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Muscovy females suddenly disappearing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have around 35 rescued muscovy ducks (some of you probably already know). They have been very good at staying in my yard and close to the house. A few weeks ago they started their mating behavior and with the weather getting warm very quickly I noticed there were a few areas dug out in their bedding and in my flower beds that looked like potential nests. I also noticed some of the girls going under my oil tank in the leaves. I checked under the tank and there are no nests or eggs.

 

Well a few days ago in the morning I noticed there were about 4 females missing, and a few days later a couple more went missing, including one my favorite most sociable girls who always waited at the door for food. There are no signs of anything having happened and all the drakes are still accounted for. Could they be going off somewhere to lay eggs?  I checked all around the house, through the woods around the house, bushes, brush, under things etc and haven't seen a single sign of them. How far will they go to hide their eggs?  

 

I really don't want ducklings and I miss my outgoing girl Goofy.  Thoughts?

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by awarmrainyday View Post
 

I have around 35 rescued muscovy ducks (some of you probably already know). They have been very good at staying in my yard and close to the house. A few weeks ago they started their mating behavior and with the weather getting warm very quickly I noticed there were a few areas dug out in their bedding and in my flower beds that looked like potential nests. I also noticed some of the girls going under my oil tank in the leaves. I checked under the tank and there are no nests or eggs.

 

Well a few days ago in the morning I noticed there were about 4 females missing, and a few days later a couple more went missing, including one my favorite most sociable girls who always waited at the door for food. There are no signs of anything having happened and all the drakes are still accounted for. Could they be going off somewhere to lay eggs?  I checked all around the house, through the woods around the house, bushes, brush, under things etc and haven't seen a single sign of them. How far will they go to hide their eggs?  

 

I really don't want ducklings and I miss my outgoing girl Goofy.  Thoughts?


Is there somewhere they may be going-to lay eggs-that may be trapping them from coming back; like a hole, an open basement, etc.?

Is there a lake, river, stream, pond close by that would provide a means of traveling farther? My guess is that you will find them eventually-with ducklings.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ducklings is what I'm afraid of! I have looked everywhere on my property. There is a creek about a quarter of a mile down the road but I don't think they'd travel that far, would they?  I own 2 acres of land and I searched all of that, should I expand my search territory? They usually would take their afternoon naps along the edge of the woods by the side of the house in the leaves, and spend most nights either there or in my flower beds. The only time they ever wandered was if it rained a lot and the big puddle in the neighbors driveway became too tempting (they have a kiddie pool, a 20 gallon water trough, a bucket, and a big waterer, so why they felt the need to go there is beyond me).

 

I walked around for an hour yesterday checking under things, stumps, fallen trees, brush etc in the woods...nothing.  Goofy was my faithful little girl, and I haven't seen her at feeding time for the last three days, I really hope she's okay. If they come back with ducklings they are going up for sale because I already have one too many ducks, even with some of the girls missing! 

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by awarmrainyday View Post
 

Ducklings is what I'm afraid of! I have looked everywhere on my property. There is a creek about a quarter of a mile down the road but I don't think they'd travel that far, would they?  I own 2 acres of land and I searched all of that, should I expand my search territory? They usually would take their afternoon naps along the edge of the woods by the side of the house in the leaves, and spend most nights either there or in my flower beds. The only time they ever wandered was if it rained a lot and the big puddle in the neighbors driveway became too tempting (they have a kiddie pool, a 20 gallon water trough, a bucket, and a big waterer, so why they felt the need to go there is beyond me).

 

I walked around for an hour yesterday checking under things, stumps, fallen trees, brush etc in the woods...nothing.  Goofy was my faithful little girl, and I haven't seen her at feeding time for the last three days, I really hope she's okay. If they come back with ducklings they are going up for sale because I already have one too many ducks, even with some of the girls missing! 


Have you looked higher up?  They don't always nest on the ground. And it could be just coincidence that just females have disappeared and not males-hope not.


Edited by nchls school - 3/16/16 at 12:57pm
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I haven't checked on the shed roof, I know sometimes they would like to sit on the roof. I didn't figure they'd make a nest there though because it's just a metal roof, no leaves or anything on it. I'll check when I get home just to be sure. I didn't see any in the trees when I was walking around looking either.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by awarmrainyday View Post
 

I haven't checked on the shed roof, I know sometimes they would like to sit on the roof. I didn't figure they'd make a nest there though because it's just a metal roof, no leaves or anything on it. I'll check when I get home just to be sure. I didn't see any in the trees when I was walking around looking either.


Cupboards, tool shelving, lofts, hay mows, rotted stumps, firewood piles, cattle feeders, and any other place a duck could get into. My students and I once found a wood duck nest in an old wood stove. The hen was entering by the stove pipe and had made her nest in the soot by the stove's hamper.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

This morning I had a head count of 25, which means I'm missing 9 females. After I put their food down I came back around the corner of the house just in time to see Gimpy, one of the missing girls, land in the front yard from somewhere across the road.  I didn't see where she came from and unfortunately I couldn't stick around to see if she would go back that way. So I have a feeling in a few weeks we will have ducklings arriving.  I have looked everywhere on my property and haven't found them, although I'm found some potential nests, so they must be in the woods across the road somewhere.  It's not my property so I hate to go snooping.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by awarmrainyday View Post
 

This morning I had a head count of 25, which means I'm missing 9 females. After I put their food down I came back around the corner of the house just in time to see Gimpy, one of the missing girls, land in the front yard from somewhere across the road.  I didn't see where she came from and unfortunately I couldn't stick around to see if she would go back that way. So I have a feeling in a few weeks we will have ducklings arriving.  I have looked everywhere on my property and haven't found them, although I'm found some potential nests, so they must be in the woods across the road somewhere.  It's not my property so I hate to go snooping.


But at least there's good reason to believe the hens are alive and well.

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