When to take hatched ducklings out of the heighty nest?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Birdcrazy, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

    Dec 21, 2009
    Hey everyone, my muscovy, Charlotte, has just hatched out new babies ( [​IMG] )
    But when I discovered her nest for the first time when she became broody, it was in a large pot which no longer had a plant in it, next to the dog bed. I'm pretty worried about the ducklings trying to jump out of the nest and hurting themselves (concrete floor - not exactly in her pen), so I'm planning on taking them out myself when the times right.
    Question is, when is the right time to take the new babies out of the nest? They've been fluffy ducklings in the nest all today sitting under Charlotte, all looking pretty active.

    I've had a few problems with Charlotte's mothering skills on her first clutch, but this is her third and I think she's fine.
    When she jumped off today I also took all the babies out and put them next to the food, water, and Charlotte. Charlotte didn't take much notice of her babies, went for a bath, then was conent to jump back on her empty nest - sitting as though she was still on eggs, you know how they move their chest around to get comfy? [​IMG]

    After not really noticing her peeping ducklings or my calls I put the babies back in the nest with her. It seems she's missing the 'transitional stage' between eggs and ducklings?? I do know that ducklings stay in the nest til they've all hatched and dry, but they were all fluffy by this morning (its now 6.30pm for me). I've already had to put one duckling back in the nest with charlotte I found on the ground [​IMG]

    Should I just leave her with her ducklings tomorrow? Or put them all in the pen? I'm not going to be around tomorrow, so remove the nest?

    Any advice would be appreciated [​IMG] as my main problem is when to safely take the babies out of the nest.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  2. ugly ducky

    ugly ducky Songster

    Sep 26, 2008
    S.E. MO
    I'd just leave them alone, and she'll bring them out when she's ready, unless the nest is really high. Mine will nest about 4' off the ground, and their babies pop right out on their own with no injuries. New Momma ducks don't seem to pay much attention to their babies, but they're never too far away either. Being a Muscovy, I'd trust her judgement. Congrats on your new ducklings!
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I think that moving the nest away is a good idea. With the nest site gone she would have to devote all of her attention to the ducklings.
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Well speaking from experience, my Muscvoy hen hatched 20 ducklings on Friday. The place she chose to lay the eggs was in a very high nesting box that is about 5 feet high. (too high for my chickens) Anyway, when I got home on Friday, I noticed that she hatched 20 babies. I was so nervous about the babies being so high but decided that I would move all of them on the next day (Saturday morning) being as though I had to find and prepare a place for her and her babies and I ASSUMED that the babies would not leave the nest. Well guess what? It's Saturday morning and I'm preparing a place for the babies and the mama and I see little "yellow balls" running across the barnyard. I was like [​IMG] (WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT!!!!) Well, to my surprise the babies had literally FLEW THE COOP. When mama flew out to go eat and drink and bathe in the pool, the babies decided to follow her. They jumped out of the 5 ft nesting box and hit the ground running. Soooooo, to answer your question, I would move them if they are in a heighty nest. Luckily all of the babies survived. No injuries. If I had to do it again, I would NOT leave them in that nesting box. A lesson learned.

    Here is a pic of one of the little rug rats that flew the coop.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  5. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

    Dec 21, 2009
    Oooh wow long way to 'jump' out of a nest. A few have already jumped down and Charlotte has ignored their peeping so when I find them I put them back in. She's still sorta treating her ducklings like eggs... moving around in her nest ect... but I'm worried when the ducklings will need to eat and drink. It's pretty cold here so I hope she looks after them (winter here).
    I think I'll take them out to avoid 'jumpers' and take her nest away.
    Thanks guys [​IMG]
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    It's amazing how some birds nest up so high and expect their babies to jump that height. Look at killdeers who nest on roofs up to 2 or 3 stories. They expect their chicks to jump off the building and they do! Amazingly, many survive a fall they're not designed to survive. Wood ducks can jump off much higher spots, but they seem to be designed to do so.

    But, to answer your question, if you can move them, I would. Maybe you can make a second nest for your hen.
  7. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

    Dec 21, 2009
    Yeah I've been wondering for a while why these ducks do these 'natural things' which is not exactly designed for the babies, but ducks surprise me every day.

    Ok update about my hen - hard to type cuz my two ducklings I have seem to be obsessed with sitting on the keyboard so sorry for any typos [​IMG]
    Moved the ducklings into the pen and put charlotte in there with them before removing her pot-nest. She flew over the fence and fussed about her old nesting spot before going for a swim. I went to school, and my father watched over her. He put her nest back a little while later because he became worried about how much time she was fussing over her nest place and wanted her to accept it.
    When he did she jumped back in it and seemed to call for her ducklings and after a few minutes flew back into her pen and has been looking after her ducklings properly since then hurrah!! [​IMG]
    She's keeping them warm at this very moment [​IMG]
    Big improvement since her last clutch of ducklings. Oh and yup - a made a nest in the pen that the ducklings go into.

    I pulled the lid off the duck pond today to give the new babies a look and they all tumbled in for a quick swim [​IMG] I'm only going to take the lid off when I'm around for now, but they sure did love it!

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