Jumbo Rouen ducklings, possible custody battle and or language barriers??


5 Years
Mar 16, 2018
Rochester NY
Hi all! :frow
So....my kid is starting kindergarten soon and my nest feels like it might be a little empty. I decided I want to be a duck grandma :gig. My ducks I raised are three years now and I figure why not let them be mom's? It should be a bit easier then when my ducklings were small. They will do most the work right?

So I have two males, a jumbo Pekin (Howard)and a khaki Campbell (Scrooge). Also three females, a Pekin, a Rouen and a Muscovy. Currently my Rouen is the only one laying. My Pekin (Lucky) I think is too heavy to lay anymore. My Muscovy (Ostara) wants to sit on my Rouens (Darkwing) eggs.
So lucky and ostara take turns sitting on the eggs. Darkwing has no interest in sitting on them. Just to give you an idea of what's going. :pop

So here's my question...whose babies are they gonna be? They are darkwings eggs. Ostara is 100% committed to sitting on them. Lucky will short term but she doesn't even cover them when she leaves like ostara will. Ostara faithfully will sit next to lucky waiting for her to leave the eggs so she can take over. Ostara has plucked her belly feathers to line the nest. I assume they all will share responsibility? Here's my next question....

Ostara doesn't speak their launguage. Being a Muscovy she's not gonna understand the ducklings right? How will that work? I've read Muscovys make great mom's. Ostara is the only one I didn't raise from a baby. I brought her in at a year old to try to even out my male female ratio.

Guess it might depend on who the ducklings imprint on. That's if it even works and I get ducklings.

Also, I only want to keep females if I get any but will Howard and Scrooge mate their offspring? Howard is darkwings mate so it wouldn't be Scrooge's..but still. I don't want to imbreed ducks. I wouldn't let them hatch anything. I don't know how all that works with ducks.

Thanks for reading:p I look forward to hearing your experiences and any tips.
I think at this point you may need to separate your ducks so that the most dedicated sitter is with the eggs uninterrupted. This will be the hen that raises them and they will follow. If you have two hens sitting, you may have serious problems when the duckling hatch. Both hens will want the babies to be hers. They very well may fight over the babies. They also may try to kill babies that they think belong to the other duck. Mamas are very protective of their littles so having two mamas believe that they belong to her is a recipe for disaster. The ducklings will learn the language and they will be fine. I hatched my ducklings with a broody chicken ;) they learn their mother's cluck (whoever that is) and learn the noise she makes when she calls them to food and the noise she makes when there is danger and the noise the others in the flock make as well. Yes the drakes will mate their offspring, just collect the eggs and don't hatch any more if you don't want more ducklings from them.
Yikes, that would be awful if they did that. Lucky has an inverted leg. When she was a ducklings and I was new to ducks I didn't know a whole lot. I gave her niacin and that helped. She isn't a fighter. When I scoop the coop lucky will leave. So maybe I will continue to disturb her so she isn't the one sitting on them. Ostara doesn't move when I scoop the coop she tries to bite my shovel. I agree one mama is best.
I went to kick lucky off the eggs and she stepped on one and broke it. I replaced it, no big deal. I think darkwing wants lucky to sit on them. In the beginning when I brought ostara in it Changed their pecking order and darkwing and ostara had problems. Ostara picked on darkwing and she was afraid of her. Now they get along fine. I think that's why Howard isn't nice to her. He holds a resentment from how she treated his mate when I brought her here. Darkwing will tuck lucky in w the eggs. It's funny how she cares about her eggs but only so much lol. I personally thought lucky would be fine to sit on them too bc she rests alot bc of her bad leg. I worry about her breaking them them she's so heavy though. It was my fault she broke it though I was scooting her off them. I kept her eggs in the house unwashed when I collected them. So I saved them then returned them to the nest. Trying to have them hatch all at once or closer together. So not sure if they will even hatch. But in the wild I thought they wait till they lay them all to sit so they hatch together anyway. So not entirely sure they'll even hatch or which ones are fertile...I think I interfere too much I don't want to make them abandon them though. Any tips on candling them? They say do it at night but light scares my ducks wouldn't I have to remove them to candle them then put them back? Should I even candle them? Seems the more I interfere I risk them? I would think they would share responsibility being that they are sharing sitting on them. Yesterday they had split the eggs in half. Lucky was on 4 and ostara was on 4. Who knew ducks could do math lol kidding of course...
Once the duck is sitting for 23 hours a day for a week straight you can candle them (just steal one at a time, it's less upsetting) and discard any that aren't developing. I like to take one and sneak it into my windowless bathroom with a flashlight then I return it and take another. By the time the eggs are 7 days old you can easily see which are developing and which are not.

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