Muscovey Nesting 2 Ladies having "ISSUES"!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AlaskaItaly, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. AlaskaItaly

    AlaskaItaly In the Brooder

    May 17, 2010
    Two nests - first time nesters (and I am a first time duck owner)

    One nest is laid with about 15 eggs with Miss Michael

    Second nest is laid about two weeks later, again with approximately 12-15 eggs by Miss Matty

    About two weeks ago, Matty and Michael switch nests

    and my third girl, Angel, sits with Matty on the first next. So - two girls are sitting on Michael's nest/eggs.

    Last week, 5 of Miss Michael's eggs hatched while Miss Matty was still sitting on the nest. Cuties!

    OK...Miss Michael immediately left her adopted nest to go over to the new babies and had a bit of a hassle with Miss Matty wanting to take the babies and sit on the nest again. Angel, Matty and Michael seemed to come to a resolution and all of them have been sitting on the nest and babies.

    NOW....this morning, Matty goes off the nest to drink and Michael takes after her - biting at her constantly - chasing her around and around the pen. At first, I thought maybe Michael was irritated that Matty was off the eggs and was trying to get her back on the nest. Matty normally hasn't gotten off the eggs but for a minute or two (just to get water/food) until today. Today she seemed to be off a bit longer.

    Michael chased Matty so much and it seemed so frantic that I opened the door and Michael chased her right out of the pen! When I put Matty back in a little while later (assuming Matty might need a break from sitting) - the behavior began again.

    When Matty would go to sit on the nest, Michael would leave her alone but then Matty would get back up and the whole thing would start again! When I turned around to get some water, Matty was nearly hanging herself trying to fly out over the low door - her neck hanging over the door while her wings were flapping frantically and Michael nipping at her from below! All this running around and around the pen - the females were stepping on the babies, tipping the food dish, feathers flying....a real tornado of activity!

    I let Matty out again. I tried again about 30 minutes later with similar results. This time, I put Michael out. When I looked in a few minutes later, both Angel and Matty were calmly sitting on the nest with the 5 babies sleeping on their backs.

    Angel has been a constant - sitting on the nest during the confrontations between Matty and Michael - nipping at Michael when she nipped at Matty. At least I was pleased the Angel was still taking care of the eggs.

    So - is this typical behavior for Muscovy ducks? What is happening?

    Should I leave one of the females out of the pen? There is at least two weeks left before the second batch of eggs will be ready to hatch.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. AlaskaItaly

    AlaskaItaly In the Brooder

    May 17, 2010


  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I have never had a nest sharing problem- But just wanted to say those photos are just so precious!! How adorable they look. If I hadnt read about the trouble you are having- I would think they are all just one big happy family!!

    So sorry you are having problems with your girls- you may have to remove one of them- or the babies at least and brood them yourself until the next ones hatch..
  4. Female Muscovy get very territorial when it comes to nesting & brooding. It always seems O.K. at first and sometimes it works out when two nest together but generally NOT. [​IMG] Give the babies over to Michael or Matty and have them brood them separately now while Angel and the the other M sit on the rest of the eggs. Whoever gets along best with Angel.... let them stay with her. If possible don't let them nest together anymore. You will always have trouble .... esp. with a staggard hatch. Been there .... done that ... won't let that happen again. [​IMG] Those babies already hatched need to be with one mom and start running about. Time for a separate brooder area IMO. Cute Scovies by the way!
  5. ilovemuscovy

    ilovemuscovy In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2010
    Los Angeles
    wait wait wait
    i'm a little confused
    so did the second nest just get abandoned? or did all 3 ducks rotate on both nests?
  6. AlaskaItaly

    AlaskaItaly In the Brooder

    May 17, 2010
    The second nest was being abandoned - or so it appeared to me -after the ducklings had started to I put all those eggs under the females (Matty and Angel) who readily accepted them. Ms. Michael then would perch over the other two girls and the little ones - her wings outspread - looking like the avenging angel she is named after [​IMG] and keep the other girls and the little ones warm for hours and hours and hours. I thought she would freeze in that position.

    I don't know what got into her yesterday but I took the advice offered here and removed her from the pen area...she romped around with the drake (Baba) all night long - the little gadabout-....and this morning I let her back into the pen with a very stern lecture on being 'nice' or she would be permanently banned. She seems to be ok. She picked a bit under Matty but then laid down next to the nest and has been pretty quiet.

    I'll keep an eye on them to see that they all play nice. I don't see an easy way to let Michael have her five babies and keep Matty and Angel on the nest because of the fencing/pen/feeding/watering/pool area configurations. If they start fighting again, I'll just put Michael out with Baba and keep the others all together in the protected pen area.

    Thanks again to everyone!
  7. NotAFarm

    NotAFarm Embracing the New! Premium Member 8 Years

    Nov 5, 2009
    Thanks for posting this problem. I have a Mom and two of her daughters that I got in June. I won't be getting a drake until late fall so won't have any brooding issues until Spring (I hope anyway). Your experience and Keepers advice have helped me to know that my set-up will need some tweaks before then. Good luck with your flock!

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