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Muscovy communal nesting?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by RavenStorm, May 1, 2011.

  1. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Ok, so these three sister ducks that I got from lovesduckies never wanted to sit on a clutch before. They never displayed any sign of wanting to go broody, so I always took the eggs away. I only gave them one nest box that is pretty narrow for them to lay in. Something must be in the air this time around though, because one of my other females in a different pen decided to sit and shortly after all three of these girls began to act like they wanted to as well. They have all laid in the one box and I left them there because I was planning on slipping their eggs to the other female, but then the sisters all started to sit on the nest! It's tighter than a can of sardines in there, but they don't fight or jostle at all (I will get pics soon). They usually take turns on who leaves the nest to eat and wash up, and at night all three of them sit together. When it's hot (we're hitting high 80's low 90's right now) the two dominant females push the third duck out to help regulate the heat but it never turns into a fight.

    My questions though (FINALLY!, right?) is what will happen when they hatch the eggs. There's about 20 of them, and they keep switching them all back and forth between them when the leave and enter the nest. I know to get the daddy out of the pen when the time gets close, but I also know that some females will kill another female's ducklings to give hers a better chance. If I try to separate them now, they'll abandon the nest. Will it be safe to leave them together when the babies come?
     
  2. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I had two go broody a week apart. One was not a good broody, so her eggs have not hatched- still viable, she has about a week to go-little less. The other broody hatched hers yesterday- today, both ducks are taking turns caring for them. They are in the yard now. The one that hatched went for a stroll...ate, etc..the babies went under the other one. The other one has forgotten that she has eggs.

    Communal mothering.
     
  3. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,479
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    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I've heard stories about feral muscovies raising ducklings communally. Scientists think that it was due to the muscovy eradication/control measures that are sometimes taken by authorities. As a result, several females would combine nests and young into what is almost a creche with females taking turns caring for them.

    I would leave them alone and see what might happen in your case.
     

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