Muscovy question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by thereseiam, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. thereseiam

    thereseiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Durant, Iowa
    Hi all,

    I have had two clutches of Muscovy hatch so far this year, and I'm guessing that my drake was not very mature, as I only had one duckling from the one clutch, and four from the other. I now have a hen sitting on 14 eggs, and since it is much later in the season, and my drake is a lot bigger, I'm hoping for better results.

    Here's the issue. The one duckling disappeared about 36 hours after hatching, and only two of the four ducklings from the second clutch lived. I have to think that I have a snake who is eating ducklings as I am not losing adult birds, just the wee ones.

    I know that the Muscovy hens are wonderful mothers, so would it be a huge problem to bring mama duck into the barn with her brood when they hatch and live in a stall until they were big and fast enough to not be snake food? I hate to kill a snake (I think it's a fox snake, I've saved him from our dog once, and know he lives in the area where our duck house is) since their normal diet is mice and rats, NOT ducklings--but I don't want to lose any more ducks, either.

    Thoughts, suggestions? There's not really any chance that mama duck would abandon her brood due to the trauma of being moved and confined for a few weeks, is there? I was thinking that as long as she had her babies with her, she'd be fine.

    Thanks!

    Therese
     
  2. HenPen

    HenPen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I would move her into the stall once everyone is hatched out.....she will be fine with her brood but she may abandon a nest if you move her and her eggs.
     
  3. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know that the Muscovy hens are wonderful mothers, so would it be a huge problem to bring mama duck into the barn with her brood when they hatch and live in a stall until they were big and fast enough to not be snake food?

    I'd do it. [​IMG] She will want to stay w/her babies. Don't be surprised though, if she "freakes out" just a bit until she gets used to the new accomodations.​
     
  4. thereseiam

    thereseiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Durant, Iowa
    Thanks! I definitely will wait until the ducklings have hatched before I move mama and her babies--but I really do think that everyone will be safer indoors until the ducklings are a little bigger.

    This is one of those times where a net is going to come in very handy--and I have no doubt that I am going to have one very, very upset hen. Poor girl--wish I could explain to her that I have only the best interest of her and her babies in mind.

    Therese
     
  5. Snakeman

    Snakeman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2010
    I have collected snakes for a long time(since age 9) and consider livestock barns a good place to find them. Also was wondering, could it be a hawk or eagle? We have a few of those around here.
     
  6. thereseiam

    thereseiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Durant, Iowa
    We do have a lot of bald eagles in our area, but I thought that if an eagle were preying on my flock that I'd lose adults rather than fuzzy ducklings, wouldn't I? And you're absolutely correct, when I've caught the fox snake and the bull snakes, they were all right around the barn area. I don't bother them (much, I do like to hold them--the fox snake really tries to convince me he's a rattler) but just try to get them to go into the fields around our property. They do, but I'm sure they just come right back.

    I worry about the big birds of prey because I have 2 Chihuahuas and 2 papillons, and I don't even want to think about them getting taken by a hawk or an eagle.

    Therese
     
  7. Snakeman

    Snakeman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2010
    Smaller animals are at higher risk because a bird of prey would prefer to carry it off to a safe place. Smaller is easier to carry.
     
  8. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2009
    Therese, I have nothing to add to this thread except to say that I love your signature quote. [​IMG]
     

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