Erratic Egg Laying Muscovies?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DuckQuilter, May 18, 2010.

  1. DuckQuilter

    DuckQuilter In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2010
    Hi,
    We have 12 Muscovy ducks. 8 are hens. We've had them since Feb 13th, and have really enjoyed them. We have been getting a average of 1 to 2 eggs a day. When we first got them(and only had 9) we got up to 6 eggs a day. It was like that until the time change(we live in Oregon) and it started getting lighter. The egg production decreased and while we first thought they were molting, it has been longer then the average molt, I think.

    Any suggestions? We aren't sure how old exactly they are, but most are under a year and a half with the exception of our two dark ones, angel and Shadow. I think they are two years old. Could they be too old to lay now?

    Also, what age are Muscovy Ducklings full grown?
    Thank you,
    Emily
     

  2. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    They aren't too old. My one duck stops laying when she starts sitting. We took away her first 6 eggs but after she laid 10 more which we let her keep she started sitting and is no longer laying any. AFAIK they will eventually stop laying later in the year unlike other mallard type ducks. Hopefully, someone else can provide more info for you.
     
  3. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

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    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    This is a difficult question to answer. We have 15 muscovy hens. Seven are currently sitting on nests. Out of the remaining eight we get four to five eggs a day. Ten of our hens are under one year of age, and we don't know who is who anymore because they are all white and their leg bands fell off over the winter.

    We have noticed visible production will drop off when they are building a hidden dump nest.
     
  4. I think you may have some hidden nests. Scovies are REALLY good at hiding their nesting sites. One of my girls hid a clutch under a nest box that I was sure was too low to get under. I found it when she started peeping and acting broody. I had to keep my eye on her when she was out eating and sneakily follow her back. [​IMG] There also may be predator stealing the eggs but I'd go with the hidden dump nest/'s first.
    Scovy hens start breeding about 6-7mo. & the drakes start/want to breed at about 4mo or so. They are adult but don't reach FULL maturity (heaviness, caruncling, color pattern) until they are a year old.
     
  5. DuckQuilter

    DuckQuilter In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2010
    Hmm. I don't think it's a hidden nest. We have them in a cage that would be very hard to hide eggs. I'll post a picture of it. We have 6 ducks in each cage, 1 male in each cage...
     
  6. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

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    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    Quote:How long have they been in the cages? Do you provide secure nest boxes for them to lay in? Any stressful change in their environment, and they will stop laying for two weeks.
     
  7. DuckQuilter

    DuckQuilter In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2010
    Here are pictures of one of the cages. The other is pretty much the same. As I said before, we have 5hens, 1 male in each cage. We feed them layer pellets and a little cracked corn each day, a little less then a half pound per bird. We move the cage around our lawn each day/every other day.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  8. Unlike mallard derived ducks, Muscovy are cavity nesters/brooders and also like to roost/perch. Try placing nest boxes in their sleeping quarters or dividing the quarters up a bit so they have some nooks to nest in. If at all possible, put a low roost in there. I'm talking a few inches high, like a solid small log or piece of 4X4 or even a small plastic bin turned upside down, so they can roost up on something. You can always give them more to eat. Producing eggs is a lot of work. The grass does provide some greens & bugs and you can always reduce the supplemental duck food if you find they are not eating it or egg production does not increase after a few wks. Can't hurt. Are they in those cages 24/7? I'm asking because, though they don't look too crowded, that's not much space for a duck who likes to move around..... well, mine do at least and they are very territorial .... like quite a bit of personal space.... unlike my Pekins. That could be a stress factor right there.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  9. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

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    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    I agree with the above post.

    I do have a comment as to the birds security. That looks like 2"x4" welded wire cage with an open door shelter. A mink or weasel could easily wreck havoc with your ducks at night if there is no other protection available.

    By the way, this is a hidden nest. The duck decided that right behind a nesting box was a good place to to lay eggs.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010

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