25 eggs in my muscovy's nest... will she EVER sit?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lugh, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. Lugh

    Lugh Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all--

    One of my 6-month old muscovies has been laying up a storm. Each morning, she returns to a small duck shack I built for nesting purposes and lays another egg-- we are now up to 25. I know they can lay up to 30, but good lord, is she ever going to just stop and sit on them or will she keep laying eggs and never incubate?

    Even if she does sit, can one duck hatch 25-30 eggs? None of my other females are broody atm.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    While most of my muscovies brood every year, I have one who has never brooded. I don't let them collect their own eggs. I collect all eggs at the end of each day and when a hen goes broody, I give her eggs to sit on.
     
  3. Lugh

    Lugh Out Of The Brooder

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    So are you saying I should grab her eggs and give them back later?
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    That is what I do. I don't want them sitting out there in the heat, possibly getting walked over every time the hen visits the nest with her poopy feet. Ducks are really bad at contaminating their own eggs so they turn rotten and nothing hatches. So I keep them clean and cool, store them big end up and turn them every day, and after she goes broody, I give them to her to hatch in a clean nest with fresh hay.
     
  5. Lugh

    Lugh Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my first run-through of the whole nesting and laying thing, so forgive any newbie questions. Right now the eggs are in a shack with fresh wood shavings and hay that she has turned into a nest, located in a shady section of the yard. I'd say the temperature inside the shack is around 80 degrees. Will they rot in there? They've already been in there for two weeks.

    The nest is very clean so I'm not worried about poopy feet (especially since she comes from the lake to the nest). She is also rearranging the eggs in the nest every morning (she spends about 20 minutes each morning moving them around) but, if I'm understanding your posts correctly, she may just be laying eggs and isn't yet broody? Will she just keep laying them over and over? How can I tell if she'll sit?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    When they are broody they'll spend all their time on the nest except for a brief period each day when they'll get off to eat, drink and poop. They'll also act stressed when you check on the nest and emit a high-pitched little quack - almost like a squeaky toy - to express their displeasure at being disturbed.

    I should have probably said "muddy, poopy feet". I've had mine brood in my main coop that houses all of my chickens, turkeys and ducks and where inevitably they walk through poop of some description on the way to and from the nest. But I've also separated them into a temp pen when brooding and, ducks being ducks, they'll splash their water around, get their feet muddy and then traipse back to the nest. Either scenario is likely to result in contaminated eggs unfortunately.

    80 is pretty warm for the eggs to be sitting. However if she is rearranging them each day she may be only a few days from going broody. There are really no guarantees, especially at this time of the year when broodiness is less likely than in the spring. Like I said, I've had one duck who has never gone broody. Ever. She just keeps laying and laying and then stops, molts for the winter and in spring starts all over again.
     
  7. Lugh

    Lugh Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the response. She's not doing anything like that yet. The only thing she's doing is eating an absolute ton and returning to the nest every morning at the same time, then rearranging the nest and the eggs every morning, almost like she's trying to feng shui the place. Every time I go to check on them, there's another egg or two and she's completely rearranged all the others.

    Should I just leave it alone at this point and let nature take its course or should I grab some of the eggs? If so, won't she notice and just keep laying?

    When I first discovered the nest, I had been leaving the little shack open all night because it wasn't in use. She had laid one egg which was eaten sometime during the night. I removed the broken shards and when she came back to the nest she rooted around for nearly an hour looking for the egg until she finally gave up and laid another.
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I think probably yes, just leave it alone and let nature take its course. By taking them every day I've found that they will lay more eggs than if I leave them to collect a clutch. We eat them in the order they were laid, always leaving a few of the most recent ones for when they go broody. So when they do, we give them a clutch and it all works out. But seeing as how your duck appears to be collecting a clutch, I'd leave her be to set on it if/when she is ever ready to do so.

    Btw, mine always lay first thing in the morning too. I don't know if that's a duck thing or a muscovy thing, since muscovies are the only ducks I've ever raised.
     
  9. Lugh

    Lugh Out Of The Brooder

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    Thought we had it this morning! Let her in the shack at around 6 and both she and another 6-month old hen went in there and were sitting on the eggs for around an hour. A few minutes ago, one of the drakes came along, did his head bobbing thing, and then stuck his head into the shack. A minute or so later, both hens were out of the nest. Is this normal or should I lock the gate to the shack once they're sitting? I'm thinking if they were broody they wouldn't have let the drake near the nest anyway, right?
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    How old is this duck? i personally would not allow a first timer that many eggs for clutch, a couple of things one- good broody does not equal good mama two- not all eggs are viable and cover able so too many will lower the positive results.

    A broody 'scovie is poofed up and chirpy and often aggressive to other birds... for a new comer you may feel she's 'off' or 'ill' they don't stay long on the nest at first as time continues they leave less and less.. average incubation 35 days.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014

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