Separating ducklings from mother

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bubbleberry, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. bubbleberry

    bubbleberry In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2013
    I've got a broody muscovy 2 weeks from hatch day and I'm planning to take the ducklings and put them in a brooder.

    She hatched some last year and is a great mum (aggressive, though) but in order to keep them safe from rats and buzzards I had to keep them in a shed. Mum duck lost weight and looked awful by the time they left her at 5 weeks. She had room to move around and it was light and airy but certainly not free range like she's used to.

    Just want your thoughts on taking the ducklings away when they hatch. Is it unfair?

  2. Trifolium

    Trifolium In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    Some breeders let their muscovy hatch and then take away their ducklings to hand raise themselves. This method, the ducklings won't recognize mommy and vice versa, and they won't have a bond with their mother when they grow up. If you want your muscovies to get back into laying sooner, take them away.

    Usually they get skinny when sitting on eggs for 33+ days.

    I personally prefer to let my muscovy provide heat and let her talk and teach the ducklings. It's less maintenance for me as she watches over them in an enclosed area that is for just mommy and the ducklings. Ducklings seem smarter when reared by smart moms. I've had some muscovies that are not good mothers, such as not extending their wings to cover the babies for warmth, or just plain out not providing for them. In this case, I would just take them away and raise myself.

    I feed my newborn ducklings a higher protein feed than the rest of the flock, so mommy duck eating this stuff will quickly regain her weight as well.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    We sell most of our ducklings so we usually incubate our eggs but we always have hens hatching nests too. Sometimes we let the hen keep a couple ducklings if she is determined to be a mother and then pair them later to sell but then we have to keep them confined in a covered area to keep the ducklings safe from crows for a few weeks before they go out in the yard.

    I think either method of raising ducklings can work depending on your goals. When people buy ducklings they like them young to socialize them but I like letting the hens do the work of raising ducklings if we are keeping them and the hen is wary enough of predators to keep her babies safe.
  4. bubbleberry

    bubbleberry In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2013
    Thank you for the replies. She's a great mum, very aggressive though so there would be no hope handling the ducklings. I'd rather let her raise them but if I can't get a better enclosure for them all then it's good to know I can put the babies in a brooder :)

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