Multiple failed Moscovy Duck Hatches

Cats Critters

Completely Indecisive
12 Years
Oct 15, 2007
5,672
86
306
Clarion County, PA
My Coop
I've done 3 attempted muscovy duck hatches this year with no live ducklings resulting from any of them.

The first this spring was an incubator hatch that had one Duckling internally pipped and a few others where fully developed but had never pipped. I figured I messed up humidity and wrote it off as a bad hatch.

Second hatch was under my one liliac muscovy hen. She had a mix of chicken and duck eggs under her and on day 18 I pulled the chicken eggs out and placed them in an incubator where one of them hatched. The duck eggs remained under her until a few days after they were due to hatch. When I took them and opened them and once again had multiple fully developed ducklings that had never pipped.

Third hatch just reached its conclusion this morning. Under my blue barred muscovy hen she had started with duck eggs and I added a couple guniea eggs part way through hatch that should have hatched a the same time (I'm not sure my male guniea is getting his job done so them not hatching wasn't a huge surprise). She had a weird quirk of taking bad eggs and breaking them into her water dish. Today was 5 days past hatch date so I went to open eggs to find she had broken another egg in her water dish and placed a fully formed but clearly rotting baby next to it. I opened 3 of the 4 remaining duck eggs and they where fully formed but now very dead. The 4th egg had the same appearance as the other 3 but I couldn't stomach opening it.

So what is going wrong? Is it genetic and I should change out my drake? Is it something dietary that I should change (layer feed and free range) or add? Is there something I'm failing to provide broody hens? All have had full time access to feed and a water tub deep enough to fully dip the bill in and to take a bath in. Both where isolated so other birds couldn't mess with them but the last hen had access to the outside part of her brooding time to allow her to graze if she wanted or to swim in the kiddy pool which she did a few times. Ducklings where various colors and had no physical abnormalities. Eggs where all from one muscovy drake and 3 muscovy hens. What am I missing?
 

Ratchnick

Songster
Oct 13, 2019
1,502
1,573
188
Anchorage Alaska
I know quail can have a lethal gene which i think behaves like this. Not sure about the chicken eggs though. Also could be feed, breeder rations are formulated for embryo viability. If The hen is defficient the embrio will be defficent which could be the issue. This would explain why other species aren't hatching either.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
948
2,321
191
Western Washington
I've done 3 attempted muscovy duck hatches this year with no live ducklings resulting from any of them.

The first this spring was an incubator hatch that had one Duckling internally pipped and a few others where fully developed but had never pipped. I figured I messed up humidity and wrote it off as a bad hatch.

Second hatch was under my one liliac muscovy hen. She had a mix of chicken and duck eggs under her and on day 18 I pulled the chicken eggs out and placed them in an incubator where one of them hatched. The duck eggs remained under her until a few days after they were due to hatch. When I took them and opened them and once again had multiple fully developed ducklings that had never pipped.

Third hatch just reached its conclusion this morning. Under my blue barred muscovy hen she had started with duck eggs and I added a couple guniea eggs part way through hatch that should have hatched a the same time (I'm not sure my male guniea is getting his job done so them not hatching wasn't a huge surprise). She had a weird quirk of taking bad eggs and breaking them into her water dish. Today was 5 days past hatch date so I went to open eggs to find she had broken another egg in her water dish and placed a fully formed but clearly rotting baby next to it. I opened 3 of the 4 remaining duck eggs and they where fully formed but now very dead. The 4th egg had the same appearance as the other 3 but I couldn't stomach opening it.

So what is going wrong? Is it genetic and I should change out my drake? Is it something dietary that I should change (layer feed and free range) or add? Is there something I'm failing to provide broody hens? All have had full time access to feed and a water tub deep enough to fully dip the bill in and to take a bath in. Both where isolated so other birds couldn't mess with them but the last hen had access to the outside part of her brooding time to allow her to graze if she wanted or to swim in the kiddy pool which she did a few times. Ducklings where various colors and had no physical abnormalities. Eggs where all from one muscovy drake and 3 muscovy hens. What am I missing?
I don’t have muscovies but my broody gals hatched only one surviving duckling out of 8 eggs. I’m giving up on broodies.
 

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