Breeding Muscovy Ducks?

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Boghopper
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Breeding Muscovy Ducks?

Post: #273249 Boghopper
Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:53 pm

Hi,
We have 2 Muscovy ducks and a drake. One of the ducks recently sat on a clutch of eggs for 40 days before we took them off her- most of them were putrid and yucky when we broke them open, but one had a pretty well developed (dead) duckling inside. What went wrong?
The other one has just started to lay and I want to make sure it works out this time- should I take the eggs off her and give them back when she's laid a clutch? Should I let her nest on the ground or in a box? Anything else I should or shouldn't do?
Thanks for any advice anyone might have

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Breeding Muscovy Ducks?

Post: #273252 diggernotdreamer
Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:35 pm

Sounds like to me that most of the eggs had not been fertilised, as for the dead duckling, this does happen sometimes. Have you seen your drake mating with the ducks? Did she sit on the eggs all the time or did she come off them for a day or two? I had muscovy ducks that took it in turn to sit on the eggs and they reared the ducklings together, I have had ducks that need complete privacy and won't tolerate others coming near them, they build nests in hedges, in my bags of hay, and just about anywhere else they take a shine to, so I dont think that is the issue. They usually don't like a clutch to be tampered with and will find somewhere else to go if you take the eggs away (well mine do because they are very free range). You could get a nice big box for her to lay in and if she does go broody and want to sit, you can then pick it up and put it in a safe private place where if the ducklings hatch she can rear them in safety.

Boghopper
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Re: Breeding Muscovy Ducks?

Post: #273266 Boghopper
Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:46 pm

Thanks for your answer.
Well, we only got our drake the day after the duck started laying- we thought they wouldn't start laying til later in the year, but it was late January. So I reckoned some of the eggs wouldn't be fertile- but there were a lot of eggs- 18 I think.

We have made a nice big box for her now (the last one was a box for laying hens and a bit small) so should we transfer the eggs and hope that she'll lay in the new box?
Thanks

seasidegirl
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Re: Breeding Muscovy Ducks?

Post: #275256 seasidegirl
Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:33 am

Hello Boghopper and all,

I've been away for a while - busy writing.

We've got a pair of Muscovy ducks and going through similar traumas. First couple of batches 'our Vera' laid were randomly dropped (and abandoned) all over the place. Some on concrete outside my kitchen door :icon_smile:

Finally on her third batch she made a proper nest and sat on them for 23 hours a day only leaving for one hour's food, water, swim and exercise. Poor thing she even held in her poo for 23 hours! Unfortunately she made her nest behind our shed instead of in their fox-proof duck house where we usually lock them overnight. We considered moving eggs but decided to leave in case she rejected them. Her nest was well hidden but they found her. Possibly as the eggs were hatching and gave off a scent? Amazingly she escaped them herself. My son heard commotion in night (seagull chorus too) opened door to garden and she ran/flew in house. I'm guessing it was like a scene from the film Chicken Run but is only a guess as I fell asleep watching it. :oops: Son saw foxes with eggs in mouth and we were not left with one piece of shell.

I haven't really got the answer to your question as am puzzling stuff out myself. Only thing is I wouldn't touch the eggs unless she's already abandoned them. Ours likes piles of sticks, small branches/logs. I think their natural nest would be in shrubs or trees. She lined her nest and coated the eggs with her own downy feathers (literally pulled her hair out for her offspring) so it might be worth putting some feathers where you want her to nest if any are floating around.

Last thing is I think that VEra might have been protecting her eggs from her partner (Jack) by nesting behind shed. He's a bit fat and not very agile and can't get round there. Drakes are supposed to be banned from ducklings so she probably doesn't trust him.

Good luck.

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