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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Louise Waffles, Apr 1, 2017.
Is there any other kind?
I don't know where my post went! There is no other kind! I want her to hatch *some* chicken eggs for me, but here is the problem:
She is is the chicken coop, not the duck house. When chickens come in to lay, she gets out if her box, and nips the chickens in other boxes and herds them to her nest. She waits, quite patiently, until they've laid their egg, then proceeds to the next chicken, in an effort to acquire more eggs. She is also letting the other ducks lay in the nest. I want to move her to the duck house, where the chickens don't usually lay eggs, so I can stop reaching under her to take away the extras. She's getting mean, and I'm also worried about the hatchability of the eggs because of having them mixed with duck eggs, doesn't that cause temperature problems? Any advice?
I've only allowed my broody ducks to hatch duck eggs, and they are natural-born experts at it...but I think a mixed clutch could hatch successfully, based on my knowledge of incubation temps. Might be kind of confusing for the mama duck, though, and it would be bad for the chicks for the broody to try to get them to swim with the ducklings; in short, I'd stick with one species' eggs in her nest.
If you know how long she's been on the eggs, you could remove all the duck eggs; number and/or date the chicken eggs (use pen, pencil will rub off when she dampens them); and move her and the nesting material to the duck house. You probably already know that there is a risk that she could stop sitting on the eggs and no longer be broody if you move her, but they're usually pretty hard to "break" of broodiness, even if you want to. She'll probably just be happy as a clam, once she gets the nest the way she wants it, and she's left undisturbed.
Your description of the duck herding the chickens to the nest to lay is great...clever girl. Best of luck with your hatch!
I marked the chicken eggs, removed the duck eggs. I think I'm going to leave her where she is, because there is some sort of disagreement between her and another Muscovy hen. They all get kind of crazy in spring.
They sure can - I had a couple of girls who seemed to want to share a nest last year, so I let them "co-brood". It went well for a couple of weeks, then they started fighting over the eggs and broke a couple. I had to remove the interloper (I let the duck who first started sitting on the eggs have them) and learned a tough lesson. No nest sharing, regardless of how collaborative the ducks may appear in the beginning.
In the morning when I let everyone out, all the muscovies go to the chicken coop to see her. The drakes especially are talking to her a lot. Keeping her in the loop, I suppose. Of all the ducks, those muscovies are my favorite. I'd like to add some different colors, but they are hard to find around here.
They are such social creatures, aren't they? I have drakes that will go into the chicken coop to sit outside a nest box where a duck is laying (some just like to lay in there, ignoring the jumbo, cushy nest boxes in their own coop)...it's just neat to watch them.
I hope you can find some locally to add to your flock. They're not terribly difficult to find where I live, but I'm in a rural area and they're extremely well-suited to free ranging, so I think many people keep them for that reason in this area. Plus, there aren't all that many predators that will take on a Muscovy drake - certainly not the hawks around here.