Muscovy ducks winter hatching, etc.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GodsProvision, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. GodsProvision

    GodsProvision Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    Sachse, Texas
    Two things: Winter hatching and what to do with a dead duck found today.

    We have two hens and a drake who have helped provide us with over 30 ducks since May 2014. We thought they were done until the spring, but one of the hens started laying again two weeks ago. We are in north Texas near Dallas, so the weather has its ups and downs. There are 15 eggs that she has been sitting on for the last couple of days. Will these hatch in the winter? We were talking about just eating the eggs or trying to incubate them. Please help.

    We still have several ducks that are over 14 weeks old and in the processing queue. One of them was found dead today in the pen. The kids said it looked funny prior to that and was not moving normally. We were going to process it, but were not sure if it is safe to eat. Please advise on this. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would not eat the duck if it appeared to have been "off" before going. If you have a good supply of sawdust and-or peat moss, and space to lay it on about ten inches of that material with a foot or so on all sides and top, you ought to be able to compost it.

    Your local extension office, or NRCS technicians (if they are worth their salt) can find publications on composting "mortalities." It goes without saying, but someone will point this out, that if there are predators in the area, you would need to prevent them from getting to the compost.
     
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  3. GodsProvision

    GodsProvision Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    Sachse, Texas
    @Amiga Thank you for the advice! We will weigh out our options on how to proceed. It is cold so we were not sure if it was just too much for this one or if it was injured somehow. They do have heat lamps.

    We started the clock on the eggs that are being sat on and will see how that goes unless someone has different advice on those.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    If your duck is dedicated and is able to cover 15 eggs then ducklings when they hatch they maybe fine you'll have to make sure she is doing her job though and keeping them all warm some mamas are slack in that department and the duckling will chill and die so be ready to brood them yourself just in case. She maybe able to handle half you may get the rest. It's real tricky this time of year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
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  5. GodsProvision

    GodsProvision Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    Sachse, Texas
    Thank you. We have been brooding them previously as the drake was a bit rough with them and the other hen seemed to be after them as well.

    Update: We had another casualty today. I think it is the cold and I think some of them found some water to stand in along with the cold. The temperatures have been in the upper 30s here and we got some rain.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I'm sorry to hear this, do they have shelter to get into out of the weather?
    and yes I keep my mamas and ducklings separated from the rest of the flock by temp fencing and their own shelter till around 3 weeks old. they can all see each other but the adults can't get to them.
     
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  7. GodsProvision

    GodsProvision Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    Sachse, Texas
    Yes, they have a shelter and heat lamps. They don't all seem to be bright enough to go in as needed.

    We had some trouble with mixing the different age groups when we had three different clutches at the same time.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How is it going today? it's hard mixing the olders sometimes can really pick on the younger ones.
     
  9. GodsProvision

    GodsProvision Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    Sachse, Texas
    We lost about three older ducks. None of the adults. Still no hatchlings and it has been over 35 days at least from when we started counting. Could the cold weather make a difference? Again there is a heat lamp inside and we have had it on during colder days/nights. Our other hen has been laying as well recently. Thank you!
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Do you know what happened to the ducks you lost? heat lamps aren't really necessary and are dangerous in our coops. I think I'd candle take a few at a time and go into a dark room and see what's going on in those eggs, before you put them back if there are viable mark them I use a water based marker that way when you put those back you won't be picking them up to candle again. smell them too. candle all eggs a few at a time.The cooler weather could slow down development but if mom is sitting constant she is keeping temp constant too. unless she has too many eggs and having a hard time covering them all. so sorry for your loss.
     

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