Encouraging broody ducks to do it right

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by savingdogs, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have two muscovy hens and a drake who have not managed to create any ducklings yet this year. The drake is obviously doing his job. The hens have gone through spells of not laying, then laying but not caring about them, to building nests they abandon 10 days later (twice) and now finally I have one that wants to be broody in the wrong coop! She thinks she is a chicken now. [​IMG]

    What things can I do to encourage ducks (muscovy in this case) to be broody in their own coop? To stay on their nests? I created "nests" for them but they both have chosen to be broody elsewhere, somewhere much less appropriate. They seem to get grumpy with one another when they are broody, which is unfortunate because I think between the two of them they could have hatched some, had they only cooperated with one another.

    I've also tried incubating some eggs myself but my house is not air conditioned and goes through such wide temperature swings that I ruined a set of eggs already trying to incubate them myself in my bator.

    We really have these ducks as meat producers that we over-wintered last year, so it is starting to be pretty expensive dinner. Obviously these birds themselves are too old to be much good and by now they are named and everything as we never intended these ones to be dinner, but I sure would like to eat their offspring.

    Any hints?
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I wish I could come up with something. Right now I am fine without serious broodies. A couple of my runners get fairly broody for runners, and I began thinking if next year I might put fertile eggs under them. But if they abandon the nest, then I'll be in a rush to find an incubator (and a friend who knows how to run it properly for duck eggs).

    I will be checking in to see what the experienced broody muscovy keepers have to say.
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    If they are going broody elsewhere, anyway to make that elsewhere a safe place for them?

    My 2 runners decided they got sick of me stealing their eggs, so they made a few nests in the shrubs and woods and would lay them there. I finally scooped up a nest of eggs and put them in their house. They were totally confused and it was almost like they didn't want to go in with that nest of "stranger" eggs as they didn't put them there.
    Then I left just 1 in there for 2 days. Nada.
    I gave up and took it out.
    Then Cadbury laid her egg there so I left it. The next day another egg from her in the house again, so I took both and put in a fake wood egg. Next morning, both ducks laid in there. Removed real ones and again this morning I had 2 eggs in there. So hopefully I have them laying where they should be again.
    Maybe something like that will work if you can't make their chosen spot a safe spot for them?
  4. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well the chicken coop is actually SAFE except I don't know how my chickens would be toward newborn ducklings. However, I could block it off on the last day fairly easily. So at this point I've left the one-who-thinks-she-is-a-chicken in the chicken coop area, and gave her back some of her own eggs actually. I don't know if that is the right thing to do however because every now and then she get a hankering to be a duck again, so I've actually closed her in there. But I don't know then if any further eggs will be fertile since she isn't with the drake.

    I'm kinda stumped.

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