Allowing muscovy to raise their own young?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cukooformarans, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Alabama
    Everybody says muscovy are great mothers. We had our third muscovy hatch here today ( [​IMG] [​IMG] ). However, we had issues with each of the previous hatches, or more correctly after the hatch, so here is my question. Brownie (my first muscovy hen) had a brood of almost 20 adorable ducklings. They were healthy and adorable, but died within a week because she refused to stay with them. All of them died. [​IMG] The next hatch, she began to leave them again. After we lost the first one, I penned them all up. The rest did ok after that. Then, when they got bigger, she died protecting them from a dog. [​IMG] Her protective instinct just kicked in too late. It was a really sad day and the dog went to a new home. Brownie was a special duck. Anyhow, another duck has hatched babies and I am just wondering if Brownie's behavior was typical for muscovy and if I should go ahead and take the babies. Or was Brownie unusual in that way? She just gave them so much freedom so early that they got lost or died. I don't want to lose these cute babies but firmly believe that animals do better raised by mothers. So what does everyone think?
     
  2. lovin my birds

    lovin my birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Odessa, MO
    Well I will tell you first that this year was my first year having muscovies. But I let one of my hens sit on eggs and she hatched out 16 babies and took care of every single one of them. She was a great mother! Then I have a young hen that sat on a clutch of eggs about a month ago. None where fertile since the males were seperate at the time, so I gave her 2 babies to look after and she took care of them for a week them left them. She was only six months old so I am hoping that she was just not ready. But by far my Muscovies have been the best mothers of all my ducks. They have a great motherly instinct. I have one female that I rescued and she is very skiddish, she will fly whenever I come near but when she had her babies she stood her ground against everything.
     
  3. coonhoundmama87

    coonhoundmama87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Wisconsin
    I have to agree that muscovies are the best mothers! Mine are viciously protective! My poor rat terrier has been on the receiving end a few times lol. I have had issues with them leaving the nest while an egg or two is still hatching but that's usually because they have so many babies they have to go get food and water for the better of the group. I always check their nests after I see them emerge. Usually I can get the baby hatched at stuck back under the momma that night or the next day with no issue. I have had to take a few babies and raise them myself though. That's my only issue I've had, otherwise no complaints!
     
  4. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Alabama
    Well, when I went to work the other day, she was still on the nest. When I came home, she had 8 babies following her and 2 were already laying dead in the yard. [​IMG]I moved them to a pen so that maybe she could keep up with them a little better. They were doing great until this afternoon when I came home to find one dead in the waterer. I have regular waterers but had put a 3-gallon ice cream bucket with water so that the Momma duck could rinse her head (in addition to the baby size waterers). I can't believe a 3 or 4 day old baby was able to climb into an ice-cream bucket! How are the other people who keep mother ducks and babies in pens providing water at an adequate depth for the mother ducks and keeping things safe for the babies???????
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  5. michaelinnc84

    michaelinnc84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Western North Carolina
    I am so sorry for the lost ducklings. I have two muscovy but they haven't hatched anything because it has been too cold and I just got her right before winter. I can't wait until spring! Where are you at to get the duck to hatch ducklings this late in the year?
     
  6. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Anything too deep and ducklings will drown. Not only Muscovy ducklings but any ducklings. Muscovy's are normally excellent mothers. We have mothers hatching out babies constantly here. We had 37 babies here within the last 3 months and I have a duck sitting on a nest right now under my mini barn.

    What we do, to protect the babies is let Mom take them for a walk about around the property. (All the moms bring their babies up to the house to show them off) We follow them so they can show everyone their babies and then we take Mom and babies and corral them into our barn and close them off in a stall. We install a heater, a waterer, feeder in there. They are kept in there, mom and babies are let out once or twice a day but we guard them, and then they're returned right back there. We have crows, hawks, turkey buzzards, etc that would literally swoop right down and would snatch one of those babies without even thinking twice about it.

    When they're older, approximately 5 weeks old, they're moved to an outside pen. They have to stay enclosed there for a week so they know that's home. There's a swimming pool, a house for them, drinking water, and a feeder. After a week, we open the pen up every morning and mom takes them out of the pen and starts introducing them to everybody. They stay with mom sometimes until they're 6 months old. They go back inside the pen every night with mom. When mom is ready, she'll take them to the main Muscovy pen where everyone else lives. But that's totally up to the Mom, when she feels comfortable doing it.
     
  7. michaelinnc84

    michaelinnc84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Western North Carolina

    I am only one state from you.. I wonder why my hen doesn't want to lay any eggs to hatch out :-(
     
  8. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    In my opinion, if you want Muscovy to hatch and raise their young you need shallow bowls for water and several of them in a pen where she can't go wandering off. I let mine raise theirs this past summer and they did well in a pen but once I let them out to free range the babies had a hard time keeping up. I lost one that was 2 weeks old in a small wading pool since it never found the concrete block to stand on so I learned a few things like this to keep them alive. I would much rather have the moms raise them but try to help them along a bit too with some safe measures.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Muscovys are seasonal layers. They only lay 3 to 4 times a year. She may not be ready to lay. Watch though because she'll lay eggs in a nest for days, sometimes up to 2 weeks and then she'll disappear. Then 35 days later, she'll come out with a whole bunch of babies! I have more than 60 Muscovys and more than 40 females so we always have babies here!
     
  10. michaelinnc84

    michaelinnc84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Western North Carolina
    Oh that explains it lol. I only have 2! Do you keep yours wings clipped?

     

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