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 Post subject: Muscovy laying habits
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Central Highlands, Qld
My muscovy became very broody and was sitting on a bunch of eggs. I didn't want cross breed ducklings so I ordered some runner eggs to swap with her eggs. Unfortunately last week we had lots of rain and her nest got flooded and although I tried to save the eggs she has now abandoned them. My problem is that the runner eggs will arrive either Tues or Wed. I have an incubator but I really wanted her to hatch the eggs so that she would look after the ducklings. Is it possible that she will start another nest or do muscovies only lay one batch a season?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Great Game
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Ok - I have a muscovy that will lay again within 2 weeks of the ducklings being taken from her (at one week old) BUT in this weather she may go off for a while. Has she completely abandoned the eggs, or the nest? I'd try to put some of the 'wet' eggs in a dry nest in the same area and see if she'll go back on; just a thought. I have a different duck that is young (sitting on 3rd clutch right now) and she will only sit under a piece of roofing iron in the open as when she had her first nest it poured and I put an old piece of iron over her to keep the rain off. She is currently sitting on 2 eggs under this piece of iron with the water flowing around her, up off the ground on sticks, branches, leaves and hay; I thought she had no chance of hatching but candled them tonight to find 2 very healthy ducklings growing inside! You could also try the runner eggs under a broody chook but remember in any case the humidity at the end has to be higher than for a chook egg.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:32 pm 
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Wise One
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stutzygirl wrote:
Is it possible that she will start another nest?

You may find, at this time of the year, that your mussie girl will go into a heavy moult now, meaning she won't be wanting to lay and hatch eggs for awhile. Still, some of my girls are still laying, even though half moulted, so guess anything is possible.


stutzygirl wrote:
or do muscovies only lay one batch a season?

Mussies can hatch two, three or even more clutches a season. If ducklings are left with mum for longer periods, then probably less batches. But if ducklings are removed early, mum will have a little time to get over her broodiness, then will commence to lay another clutch. The earlier in the season she commences laying/setting will also influence the number of young she will/can hatch in a season.

As she is no longer interested in brooding, you may have to use your incubator or find an alternative broody for your runner eggs

Cheers :)

rollyard


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:20 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Natobeth wrote:
Has she completely abandoned the eggs, or the nest?


Yes I dried them off then put them in the same nest but she kept kicking the eggs out and letting them go cold. When I candled them, only 3 had embryos in them but they had died.

Thanks for your info Rollyard, hopefully she won't go into moult yet.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:57 am 
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Assist Admin
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You still have some options...

Quote:
My problem is that the runner eggs will arrive either Tues or Wed. I have an incubator but I really wanted her to hatch the eggs


Does that mean that they are being posted today - if so can you delay their despatch?

But they should be OK in an incubator - get it set up ready. I have successfully hatched Mallard and Campbell eggs in a Hova-bator.

Natobeth wrote:
You could also try the runner eggs under a broody chook but remember in any case the humidity at the end has to be higher than for a chook egg.

The increased humidity may not be as important as some people think - my chooks hatch duck eggs without any interference or adjustment of humidity etc. That said, I am in a coastal climate and ambient humidity can get pretty high especially in the warmer months. :wink: But if given the choice, nest on the ground rather than in dry shavings may be preferable. In my incubator I didn't increae the humidity either - I tried spraying eggs once and I believe that he shock to the embryo of water not at exactly the right temperature can do more harm than good..

Best wishes and good luck! A back-up broody is always a handy thing to have when buying eggs! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:56 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Hi everyone,

I have found that a broody hen hatches duck eggs much better that an incubator maybe you could but the eggs under a hen stutzygirl?

Regards David

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Unfortunately I only have laying breed hens at the moment that never go broody. My silkies live at the school I teach at but I am on maternity leave. I think the incubator will have to do. I just like the thought of a duck bringing up the ducklings, I think it is very sweet how protective they are. It also saves me setting up the brooder box and cleaning it out 3 times a day!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:13 pm 
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Wise One
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stutzygirl wrote:
I just like the thought of a duck bringing up the ducklings, I think it is very sweet how protective they are. It also saves me setting up the brooder box and cleaning it out 3 times a day!


Yep, understand what your saying stutzygirl, I tend to feel the same. Hope all goes well and you get your little runners out :P

rollyard :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:32 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Caboolture, SE Queensland
i must have done something wrong because my mother ducks were never protective of there babies! except once when the little guy escaped the cage and mum couldnt run after it.


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