Chicken is destroying duck's nest when she gets up to feed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bonzii7, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Bonzii7

    Bonzii7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Hi everyone. Question for you all. I currently have 1 laying Rhode Island Red hen and 1 Muscovy duck sitting on fertilized eggs, plus 3 juvenile chickens (about 10 weeks old). they are all living in an area about 1200 square feet with an enclosed coop in the center. In the last week, the Rhode Island has started sneaking in and scratching the duck's nest to pieces as soon as she gets up to feed or swim in her pool. I've seen her do it 3 times now and my duck seems to be getting less concerned with the behavior and is not defending the nest as much. Has anyone else experienced this kind of behavior? What do you think it means? I'm ready to start quarantining the duck and her nest from the rest, but she made her nest right where the other chickens get into the coop to lay and overnight. I'd have to rework the entire coop to make it all work and then the duck won't have access to her pool that she loves so much. I'd just like to hear some other's experiences before I get to work. [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    I had a hen once go broody on the floor. Every time she got up birds would break and eat the eggs. I finally fenced the hen and her remaining egg to save it and had to let her out once a day while I guarded the egg. Chickens will target nests on the floor. Your hen is doing what is natural to her.

    Have you candled the duck eggs? Are they fertile? I haven't seen a duck defend her nest once she gets off it, only while she's on it or near it. I would separate out the duck or the chicken, depending on which is easier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    If you plan on doing any broody hatching it might well be worth the time to reconfigure your coop to be able to isolate those broodies from the flock. I did it with a temporary wire and wood wall that is pretty easily installed, taken down, and stored. There is also a people door into the area and a pop door to a separate run. One of the best design aspects of my coop build, wish I had a couple of them.

    Curious, is the duck sitting on fertile chicken or duck eggs...that you must have purchased???
     
  4. Bonzii7

    Bonzii7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Thanks for your response folks. I've arranged the duck's water source and food closer to her nest and that seemed to help a little. She doesn't have to go as far away to feed and play now. I think I may still try and rework the coop so the chickens can get in and not get to the duck nest. Unfortunately I didn't have time to do that this weekend.

    The Muscovy is sitting on fertile eggs. I haven't candled them, but they are very heavy at this point so I'm fairly sure everything is going well. We had a drake who unfortunately flew off after she started sitting. [​IMG] We live in a lush rural area where lots of people have chickens and ducks, so hopefully he found another family or is enjoying the countryside.

    Miss broody chicken
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Broody muscovy are usually quite vicious. I would recommend confining her during the first week after hatch as my hens would always lead the ducklings away and wouldn't bring them back for feed and they would die. A week of confinement seemed to be enough to get them going.
     

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