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Need help with Muscovy Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gmtarsw, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. gmtarsw

    gmtarsw Out Of The Brooder

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    So i have a Muscovy duck who has started laying. i am super happy about this but she has started laying in my chicken coop in one of the hen bays. On the one hand this is GREAT, i love the spot she picked, the problem is that at night the chickens often sleep in that bay. which means the chickens are going to start the incubation process and not finish it and then my mother duck will not continue the process till its too late for many of the eggs. how do i fix this. i really want the muscovy's to have babies and raise them out with as few lost duck eggs as possible. please help with any recommendations you can!

    THank you!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I wish I had some experience with this!!! Hmmmm. @Miss Lydia has chickens and Muscovies . . . .
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I keep the door to my chicken coop closed during the day after I let out the chickens just to keep this from happening. Does your ducks have their own house to sleep and lay in? if so find a quiet corner and place a piece of scrap wood up to give your duck some privacy doesn't have to be anything fancy just lay it up against the wall [A frame style but only one half] and attach it so it won't fall on her.Then place her eggs in there. about all you can do and keep the door to the chickens coop closed. Once mine go broody I have successfully moved them to where I'd rather them brood and hatch. But since yours is just starting to lay you can hopefully encourage her to lay in a better place for her.
     
  4. gmtarsw

    gmtarsw Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank You Miss Lydia
    Ill see if i can't encourage her to lay in the duck hut. Thankfully last night i looked in the coop to see that none of the chickens were sleeping in that bay
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Keep us updated. Oh and the reason I can keep the door to the chicken coop closed is because my nest boxes are in the duck house that way I don't have to worry about my chickens sleeping in the nest boxes at night. [​IMG].
     
  6. horsemom1326

    horsemom1326 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. horsemom1326

    horsemom1326 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Muscovy is very easy to relocate. She has hatched in a horse stall, in a small chicken coop that my chickens had outgrown, and in a corner of my feed room. Once she has laid a few eggs, I can move the eggs along with mama, and she continues to return to that spot to lay. I never close her up until after the ducklings hatch. She actually chose to lay in my feed room, and I simply used 2 old pallets to give her privacy leaving her an exit route between the corners of the pallets. That being said, my girl has never had a successful unassisted hatch. Trying to be patient, I let her go 40 days before pipping the eggs for her. It was too late. She immediately started laying again. Miss Lydia walked me through my decision to assist this second clutch. I candled the eggs at the very end, and began pipping small holes as soon as I could tell the ducklings had broken through into the air cell. Still, none of the babies were able to break out of the shell on their own. I sat up for 27 hours hatching 4 surviving ducklings. Never remove the duckling from the bottom of the egg. They must remain in the egg until the yolk is absorbed. They will kick the shell away when they are ready. All of this takes place under a heat lamp. Her third clutch, I had to pip the eggs for her, but Mama continued sitting them, and she had a very successful hatch rate. Just last week, she went 38 days before any of the ducklings started breaking through into the air cell. I pipped one air hole, and returned the egg to the nest. It didn't survive. I removed 3 more eggs and went through the grueling hatching process. All 3 hatched, but Mama culled a weak one. I have 2 very healthy surviving ducklings that are currently housed in a horse stall. Mama flies out every day, but she hasn't figired out how to fly back in. She simply comes looking for me and leads me back to open the door for her. I will not allow Mama to take the babies out for maybe as much as a month, but even when I do, she will continue to bring them back to the stall at night if her habits don't change [​IMG] My only theory about our lack of success is that frequently her babies are not full muscovy. Many of them have been mallard crosses, and those seem to be the less likely to survive. Her most successful clutch appears to all be full muscovy. It's the only thing that makes sense to me since mallards incubate 28 days and Muscovies go 35. Sorry. I know that was way TMI [​IMG] Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. gmtarsw

    gmtarsw Out Of The Brooder

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    At how many eggs does a muscovy hen decide to stick around and brood
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Depends on the Muscovy some will begin to brood with 4 others will wait till they have 20. LOL I decide how many my girls will sit not them I wait till they go broody then remove egs till i get to a number i am happy with. But my girls usually go broody by # 8.
     
  10. horsemom1326

    horsemom1326 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine usually sits about 20, but some are never viable. Her largest number of surviving ducklings has been 9. It's usually more like 3 or 4. Her success rate isn't that great, but I think it's because some are usually mallard crosses.
     

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