Help! First time hatching ducklings - naturally!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Del1977, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our beautiful 9 month old muscovy duck has just had her first duckling hatch with more expected in the next day or so. We have been hatching quails and chickens in an inubator for a few years and know what to do food/water wise with them. Very uncertain what to do regarding food and water for these ducklings. They are in with chickens but we have sectioned off the area she decided to nest in a few days before due date as I'm unsure if the chickens will try to harm the ducklings and not sure if her mate/drake will also try to harm them. The nesting box is up off the ground so I have attached a ramp so they 'might' be able to get down.

    After some advice, tips and reassurance that these ducklings will be ok. Not use to having a natural mother care for her own.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    i would keep your drake in another area for now, you just never know how they will react to tiny ducklings. Some have even killed them. With mom continuing to sit while hatching she isn't going to be very potective of those first few that hatch and if they wander to far, well it's just best to err on the side of caution. And yes you want to keep the chickens away too. I keep moms and ducklings/chicks separate till at least 2-3 weeks old but where everyone can still see each other. As for feed put both feed and water close enough that ducklings can find it easy while mom is sitting and mom will appreciate both close too. Just be sure to put what ever you have for water the ducklings can't climb into and drown.

    Other than that mom will do everything else you just enjoy watching. Congrats on your first ducklings Muscovy moms are awesome. Keep us updated on hatch. @Del1977

    Easy homemade waterer for ducklings and mom can use it too. I put small river rocks in the bottom to keep it from getting tipped. I even cut holes on either side if I have more than a few ducklings..
    [​IMG]Pics when you can. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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  3. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice. After hatching so many quails and chickens in an incubator and being completely in control of the babies I find this 'natural' hatching a bit scary. Another two hatched over night and looks to be a fourth on it's was.

    Here's a pic of the first two, the third must have only just hatched as it's still wet and is safely tucked under her.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to mention that I think 'Bob' the drake will be pretty good with them as he has been with young chickens only a few weeks old and didn't seem at all worried about them. He is an extremely placid, somewhat cuddly drake. Having said that, we are going to err on the side of caution just in case and have a few supervised visits first. I'm more concerned that he will accidently stand on them or fall on them as he is a very clumsy drake.

    Here's a pic of him with my oldest daughter, not yet fully grown but about 4 months old.

    [​IMG]

    She can't cuddle him like that anymore! All cuddles are restricted to him standing on the ground due to his enormous size.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Beautiful ducklings Congrats to you and mom.

    I hope Bob will be good with the ducklings you just never know. My drake actually avoids all ducklings like they have the plague. I have read on here of other drakes killing ducklings though. Your wise to give supervised visits to see how he will act. I did lose a duckling because of a stampede once My fault I called everyone for snack and duckling got under my ganders feet. Thanks so much for sharing the pics Bob looks like he loves your dd. Muscovy's are such awesome birds.
     
  6. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The fourth duckling hatched while I was doing the grocery shopping. Only two more eggs left but I'm not sure they will hatch. The air sac of both has dark blotches on them, which the other four didn't, and neither have pipped yet. Can definately hear something in one of them but not the other. Anything I should do, or just let nature takes it's course?

    Bob will get his first supervised visit this afternoon when my girls get home from school. Pip and her chicks haven't moved from the nest yet, and he is too big to get into the nesting box but has often sat at the bottom of it since she's been sitting.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    [​IMG]Bob sounds so much like my Muscovy drake Opie. They are so precious. Well you can try to make and tiny air hole in the "air sac" end for the one that is making noise because that means it has internally pipped. or you can sit on your hands and wait. But unless you hear pepping or tapping in the other one i would leave it for now. Oh my gosh by 11 hrs you may already have another duckling and Bob has had his first visit.
    Whats happening over there @Del1977
     
  8. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ended up doing some more research and posted about the blotchy eggs. You can read my 'blotchy' egg post for full details, but one had already died in the shell, fully formed, and died soon after making a hole. Barely any movement from withing the shell before we made the hole and it was barely breathing.

    On a brighter note, Pip and her 4 gorgeous ducklings are doing so well. She is smitten with them and enjoys sharing them with us within reason. Mainly just looking and watchin at the moment with the odd few second hold here and there. Gave Bob another supervised visit and he immediately tried to mount poor Pip who was clearly not interested so he was removed from her section and stood looking through the temporary fence we have put up.

    Any advice on when and how to reintroduce Pip and her ducklings to the rest of the flock? She lives with Bob and 8 chooks, but as mentioned has been sectioned off from them for now.
     
  9. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops! Just realised you answered my questions already. Thanks!
     

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