Please describe a broody muscovy!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by savingdogs, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, I'm a duck newbie. I have muscovy hens (and a drake) that I purchased last spring. They have been laying nice eggs for awhile. We recently put up the winter quarters, ducky Taj Mahal, complete with nesting areas, feeding areas and a covered ramp/porch. All from recycled materials, so not particularly pretty but the ducks are pleased. Overlooks their pond.
    One has been acting strange for a few days, doesn't seem to walk around much, hangs out inside the Taj Mahal and keeps its neck kind of low. My ducks free range in the goat paddock, so it is possible that she was stepped on by a frolicking goat or otherwise injured, but we see nothing outwardly wrong and she is eating and drinking, etc. But usually she is sitting on the nest, from which I have removed eggs, not necessarily hers, as they all like to lay in this same nest.

    It is getting real dark here so far north on the globe and we do not light or heat the Taj Mahal, could she be going broody in November? I wasn't expecting this until spring and have been removing all eggs. Would ducklings hatched in wintery, snowy conditions survive? I wanted to raise ducklings but did not picture this as the time of year. She seems to squack at me when I go in and remove eggs more than before as well, but all my ducks are very shy, won't eat out of my hand.

    Could this be broodiness? [​IMG]
     
  2. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like she's broody, and if she or the other hens are laying eggs then it does mean they'll sit on them at this time of year [​IMG]
    A broody duck usually stays pretty fluffed up, generally will be snappy and grumpy at the other ducks (mine tends to chase the dog around) and will squeak alot. Mine tucks in her neck, wags her tail, fluffs herself up and squeaks/hisses at the dog and other young ducks.
    If your hens sitting on the nest full time it means she's trying to hatch the ducklings and would be broody, but sometimes a duck will sit on and off, semi-broody. My girl is currently sitting on an empty nest and is very determined about it [​IMG]
    Also if theres lots of down feathers in the nest its another sign.

    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  3. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I should have mentioned the feathers! Yes, she has pulled some out, or one of them has.

    But I should not give her eggs right now, right? I can't see how this would be the right time to have ducklings.......
     
  4. Surehatch

    Surehatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feathers getting pulled out is normally a good indication of broodyness
     
  5. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, for me its spring and I'm not sure what kind of weather your experiencing, but generally the mother can keep the ducklings warm enough it most conditions. How has your weather been?
    So it seems your duck is deffinitely broody [​IMG]
     
  6. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well right now we are getting into the 40s at night, but in a month it would be freezing! I think the best choice would be to wait......I cannot see myself cleaning out the duck house in January of duckling poo! Maybe this is just a sign that the ducks like the new enclosure?
     
  7. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    The ducklings would likely do fine. Mommas are usually much better at keeping them warm and healthy than we are -- in all conditions. But if you don't want ducklings that's fine, too. Just continue to take the eggs.
     
  8. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    But I DO want ducklings, just not ones that die in winter. I'm selling the duck eggs to a customer so I'd rather not waste them, but if I could get more muscovy over the winter that would just put us farther ahead.
    We never get below 10 degrees or so, but we have had up to 4 feet of snow although usually less. We are on a mountain in the Cascades, but on the warmer, wetter side in the Pacific Northwest and our house sits on a south facing slope in a little valley at the top of the mountain.

    We hope to thaw their little pond with one of those bird bath warmers. The Taj Mahal is only about 8 x 8 and I have four hens and a drake living in there, although they only go in at night, except Ms. Broody. She doesn't actually have a name as she is one of triplets that look exactly alike. There is a ramp going out of that a duckling could navigate, but we have been feeding just layer pellets and have no way to separate their feed at the moment.

    Does this sound like she could raise ducklings in there? I've only had one successful hatch with my chickens so I'm pretty new at this broodiness thing, and I put them in a different poultry house which is currently occupied. I guess I could get flock raiser and supplement with oyster shell? And I'm thinking ALOT more bedding. Would my drake leave the ducklings alone...he is very mellow and sweet fellow and we picked him from our "straight run" batch because of his extreme docility.
    I wasn't really prepared yet is what I'm saying I guess, but I'd like to be!
     

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