Muscovy duck hatching questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by westoaklandhome, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. westoaklandhome

    westoaklandhome New Egg

    Nov 26, 2013
    We are first time muscovy duck owners and currently have 3 hens and a drake, and one of our hens is sitting on 8 eggs. We thought we had at least a week left until hatching but this morning we found a dead duckling in the coop. I'm guessing it died from drowning or being too cold. We were told that muscovy ducks are fairly self sufficient and that we wouldn't have to worry about much, but I'm here to ask a few questions or general suggestions on what to expect. Please let me know your tips, and thanks!

    Any prep tips to ensure a successful hatching?

    Heating elements? We currently have a few heat lamps but nothing too strong or hot.

    How involved should we be in helping, or should we rely on the hen?

    Separation from the others, or is cohabitation fine?

    Timeline of development, anything we should look out for or expect?

    Any tips? Ideas? Brilliant designs?

    - Monica in West Oakland
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Firstly, scovies average incubation period is 35 days but can be more or a tad less etc.. but point is much longer than mallard derived ducks. Sadly, loss of ducklings is not uncommon, it would have been any number of things, it happens not with every nest but often with new mamas.

    I will tell you what i do, AFTER the young have hatched, i will separate mama and the babies from the flock how you do that depends on your set-up, last time i just blocked a stall off. I get SAFE water ie; no bowls ducklings drown! and feed that young can eat, mama doesn't feed the babies just shows them what. Prior to that i do nothing, if it's winter which i have done a hatch that was, this past March my one duck hatched out 4, i did install a heat lamp, mama was cold, it WAS cold and she needed the heat, she kept the babies warm but the chill was hard on her after brooding so long, takes a lot out of a duck that is why winter brooding, hatching is less than ideal.

    Drakes can kill ducklings, does it happen always? no, i haven't had it here but the point is it can, so can other ducks so caution at least for a few days is my method, then i let my mama and her brood go, she should be able to watch her young, now for winter i couldn't brutal cold, ice and snow left that impossible, so i closed my barn and let her brood loose, i offered supplemental greens and this continued for awhile, for summer/spring hatches i left my ducks free range their young.

    That's is my way, others will vary. I had two clutches this year... This is the March ie; winter babies!


    Good luck! and [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  3. piglett

    piglett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2012
    we have 3 muscovy drakes & about 10 females
    this will be our 1st year trying to hacth out ducklings
    rite now they are in with the chickens but they are making a huge mess in the coop (water everywhere)
    i think i'll see if i can build them different housing so everyone isn't mixed together
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Good idea ducks are way to messy to be kept with chickens. and your chickens will thank you for getting them out of their house. [​IMG]
  5. piglett

    piglett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2012
    they already have my hens bedding soaking wet [​IMG]
    looks like i get to buy a couple more bails of pine shavings
  6. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I never did anything with my muscovies. The moms made their nest, most of the time out of my view and raised their babies on their own. Some hens had as many as 25 and raised ever one of them while others had as few as 12... I absolutely love them.
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    If you can keep food and water out of the house and take the food up at night to keep rodents and preds away. that will help to keep the wetness down inside the coop.
  8. piglett

    piglett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2012
    we just added their hanging 5 gallon waterer with the heater in it
    it only has nipples at the bottom so this SHOULD keep them from flooding out the coop
    if the feed was outside it would get full of snow & ice
    i need to add a covered run for them
    may not happen this year as the ground is starting to freeze for the winter
  9. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2012
    SW Louisiana
    Quote:that is exactly how we do it. The hen takes care of the whole thing from start to finish. This year, two muscovy hens are setting on two different batches where the chickens had always laid their eggs. Now that both hens are setting, they won't let the chickes lay so the chickens had to find another

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