Muscovies Nesting and Hatching Questions!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AlaskaItaly, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. AlaskaItaly

    AlaskaItaly Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2010
    I am new to all of this - but must get up to speed quick!

    I have three girls and a drake. One of the girls got hurt (but is doing so much better thanks to the advice on this forum).

    One of my girls, M, started nesting in early June with about 14 eggs.

    The second girl, Matty, started nesting, also with about 12/14 eggs, about two weeks later.

    Both nests are in a protected deck area with a door and netting over the top to keep out the roaming neighborhood cats.

    A few weeks ago, I see where Matty and M have changed nests. M is sitting on Matty's eggs and Matty is sitting on M's eggs.

    The injured duck, Angel, had also been sitting on M's eggs while M was in the nest -and when Matty switched nests, Angel, continued to sit on the nest with her. When one would go off the nest, the other would slide over onto the eggs and they would sit on the nest together.

    5 eggs hatched two days ago - I went out to discover these adorable balls of fluff sitting on the back of one of the girls!


    SO - I see that M didn't want to sit on her 'adopted' nest anymore. She kept going over to want to sit on her original nest and new babies. The other two girls would snap at her but she would persist until she was also sitting on the nest (and over the other two girls mostly:).

    Why would they switch nests? Is this normal for Muscovies?

    I may have made a mistake - but after seeing this for some time - I got concerned that the second nest's eggs were being neglected. I put one of those eggs near Matty/Angel and they immediately rolled it under them - so I put the rest of the eggs in that first nest.

    All three girls are sitting in that same nesting box on the babies and all of the eggs! What a site!!! This is a low sided cardboard box filled with grass and straw which is used for veggies. [​IMG] I suppose I needn't worry that they are warm. [​IMG]

    The woman I bought the ducks from suggested I put the second nesting box close to the first giving the possibility that they would spread out...but no such thing has happened.

    Have I made a mistake? Should I just leave them alone to do whatever they feel like doing with the nest?

    *Side Question: I have read postings here that Muscovey Ducklings should not be allowed in the water for a couple of weeks. When I went out and found they had hatched - three of them were swimming around in the water bowl! I've replaced the large water bowl with a drip water dispenser.

    AND how do you feed the ducklings 'starter' food without the Mama's eating it all?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  2. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congrats on the new ducklings!! [​IMG]

    I wouldn't worry about the momma Scovies eating the starter food. They've been broody and running on the lean side. The extra protien will just get them back in shape sooner. If you want you can buy some Flock Raiser which is just a tad lower in protien and is good for all ages of poultry.
    There is no reason the ducklings can't be in the water esp. if it's really warm where you are. Just provide a shallow tray w/only 1/2 -1" of water plus a way for them to get in and out on their own. Mine were always getting in their water bowl but it was one of those black rubber feed bowls and those baby Scovies have NO trouble at all bouncing in and out with their sharp little claws grabbing ahold of the edge.

    As to why the Scovy hens would switch nests. [​IMG] A few of my Scovy hens have done the same a time or two. Generally the dominate hen will stick w/her nest sight and the ones lower on the pecking order may scramble & switch around. I have chooks who do the same thing..... [​IMG] drives me crazy. Keep an eye on the nest & watch for any poking amongst the hens. Sometimes they will start fighting over the eggs and over the ducklings esp. when the ducklings begin hatching. Sometimes one of the hens will try to "steal" the babies hatching fm the others and you can get some squished babies if things get too rough. [​IMG]
     

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