Broody muscovy questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ccmarie, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Yuma, Arizona
    We just had our first hatch, and I have a few questions. We have two ducks who are sisters, and they were exposed to our muscovy drake and also a mallard derivative cross (Rouen/Pekin, I think). The first of our hens went broody and sat on the nest for about a week, and then her sister joined her, so the two were squished into the same nestbox, taking turns when they had to break for eating and drinking. About a week before the hatch, the first mom quit. The second duck hatched out two and then left the rest of the eggs. I took them, discarded the half that were rotten/infertile, and now we're incubating the last six, which we guess have maybe two or three days until hatch.

    I was wondering if anyone else has experiences with ducks sharing nests?
    I also wanted to know if there is a way to tell if our babies are pure muscovies or hybrids (pictures forthcoming). They're a black/white piebald color like our male (girls are black/white and blue/white), and they've got little clawed toes, but they also have a small patch of color over the eye which seems like a possible mallard-type trait.
    Also, if the remaining eggs hatch successfully, will we be able to return them to the mom and the older two, or will we need to brood them separately?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    The only question I can help with is the last one.

    My duck left her nest a little early, and it was very cold when she did. There were a few later eggs, and I managed to rescue only one of them.

    I thought that I would be able to help it finish hatching and then put it in with the rest, but even though it looked fine when I put it there, it was just so much younger (i think two days) that it got left behind and chilled.

    I kept checking on it, saw the problem, and kept it in the house for I think it was two full days, until it was very perky, and could run around and was showing some vigor and true interest in food and water.

    I then tried putting it in with the mama, and it worked.

    I had been warned to not let the mama see me do it, toss out some treats, have the duckling in a paper towel, then move the paper towel over the duckling bunch and gently drop the new one into the middle of the old ones.

    I wasn't that careful, but my mama wasn't a first timer, she knew what she was doing, and as soon as she heard a new baby peeping she shooed it into the bunch of older ones.

    Of course, your case will be quite a bit trickier, I was adding one to a bunch of ten.

    You might be adding 6 to only 2.

    As long as you sit there and watch her for an hour after introducing the new ducklings, you will hopefully know if she will accept them before something horrid happens.
     
  3. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Yuma, Arizona
    Thank you very much. No new hatches yet, so we'll see how it goes.
    I had another question. I'm not sure our two babies can reach the water containers. I've been filling a little chick waterer for them, but the adults gather around it too and drink it dry in about five minutes. What do other people do for keeping their little guys hydrated? We've thought of doing a "creep waterer" type thing, a box with a tiny hole only they can get into.


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    The one on the left is a male, I think the other is female but I'm not positive yet. I still haven't named these guys.
     
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I had my female locked up by herself, so just her and the babies.

    I was so scared of the tiny ducklings drowning in deep water that I made them all drink from a chicken waterer.

    I have lots of different sizes, and I just picked a size that lasted a day.

    Thanks for posting the pictures. Man they are CUTE!

    I hate the fact that they grow so fast.
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Oh, I would be worried that the ducklings would get lost in the creep waterer thing. They are so silly. I can see them going in the one hole, drinking, and then walking around to the back of the waterer or something silly and not being able to get back out.
     
  6. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Yuma, Arizona
    Well, our problems are fixed, but not in a good way. We lost those two babies. I found the first body earlier in that day, no idea what happened (attack by adult?), and then I left my toddler unsupervised for a minute in the yard, and he accidentally finished off the other one. Two new babies have hatched, and I can definitely tell parentage on these two. The chocolate has to be pure, because the genes could only have come from the muscovy drake (who carries it), and the other has those exact mallard markings
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  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    :hugs

    I am so sorry!

    Often first time moms just don't get it right. It is terribly heartbreaking though. :hit
     

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