Please Help! My Muscovy hens sitting on unfertilized eggs since July 1 (40 days!)


Apr 20, 2021
Washington State
I acquired two Muscovy females at the end of April. I was told they were probably hatched in February but realize now it was probably more like December because they became broody on July 1. I love them dearly but have no previous experience with ducks which has been so stressful because I couldn't figure out what was happening. They have apparently built nests somewhere under the very large house I live in but I'm physically unable to get underneath, it's basically crawl space. I have tried shining a flashlight under the house but I'm unable to see anything. I worry about them constantly, they only surface once every 2-3 days to eat and run frantically back under the house. I tried to barricade the areas I saw them enter with baby gates and bags of landscaping rocks but they just went under the deck to get there.
I don't know what to do! They abandoned their duck run and seemingly have no interest in returning. They have a duck house in their pen, I don't understand why they insist on going under the house. They completely changed overnight and appear to be miserable. They went from loving each other and spending all day happily following me around to screeching maniacally and being physically aggressive with each other. I don't know if they are molting naturally or ripping out their feathers to line their nests but they look terrible. They aren't eating every day and I'm worried a predator could get them since they're no longer sleeping in their house at night. It's been 40 days and they're not giving up. What on earth can I do now?? How do I get them to stop sitting on unfertilized eggs and killing themselves in the process?
If by some miracle they do stop on their own, how can I prevent this from happening again? Will they ever go back to the way they were before this started? I'm a nervous wreck.


Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
Carnation, Wa
This sounds horrible, I'm so sorry. I don't have muscovies, so allow me to tag some members who do. Hopefully they can tag others who I've forgotten have muscovies. @Miss Lydia @SolarDuck @Daphne_loves_mealworms

When they come out for food can you lock them in their pen or house? Will they go in for commercial duck food, mealworms, or another favorite treat?

Crazy Maizie

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2020
Muscovy will sit until something hatches unless their nest is destroyed and eventually they just give up with you persistently kick them out of the nesting area.
I agree with Kale, you will have to block them from getting under the house. They generally will come off to eat and drink. If you cannot do that, you will have to find a way to catch them. Maybe using a long net or pole to poke them out of the area. They really need to be cooped or a predator will eventually find them. Maybe placing them in the coop and locking thme up will help overcome their broodiness as well because generally they like to nest in the spot they choose.
Also, if you cannot get to them, maybe find someone who can. Even an animal removal service could help as long as you explain that they are pets.
As far as aggressiveness, once they are over their broodiness they should go back to normal. I have 3 females and they go back and forth over being frenemies. I am always glad once the broodiness subsides.
I've got one on round 2 this season. 🙄
The fun never ends!

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
Mountains of Western N.C.
I have 3 on round 2 :rolleyes:. I had to use hardware cloth and cover every small entrance they could get under. Even places I was amazed they got into. At least now they brood inside their house and I make sure they come out daily.
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Jun 14, 2022
Muscovy ducks are wild animals not pets. Mother nature will take care of them they don't need anyone's help. So just leave them be! At much as we think they want our help they don’t. What ever happens to eggs is not our call. It just like hawks stealing the babies after they are born is all part of nature as hawks have to eat as well. Don't mess with the circle of life as it is what it is. Just remember where your food come from the next time your eating at McDonald's.

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