Bad Mother Duck eating babies??! Help!

jessylee

Songster
9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
136
0
101
Olympia
Hello, I was wanting to ask you all about something that is not fun to talk about but I have to ask someone who knows more than me. Well let me start by saying I have 4 full grown muscovy females/ sisters and they are healthy. This year I introduced a male living with them, and for the first time I let them go broody, my chocolate duck sat on 15 eggs wonderfully and yesterday morning I pulled her out to eat and drink, like I have every morning and I saw a open hole with a little beak. Yay right? Unfortunately no, This is where the story goes south....I came in to check the progress and one baby looked ripped out of its shell, (not near its shell/ not able to move very far yet) and she was pecking at the one on its way out. I thought maybe she is "helping" him get out? Then she did something that shocked me, she grabbed the only one that was out and peeping, and threw it through the air like a rag doll. It's leg was ripped slightly in the ordeal, and I thought maybe she did that because I was in there making her mad. She would like to bite me but instead bit the nearest thing?!...There was only one way to truly know so I went inside and let nature take its course. A couple hours later, I returned and she had eaten the leg's off one, eaten the eyes of the other and both were thrown out of the nest. Also one was half fluffed/dried but had bite marks on its arms and well every where. I could no longer stand by and do nothing so I removed then immediately!...This is truly saddening and hard since this is my first experience hatching anything. What an awful way to go. Another thing to consider is one was under her fluffy and fine, so that confuses me.... Also she is isolated in the coop with plenty of food water and extra space. I don't see why she would do this do you?! Please help I have them under a heat lamp inside, but I am really sad because I thought muscovies were such good mothers and I was looking forward to seeing them grow up under her. Should I cull her? Will she do it again now that they are bouncing around? Is cannibalism in ducks common? Will one of her sisters adopt them? Any advise is better than what I have, sorry to include you all in my drama, I just need help. Ps, the rest of her eggs hatched later that night and they are the ones in the pic.




 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
105,963
109,766
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
Hello, I was wanting to ask you all about something that is not fun to talk about but I have to ask someone who knows more than me. Well let me start by saying I have 4 full grown muscovy females/ sisters and they are healthy. This year I introduced a male living with them, and for the first time I let them go broody, my chocolate duck sat on 15 eggs wonderfully and yesterday morning I pulled her out to eat and drink, like I have every morning and I saw a open hole with a little beak. Yay right? Unfortunately no, This is where the story goes south....I came in to check the progress and one baby looked ripped out of its shell, (not near its shell/ not able to move very far yet) and she was pecking at the one on its way out. I thought maybe she is "helping" him get out? Then she did something that shocked me, she grabbed the only one that was out and peeping, and threw it through the air like a rag doll. It's leg was ripped slightly in the ordeal, and I thought maybe she did that because I was in there making her mad. She would like to bite me but instead bit the nearest thing?!...There was only one way to truly know so I went inside and let nature take its course. A couple hours later, I returned and she had eaten the leg's off one, eaten the eyes of the other and both were thrown out of the nest. Also one was half fluffed/dried but had bite marks on its arms and well every where. I could no longer stand by and do nothing so I removed then immediately!...This is truly saddening and hard since this is my first experience hatching anything. What an awful way to go. Another thing to consider is one was under her fluffy and fine, so that confuses me.... Also she is isolated in the coop with plenty of food water and extra space. I don't see why she would do this do you?! Please help I have them under a heat lamp inside, but I am really sad because I thought muscovies were such good mothers and I was looking forward to seeing them grow up under her. Should I cull her? Will she do it again now that they are bouncing around? Is cannibalism in ducks common? Will one of her sisters adopt them? Any advise is better than what I have, sorry to include you all in my drama, I just need help. Ps, the rest of her eggs hatched later that night and they are the ones in the pic.




I had this happen but thankfully it was only 2 ducklings, first hatched she tried her best to kill it, attacked it on the head I ended up taking him from her and brooded it in the house the other one died before it could hatch. I have no idea why they do this kind of stuff, she was an excellent broody but for some reason snapped when they began to hatch. this was almost 3 yrs ago, the next year she was the first to go broody again so i thought okay lil lady I'll give you another chance, and I'll take the ducklings from her if she starts again, she was an excellent mother, couldn't have asked for one better. Maybe being first timers they just get spooked or who knows. I wouldn't kill her though. But I don't think unless you have another duck sitting about to hatch that you'd find one to adopt them just brood them and when they are big enough begin to introduce them to the adults.So very soory for this awful thing to happen for you and especially for the ducklings..They are absolutely adotrable.
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
108
161
The stress of you interferring can cause unusual behavior. My suggestion would be to leave her alone while incubating.

Clint
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
105,963
109,766
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
The stress of you interferring can cause unusual behavior. My suggestion would be to leave her alone while incubating.

Clint
Okay explain mine Clint she was never messed with had a stall all to herself. I happened in to let everyone out when I saw her newly hatched duckling being attacked by her. I tried putting him back under her she wouldn't have any part of it started attacking again so out he came.
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
108
161
You happened in? Maybe you stumbled in at a critical time in THE DUCKS mind? I wish they were all the same so there was never any question why one does this and another does that.

Clint
 

jessylee

Songster
9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
136
0
101
Olympia
I had this happen but thankfully it was only 2 ducklings, first hatched she tried her best to kill it, attacked it on the head I ended up taking him from her and brooded it in the house the other one died before it could hatch. I have no idea why they do this kind of stuff, she was an excellent broody but for some reason snapped when they began to hatch. this was almost 3 yrs ago, the next year she was the first to go broody again so i thought okay lil lady I'll give you another chance, and I'll take the ducklings from her if she starts again, she was an excellent mother, couldn't have asked for one better. Maybe being first timers they just get spooked or who knows. I wouldn't kill her though. But I don't think unless you have another duck sitting about to hatch that you'd find one to adopt them just brood them and when they are big enough begin to introduce them to the adults.So very soory for this awful thing to happen for you and especially for the ducklings..They are absolutely adotrable.
Thank you for you kind words and advise, It was very traumatizing to witness, I am scared to reintroduce her to them. I feel like I already have two deaths on my hands, not sure how many more murders my heart can handle. The weirdest part to me is she ate them. *Sigh* I have a lot of learning to do that is for sure, Thanks for sharing your knowledge. <3
 

SouthernPride

Songster
8 Years
May 8, 2011
321
23
136
Olive Branch, MS
Bummer. I had no idea they would do that. But, then again that is how I obtained my muscovy. She was being picked on by the momma all the while taking care of her others. She just did not want this one. There was nothing wrong with the duckling. Hope it's not hereditary because is hatching her own as I type.
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
105,963
109,766
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
Thank you for you kind words and advise, It was very traumatizing to witness, I am scared to reintroduce her to them. I feel like I already have two deaths on my hands, not sure how many more murders my heart can handle. The weirdest part to me is she ate them. *Sigh* I have a lot of learning to do that is for sure, Thanks for sharing your knowledge. <3
I wouldn't try to introduce them back to her. let them grow up a bit then just introduce as new members of the flock. It will take time but she'll accept them that way. I know they clean up after themselves but she was dif taking it to the extreme.
 
Last edited:

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
105,963
109,766
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
Bummer. I had no idea they would do that. But, then again that is how I obtained my muscovy. She was being picked on by the momma all the while taking care of her others. She just did not want this one. There was nothing wrong with the duckling. Hope it's not hereditary because is hatching her own as I type.
just keep an eye at safe distance.
 

windnleavesfarm

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 13, 2013
143
3
73
central new york
This has happened with my Muscovies as well and I'm curious as well as why they do this. What I did is once they got bigger I let a mother adopt them which seem to work fine. When my broody girl was doing this I never interfered with her hatching time. And when I came back after they were done hatching I would constantly find them in their water dish, dead, which was a good distance away from her nest. But then the next year I had another broody duck hatch about 12-15 chicks and she didn't harm any. I am not to sure about this but just know your not the only one! Hopefully we can find some answers!
 
Top Bottom