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Are the eggs fertilised?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have 4 white Muscovy females. No drake. I often see a wild mallard on our dam but have not seen any "action" and one of my Muscovies has gone broody and is sitting on about 13 eggs... I don't know whether to just leave her. I think it's unlikely they are fertilised but it has been known to happen. Will she abandon them if they don't hatch. I don't want her to lose condition for no reason. I have checked a couple of eggs with the toilet roll and torch/flashlight trick and they are pretty light inside. Should I just remove the eggs when she gets off for some food/wash? ThanK's all...
post #2 of 4

Hello and welcome to BYC! :)


Yes, you should definitely candle them and see if anything is going on inside. If they are just clear inside with no red blood vessels or large dark blobs that could be ducklings, then you can just get rid of them now. It's unlikely they are fertile, but you never know. You are right in that it's best not to have her waste her time and body condition incubating infertile eggs for 35+ days. She WILL eventually abandon them, but only after more than a month of incubating, so it's best to take them away as soon as possible. It will also help to break her broodiness if you break up her nest and move the nesting material away from the area. Sometimes they will still sit on the nest even after you take the eggs away because it's ingrained into their brains to keep incubating. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi orca! Thanks for your welcome and response. There were a few darker blobs in a couple of them but I'm almost 100% sure it was just the yolk I was seeing and as I turned them the rest was light no vessels. I took them away and messed up the nest. She is happily back with the other three this evening... I felt a little horrible really but it would have been a wasted effort on her part. She had already been there over 10 days. That mallard was hanging around again today ... Hmm will have to keep an eye on him.

Thanks again!
post #4 of 4

Yep, sounds like you were just seeing the yolks in there (they do create a shadow you can see when candling). You did the right thing and she will be happier for it! I know I always feel bad when I take away eggs and destroy their nests, but they get over it pretty quick and get on with their little ducky lives. :)

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