Help! First time mummy muskovy.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by katiewilkie, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. katiewilkie

    katiewilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2014
    Hi all,
    I was looking for some advice on my female muskovy. She is free range, but by my calculations she has been sitting on a clutch of chicken and duck eggs for about 3/4 weeks. Hid herself away in the chickens coop so I can't be exactly sure when she started to lay/sit but around 3 weeks ago I noticed she was hiding. I think there is about 8/9 duck eggs and 6 chicken eggs, which should mean that we are looking at (all being well!?) the pitter patter of tiny webbed feet before Christmas.
    What do I do now??? I have moved a bath close to where she is and she has been getting mealworms as additional food when she appears.
    Does she know that they are fertilised? She is a young duck so first time broody, will nature take over and should I just leave her alone??
    It is getting really cold out there. What happens if/when the ducklings appear? Will they need heat lamped, do they need special food?
    Sorry for my ignorance, sort of taken me by surprise! Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Snow expected here by the end of the week and I am nervous for her!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    First off any chicks that hatch are going to hatch sooner than the ducklings so you'll need to have a brooder ready for them and take them in and brood them separte from mom to keep her sitting on the eggs, Muscovys take around 35 to 37 days to hatch so big difference between 21 days to 35. plus when mom takes ducklings out you'd have to make sure all water sources are put up to keep chicks and ducklings from falling in and drowning. Not the best time of year for mama ducks to be taking ducklings into swim. and chicks will follow mama duck into swim since they have imprinted on her. She doesn't know which are fertile or not but if you have a roo and a drake more than likely you do have mostly fertile eggs. So keep close eye on nest from here on out. be sure to watch for other flock members to not be so nice new new babies too. Some can be pretty nasty and will even kill them, main reason i like to keep my mamas and babies seaprated by temp fencing and their own house for at least 3 weeks gives everyone a chance to get to know the "new kids on the block' so to speak. Most of the time mama ducks can do all the work by themselves, actually they provide the heat and the ducklings do the rest. as long as she doesn't have too many she should be able to keep them all warm but you'll have to paly that by ear, we had some pretty frigid temps in Nov. and another member lost some of her ducklings when mama wasn't able to keep them all warm enough so being watchful is very important. Ducklings/chicks will either need starter crumble and fresh water or an all flock crumble. mom will show them where food and water is just sit it close enough for her to show them. good luck and keep us updated.mMost Muscovy's do make excellent mamas but sometimes first timers can get over whelmed so just watch to make sure she is taking care of them properly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  3. katiewilkie

    katiewilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, that was really helpful.
    Should have mentioned we are currently without a cock. So not expecting any chickens to appear...that would certainly be something!
    What sort of depth of water would be appropriate for the new little ones? Couple of cm?
    Unfortunately lost all but this pair of Muscovys to foxes, and the ducklings will not be much bigger than the bantams. Will daddy duck be aggressive? Thanks again!
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Oh good well that will eliminate the worry of chicks. but I'd still have something i n mind for a brooder just in case, it's always better to be prepared than have to take ducklings and not be ready. I had a mama Muscovy didn't want her duckling no matter what I tried and I had to brood inside, boy did we have to throw things together fast.
    here is a link to caring for ducklings even though these will hopefully get to stay with mom it's got a pic of a good home made waterer that will keep them from drowning I always make one of these larger for mom and put it up on bricks to keep ducklings form getting into it. first few days even a chick waterer will work for ducklings but usually by end of first week they are too big for it and really need to be able to dunk their heads to clean their eyes and nares out which is very important for their health.

    Daddy ducks can be aggressive to ducklings even their own so I'd keep mom and babies close by so he can see them all but use something like the plastic poultry fencing they sell at Lowes to protect babies for a while. And protect them all for the predators, they'll be coming around when they know there is something tasty to eat. whether adult or duckling. Keep us updated on hatch and of course any other questions. lots of Scovy owners on here. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  5. katiewilkie

    katiewilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks!
    Have packed insulation under her nest box to keep off some of the cold and will start to prepare a 'nursery' today.
    Will keep you updated if we have any hatchlings.
    Last question...I think!! If the ducklings hatch shall I just remove the chicken eggs then, or would I be better to remove them ahead of the arrivals? Don't want her to neglect the ducklings because she thinks the others will hatch.
    Thanks again!
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You could go ahead and take out the chicken eggs, if there is quite a few slip a few out at a time, my broody's are so in the zone they have no idea how many eggs they have under them as long as they have some. Once hatching starts it can take up to 3 days for all ducklings to hatch so don't panic if they don't all hatch at once, ducklings are totally different than chicks and take quite a bit of time to hatch.
    Look forward to hearing about hatch. [​IMG]
     
  7. katiewilkie

    katiewilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Taken 12 chicken eggs out so far! Suspect it was a mistake not to do so earlier. Fingers crossed the incubated eggs have been getting enough warmth!
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How many duck eggs in there? Have you candled to see what's going on in those duck eggs?
     
  9. katiewilkie

    katiewilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Think that she has lost interest. She seemed to be out of the coop and away from the eggs for hours today. What now? Sitting back on them now, but when I checked earlier they seemed pretty cold and she had not taken as much care as usual to cover them. :(
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    What day are you on? have you candled?
     

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