just be sure food and water is always accessible. This method doesn’t always guarantee success and I’ve never tried it, but it’s a possibility.

In case you don’t want to hatch them and you just want her to stop laying in the closet, just take the eggs and block off the area. She’ll give up laying there quickly and will find a new spot (hopefully outside!). They love to lay in dark, secluded areas like closets, so you can encourage them to lay where you want by providing that kind of cover.

Good luck!