Cooperative/Shared parenting in Muscovy ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by keeperofthehearth, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. I have two Muscovy ducks who are sharing a nest box. Beth went broody but two other ducks were laying eggs in her clutch. Gwen went ahead and started another clutch elsewhere but Arwen, who I hadn't suspected was even laying yet being a month younger, started sitting in the nest with Beth two days ago. There are a lot of eggs in there. Last count was 22 that I could see without disturbing the down but I suspect 24-26. I noticed they brood together then one will "take a break" for a short time then the other will take a break either later in the day or the next. Someone is on the nest all the time. Will they co-parent when the ducklings hatch? Beth is either head duck or 2nd in line and I thought Arwen was at the bottom. Could Arwen just be helping out and possible not be laying yet? This is all new to me being a first time Muscovy parent. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009

  2. Well, I've been Googling and haven't found anything on Muscovies and shared parenting. I did find an article about Eider(sp) ducks sharing parenting amongst relatives and that was only discovered a few years back so I suppose Muscovies might also. Doesn't look like much if any research has been done on this. It will be interesting to see if the two girls do share in the responsibility of raising their clutch. [​IMG] They are being so good at taking turns for short breaks. Time will tell, I suppose. I will record it for future reference. [​IMG]

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