Keeping muscovie nest area clean?


13 Years
Mar 10, 2010
So, my current set up, not the final one, is a penned area with a dog house that the duck and drake share. I keep it clean by changing the wood chips two or three times per week and adding some in between. If the duck starts to lay in there, how do I keep the area clean without disturbing the nest and the duck?
I'm not sure you can. They are pretty protective parents. If you seen that they are starting to build a nest, I'd suggest a deep layer of straw and then leave it be.
It get's really nasty in there if I don't clean it. In fact, I lost a duck last month because I had let it go more than a few days (but less than a week) and the duck was dirty, wet, and then froze, at least that's what I think happened. I guess it will be warmer in the spring.

I guess another question is whether I need a dedicated nest area of some kind of can the duck handle having the drake in with her and the eggs?
That nasty and wet? Wow. How about building a wooden platform for the dog box to sit on? Or get a free wood pallet to use. This is my first spring with muscovies (just a pair), though I have had other ducks for a few years. So far the muscovies are palling around together like they are glued together. They share a yard with my main chicken flock but have a small shelter on the ground of their own. They've recently been checking out the large chicken coop during the day. The female has even been up in the nest boxes while the drake sits on the roost hissing at the chickens. So it seems they are working together to find a nesting place.

At my friend's house, the muscovies are the only birds that are never confined. They flock together, but I didn't notice the drake hanging around during nesting time. He was off with other girls and doing his own thing. As long as there is plenty of space for the drake to roam while she nests, they should do okay.
I would build something to elevate the dog house. If the dog house is big enough for it, I would then add a nesting box inside of it so she has some privacy away from the drake, and can keep her eggs in a safe spot where they wont get knocked around.

My Muscovies nest boxes are 1.5ft long by 1ft tall & 1 ft high... leave an entrance in the front but make it closer to one side.

I hope you plan to remove the ducklings after they hatch, if it's that wet and messy in there.
The dog house has a floor, so the wetness is from the duck poop, not the ground. These ducks have a lot of poop! I don't know if a nest box would fit in there but its something to think about. I plan on building a tractorable run as soon as more of my snow melts, but I haven't figured out the logistics of shelter or nesting area for that either.
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