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Removing Muscovy eggs / population control

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Please excuse me if I sound completely clueless... am learning as I go along with these guys.  Our flock is a rescue flock and we started with 11 and are now at 23 and have another 9 potentials on the way! The ducks live at the stables where I keep my horse and if it carries on like this we will be overrun and the management might lose the plot! They are however fantastic at keeping the fly population under control so that may be their saving grace but not if the numbers get completely out of control.

 

I had been keeping an eye out and had also asked the grooms (they live on site and are there all the time) to remove any eggs as soon as they find them but last week I was informed of a nest and told that there is perhaps only 10 days left now until they will be hatching. In a perfect world I would remove these eggs as we don't want or need anymore babies.  I am still trying to find homes for the last 15 that were born in March... BUT... they are two thirds of the way through development and I don't want to be responsible for killing them. I'm worried that if I just took the eggs and put them in the bin they would continue to incubate due to the temperature here in Dubai. And I can't face cracking open the eggs to destroy them as I have no idea how developed they are at this stage and what I would encounter. I feel like I just have to let the mum see it through now that she is so far along with them. Is this the case do you think?

 

Also, I searched the internet and as I understand it castration/sterilization isn't really an option for these guys, am I right? Our stable has so many nooks and crannies to hide in that I'm worried about missing future nests until its too late again. Seriously, these guys are at it like rabbits!!

post #2 of 3
I own muscovys and yes they are fantastic at fly control. As for the nest it is really your call. If I lived close to you I'd take as many as you offered lol I love these little guys. I'm not sure what the temperature is usually there but the eggs have to be kept at a high intensity of heat. So more than likely no they wouldnt incubate. If you don't want to be responsible for their death as you said, id let mom finish it up. And absolutely you can NOT castrate ducks. It is an instant kill. muscovy hens will try to find any place they can fit their little bodies in so look in those specific places. Also as a tip, they are flighty with their nest. Scaring them will make them abandon the eggs.
Good luck!
Edited by AshleyFarm - 5/11/16 at 5:27am
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your thoughts, I appreciate your advice. My gut says I need to let these guys hatch but we could really do without them. As much as I have completely fallen head over heels for them and love having them around I need to remember they aren't technically mine and if things do get out of hand then they could be threatened by removal by the stable owner who is a local guy.

It's hot here and only getting hotter all the time now so I do worry that they would end up hatching and consequently suffocating if I just toss the eggs in the bin. Believe me we were close with the first clutch!! We had no idea how long she had been sitting them but it felt like waaaaay longer than 35 days so I said to the yard manager that they might all be dead eggs and that we should remove them otherwise Mrs ducky might sit them forever. She handed me a plastic bag and said here you go then, chuck 'em in the bin. For some reason though I decided to let her have just one more day and hey presto next morning we had seven babies! Ooops. That was a close call.

Daily walk arounds are needed from now on I think. Although we do only have 1 other adult female and she is currently out and about. It's when she suddenly disappears that I'll be worried!

My next plan is to offer a monetary incentive to the stable grooms (who live on site) for any of them that tells me about a nest as soon as they see it. If castration isn't an option then somehow we have to get on top of this. I so wish you were closer, you would seriously have a never ending supply of babies coming your way!!

Backyard ducks/birds aren't really a thing here... lots of us live in purpose built managed developments and livestock isn't allowed so they are hard to find homes for. I'm busy contacting all my horsey friends in the hope that their stables need a few duckies too (if only for fly control!). I reckon I've got the current 15 covered, this next 9 will be harder though... sigh...

Still it makes my day when they see my car arrive and come running across to get their daily greens 😊
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