Muscovy mother nips and chases some of her ducklings! Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by FreeRangeDomain, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. FreeRangeDomain

    FreeRangeDomain New Egg

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Near Butterworth
    Hi all,

    My friend and I are relatively new to keeping muscovies and certainly new to raising them! Our first clutch of eggs hatched on 2 Jan 2011 producing 10 ducklings. We have the mother and her ducklings in a seperate run while the drake and the other duck are out and about. This morning I noticed the mother 'picking on' one of the little ones by nipping it quite harshly and chasing it when it ran away squealing - I was under the impression muscovies made excellent mothers - is this normal and expected behaviour? She seems to only be doing this with one of the ducklings - should we seperate it from the mother? Any advice would be welcome.

    Thanks
    Dwight

    Some pics of the bunch:

    [​IMG]
    One day old, so sweet!

    [​IMG]
    Mother and her family


    [​IMG]
    The drake and duck that make up the rest of our small but growing flock.
     
  2. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    minnesota!!!!
    No! put the babies in a brooder and care for them yourself if she is still doing this!!!!!

    my rouen killed all but 3 of her 10 ducklings because she was laying more eggs and wanted to set on those eggs without caring for her other ducklings
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    My muscovy didn't do this to her brood, now her sisters did if they got too close to them, you need to check this little one out, might be something wrong and mom is trying to get rid of it, They'll do that if one is sick. She could do serious harm to it if you leave it with her. Oh sorry! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Colorado
    Momma ducks will reject a sick duck. They will also sometimes ip at a duck that is doing something wrong. I saw Chrissy (my insane runner that went broody and hatched out a clutch) nip at ducklings that tried to eat plastic or wonder too far away.

    What was the duckling doing when mom nipped?
     
  5. FreeRangeDomain

    FreeRangeDomain New Egg

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Near Butterworth
    Thanks for the excellent feedback. I sat and watched them yesterday afternoon for a while and it seems mother has backed off a bit - its difficult to see if she is singling one particular duck out as there are a few with almost identical markings. I will isolate any that she does this to today and see if she stops altogether. The ducklings are all looking healthy and happy, they are all active tearing after any flying insects and jumping up to get at them, its great to see. They are all very inquisitive, snuffling under anything they find and none seem to be sick so perhaps it was just a temporary behaviour. I will keep you all informed. Thanks so much for the heartfelt support!
    Dwight
     
  6. FreeRangeDomain

    FreeRangeDomain New Egg

    5
    0
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    Jan 1, 2011
    Near Butterworth
    Well after sitting and observing yesterday it seems that the nasty nipping is a thing of the past - when she did it on the few occasions I witnessed it previously, it seemed like she was trying to exclude one of the ducklings as if it were from another brood. All is well that ends well and they seem to have all settled down again and all is peaceful and amicable. Thanks again for the support.

    Dwight
     

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