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Muscovy Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Datacross, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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    Hi all,
    I've got two Muscovy ducklings in a brooder right now. They were seperate from their (domesticated) mother two days ago, at 1 and a half weeks old so the poor guys are pretty stressed :( I've got a heat lamp on them, they've got water and feed, and have some towels to nestle in (opposite side of their heat lamp) is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable? It's hard to clean their brooder out because they get so stressed when I enter in their space.

    So I guess, what are signs that the temp in the brooder is either too hot or too cold? What are some things I can do to help them become more comfortable in their brooder, if not around me as well? And what are some extreme signs of distress I shouldn't ignore?

    I've tried giving them little fruit and veggie snacks but they refuse to eat it and let it sit on the bottom of the brooder so I'm not really sure what else to do besides giving them space. I've laid and sat beside the brooder doing my own thing so they can start to get used to my presence as well. I just don't want to end up scaring them even more
     
  2. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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    Hi @WVduckchick I was wondering if you or anyone you know could help answer my questions?
     
  3. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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    Sorry, double post
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  4. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds

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    Sounds like you are doing fine. So were these ones that you got from someone who let a broody hatch them?

    As far as the brooder temps, they will move away from the heat if its too hot, just make sure they have room to get away. Put the lamp on one end if you can. If they stay directly under it, try lowering it. If they always stay away, then its likely too warm. They should move in and out of the warmth whenever they want.

    Move slowly around them, and when you reach toward them, try to do it from the side, not straight down on them.

    They probably won't like treats this early either, so dont be alarmed about that. I've never raised muscovy, so I'm going to tag @Miss Lydia for more assistance. She may not see this tonite, but will help tomorrow.

    Good luck!

    Edit to fix wording error
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  5. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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    Thanks! I'm a bit more relieved after your post anyway. Yes, a neighbor of mine had two muscovies that flew away to live on the canals once they were grown. They came back, snuck in his chicken coop, and both laid clutches of eggs in the same nest. After that, only one of the muscovies ever came back so she sat and hatched both clutches. 4 or 5 were infertile, but the rest survived and hatched (a total of somewhere around 20-24) he originally seperate just the runt and one that had sustained a permanent injury to his eye at hatching, they were never really around the broody so it was easy. However this was her first time laying and she became overwhelmed so now, nearly 2 weeks later, we have two of the ducklings and I'm just really afraid of them being too stressed from being seperated
     
  6. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds

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    Wow that's interesting that they came "home" to lay their clutches. Maybe something normal for muscovies, I dont know.

    My sister in law keeps some. Her female hatched several out not long ago, and left them very early.

    I think if you work with them slowly, they will be fine!

    Post some pics if you can :)
     
  7. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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    I'll post some pics later in the day as they've finally calmed down for a bit of a rest! Haha, and yeah, I think it has something to do with the other elements in our neighborhood's environment. There's a lot of construction going on throughout the whole area and there is also a pack of coyotes that live somewhere nearby and they're pretty ballsy. I've had to help my neighbor pen up his ducks and chickens quickly one evening (around 5pm) when a coyote decided it was time for an all you can eat buffet.... while 3 grown humans were in the same yard! It was crazy. They're being pushed into residential areas unfortunately :( I really hate all of the commercializing they're doing of the only land the coyotes, gators, coons, etc had left.

    I'm not sure if it's normal of muscovies. Before laying they returned usually once a day to sneak some of the chicken food as well. I think they just knew where to go if they got really hungry and where to be safe.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @Datacross Welcome to BYC.

    Sounds to me like you have everything going in the right direction and @WVduckchick has given great info.
    I'd stick with their starter feed only until you can offer them a bit of grit if feeding anything other than stater they need grit to be able to process it since they don't chew with teeth. The link I am giving you will help with other basics.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    My Ducklings that are hatched and raised by mama ducks don't tend to be as friendly right off as brooded ducklings that started that way so give them time and patience they will come around. What you doing by sitting and talking softly or singing or reading out loud will help them to recognize your voice and become less afraid.

    When cleaning their brooder or entering into their space let them hear your voice long before they see you then you aren't sneaking up on them like a predator. Then just take them out of their brooder after a few min. clean their brooder and put them back they will get use to the routine. Mine like routine coming out in the mornings eating knowing at a certain time of the day they will get snack going into their house at night. They get use to this.

    If you can get some chick grit and want to ry some shredded up lettuce in a bit of water they may go for it. Mine aren't too crazy about fruit. They do like tomatoes etc. but at such a young age i don't usually intro too many foods other than their starter. also in the info link it talks about niacin or brewers yeast which is important for water fowl. so be sure to read.

    Please let us know how they are doing and of course pics.

    You might try laying on the floor with them close by and see if they won't snuggle with you they also like stuffed animals to snuggle under they do get messy but I just toss in the washing machine when they do. [the stuffed animals not the ducklings]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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    Here's a picture of the ducklings I took while I was cleaning out their brooder. It's not a very close up one because I was trying not to spook them. They've gotten better with me being nearby their brooder but still freak when I enter into their space. Hopefully they will continue to progress.

    Unfortunately I had them outside on my screened in porch to get a little sun and the mamma found out where they were. Probably reset my progress a bit :/ I should have been more careful
     
  10. Datacross

    Datacross Just Hatched

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