Why would a mallard duck be laying eggs in various places around a pond and allowing them to fall into the water?

Answer:

I disagree -chickens will and do kick out eggs that are bad or infertile. As for your question, ducks do that when they first start laying. They can go through a clutch or two before becoming broody then they will make a nest for them. You could try incubating them though, if its her first round they may not be fertile.. Is there a drake around by the way? Ducks are harder for predators because they can see in the dark--chcikens are blind in the dark. Also ducks usually move to the water and make a racket in the water when a predator is around which in turn scares it off. To the poster below I hope all your ducks will be safe... The mink will be back every night now... I've been dealing with predators for 8 years and you get rid of one and another comes around! Mink are real good diggers :( I hope all is well for you...

Answer:

Duck Hen Lays Eggs All Over the Place...

There could be a predator nearby and she might be laying a false trail for the predator while she has her nest elsewhere. We recently had this problem when a mink was discovered in our workshed...he/she had already killed half of our chicken flock but ducks are very savvy and they have strange sleeping habits so it's harder for the mink to sneak up on them. They are also more aggressive (the ducks.) We just had some ducklings hatch about a week or two ago and as far as we can tell the mink hasn't gone anywhere near our duck pen. We did pen the ducklings up in a smaller area with their mom until they get bigger so we don't lose any of them to the mink.

So, I'm thinking you might have a predator around somewhere. I'm assuming you have a drake or two and that these eggs are fertilized? Ducks are really smart birds; the hens will remove eggs that aren't fertilized and carry them away from their nests to keep their nests clean and pest free. Chickens won't do that. They might break an egg in their nests or have unfertilized eggs but they just leave them and then they have a problem with flies and if you're in a southern state, fire ants.

Good luck with your duck(s). They are a joy to have around (and they make good "watchdogs" as well.)