Muscovy hatched out ducklings

Genipher

Songster
8 Years
Jan 9, 2013
33
38
104
My Muscovy mama hatched out ducklings today. I know she had 13 eggs but I'm not sure how many hatched--they were all hidden under her (and pretty quiet!).

The nest is in an old drawer padded with hay and feathers. Will they be able to get out on their own or should I give them something to get out?

Also, how soon do they need to eat?

How much should I mess with them? My drake, usually ok with my presence, wasn't thrilled with me getting too close tonight.

Any advice is appreciated!
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,085
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New Zealand
Your Muscovy duck may stay sitting for a few days to ensure all that are going to hatch have, and by that time her hatched ducklings will be getting peckish so she'll leave the nest to rustle up some food for them. They should be able to get out but just keep an eye on them. They likely will be very protective of them but hand feed the adults if they'll let you and the ducklings will learn that you mean food.

I bet you can't wait to get a good look at them. They'll be so cute. 🥰
 

Genipher

Songster
8 Years
Jan 9, 2013
33
38
104
Your Muscovy duck may stay sitting for a few days to ensure all that are going to hatch have, and by that time her hatched ducklings will be getting peckish so she'll leave the nest to rustle up some food for them. They should be able to get out but just keep an eye on them. They likely will be very protective of them but hand feed the adults if they'll let you and the ducklings will learn that you mean food.

I bet you can't wait to get a good look at them. They'll be so cute. 🥰

I did nudge mama duck up a bit so I could see. Looks like a mound of yellow fluff under her. :love

My drake is pretty good with me but he was huffing and puffing a bit at how close I was. Even the mama's sister-wife was a bit irritated with me. lol.

Do ducks feed their babies like other birds? Regurgitating?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,085
24,220
951
New Zealand
Cute. 💗

Ducks just show their babies what's good to eat. It's only baby birds that are born naked and helpless that need to be physically fed by their parents.

Just watch that your drake is OK with the ducklings when they are up and about. I think drakes can get a bit jealous of ducklings sometimes. Hopefully someone else can advise you on that. We only have Muscovy hens at the moment as the young drake we kept turned out to be a nasty fellow and nothing we did would make him change his ways.
 

Genipher

Songster
8 Years
Jan 9, 2013
33
38
104
Well, I'm feeling a bit depressed. Started off with 10 ducklings and now I have only 4!!

2 today we're walking "funny" outside with mama duck...hard to describe, I just know that it wasn't quite right. And less than 30 minutes later I looked outside and they were dead.

Tonight I found another dead in the shed.

So I'm guessing they have some kind of disease...? Or maybe my drake, who seems to get along with them just fine when I'm watching, is killing them when I'm not looking? They don't have a mark on them, though.

sigh.

I'm thinking tomorrow of taking all the babies but one and putting them in a brooder. That is, if any are still alive by tomorrow morning.

Any thoughts on why they're all dying??
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,712
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I generally confine my mom and ducklings for a week or two, or even three. Before I started doing this I would lose babies as the mom took them outside, and they probably became chilled, exhausted, or didn't eat much. Those ducklings need time to gain strength, and they need the food and water close. Sorry you lost some.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,085
24,220
951
New Zealand
Well, I'm feeling a bit depressed. Started off with 10 ducklings and now I have only 4!!

2 today we're walking "funny" outside with mama duck...hard to describe, I just know that it wasn't quite right. And less than 30 minutes later I looked outside and they were dead.

Tonight I found another dead in the shed.

So I'm guessing they have some kind of disease...? Or maybe my drake, who seems to get along with them just fine when I'm watching, is killing them when I'm not looking? They don't have a mark on them, though.

sigh.

I'm thinking tomorrow of taking all the babies but one and putting them in a brooder. That is, if any are still alive by tomorrow morning.

Any thoughts on why they're all dying??

I've only just started keeping ducks so I don't have experience with this sort of situation I'm afraid. Hopefully someone else can give you some ideas as to what's going on.

I'm sorry you are losing babies. :hugs
 

416bigbore

I am A Big Boy Now!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 11, 2020
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Sorry for your loss,:( hopefully the others would will make it. I am no expert but if it were me I would pull the remaining four babies and get them into a heated brooder with the right baby duckling food and get the Niacin started. Sometimes intervention is the best way for everyone involved. Best of luck and please keep us posted. :)
 

Genipher

Songster
8 Years
Jan 9, 2013
33
38
104
I've had mama and babies in a separate area in the shed today, away from the Drake. And they seem to be doing fine. They have food and water. I've been adding brewers yeast for niacin.

I'm kicking myself for letting them go outside so early. ☹️
IMG_20201201_123121377.jpg
 

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