muscovies in cold

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pell, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. pell

    pell New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2012
    I have my first batch of muscovies laying ,started around feb 3rd. I only had two nests made as it was still early i thought and four of them are laying in two nests ,I have made two more but they are sticking with it and now chickens are laying in one of the two.I believe there will be problems as nobody wants to move to new nests.What should I do.Also it seems a little early as the weather is still quite cold and the eggs could freeze .If any do hatch and it wouldn't be for a bit as they have not started setting yet,am I going to have to put them in a brooder because it will be to cold to get out and eat.I live in so. colorado and the temps can vary.
    Any ideas or experience would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
    Pell
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    On, Canada
    In the past i have not found 'shared nests' to end well, it's happened here but resulted in no live birds. As for the cold? Ha, well i am about to find out myself as i have an official setter now(the feathers plucked in the nest confirm she is serious) Technically, speaking the duck should be able to keep the eggs warm enough after that... a brooder/heat lamp... do you have area that you can section off?

    We have stalls one is used to keep one drake the other are open but i will just move mama duck and her brood to one of those with the lamp, they won't be able to go outside as early as ducklings in the past but perhaps we'll be lucky and spring and temps will steady? [​IMG]

    I have no interest in bringing the babies inside, i'm sure people do consider that option, i prefer duck raised especially if i keep any as they learn the routines and mesh with the flock much better that way but of coarse if i cannot keep them stable in the barn i can bring the young in, not sure what i'd do about mama? [​IMG]

    So there is my plan, hopefully those who have done winter hatches can comment further but i figured it may help to at least share my plan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    I had a muscovy hatch 13 ducklings on Dec 5. We are nowhere near as cold as you but did get temps down in the teens overnight after they arrived. I built a wood brooder around her nest in the coop (I have enough room) and put a heat lamp in. After they were about 1 week old, I allowed mom and babies out of the "brooder" whenever they chose. By 2-3 weeks they were outside stretched out in the sun when the temp was high 20s.

    Either take the eggs until you want to have ducklings or be prepared to install a heat lamp or possibly bring the babies inside if mom isn't taking care of them. If they only hatch a couple, they will be much more likely to keep them warm.

    You can also try moving some eggs to each of the additional nests that you've made. They are viewed as "safe" if there are eggs in them. I do have 1 chicken that is laying in a duck nest and the duck that started laying in there keeps running to the chicken coop in the morning to lay her egg. Silly birds.
     
  4. pell

    pell New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2012
    Thanks for the replies ,It all happened sooner than I thought and now time to try to manage it. I will try to move some eggs to other boxes,and prepare to make a brooder for them all.I wonder how long you can take the eggs away and hold them until better weather?
    Thanks again
    Pell
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From Storey's Guide regarding length of storage/hatchability rate: 1-7 days/71% 8-14 days/64% 15-21 days/47% 22-28 days/18%. The ideal is keep at 55-65* for 10 days or less, if keeping longer keep at 48-52*. They will keep laying if you take them so you could just keep taking and then start leaving them 2 weeks or so before you want them to start setting.
     

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