hatching duck eggsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Hello. On our little farm, we have a few Muscovy ducks, and a few rouens. Both breeds laid their eggs in a nest, and a muscovy hen is sitting on them. There are 7 green rouen eggs, and 9 white muscovy eggs. I know that the muscovy eggs take 35 days instead of the usual 28 to hatch. I also know that the muscovies and rouens interbred, so heaven only knows exactly what is in those eggs. I am wondering if the ducklings will hatch out a week apart, or all together. Should I take away the early hatchers so that the hen will stay with the rest? If I do, will she take them all back later? Ah, such fun little problems on the farm!! Thanks.
-- Kim (email@example.com), July 26, 2000
My limited experience with Muscovies is that she will abandon the next within a day or so after the first ones hatch out. She may remain to sit on the rest of the eggs if the early hatchlings are removed. I have only raised a couple of batches of ducklings separately and it was really simple. Just put them in a large cardboard box at first with a chick feeder (containing birdfeed) and a waterer (the ones which use a canning jar). It was summer so didn't provide a heat lamp and they didn't seem to need it. They pretty well take care of themselves. Once a bit larger (so they don't slip between the wires), I transfer them to a hardware wire cage. When they seem large enough to take care of themselves, about 6" tall, they are just put with the rest of the ducks when they are around the garage/workshop. In the future, if possible, separate out the eggs so one ducks is only sitting on one kind.
-- Ken S. (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
It is my understanding that Muscovy ducks are not really ducks--they are much closer genetically to geese--therefore I do not think they can be cross bred. I imagine that you will get either Muscovy babies or Rouen babies. I didn't feed my babies birdseed. I fed them unmedicated chick starter (crumbles) instead. If you are feeding them birdseed, they will need grit so they will be able to grind the seeds in their gizzards.
-- Green (email@example.com), July 28, 2000.
In Europe for a gourmet duck they cross the Muscovy and what we would call the Long Island White. However, the offsprings are always sterile.
-- Ken S. (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 29, 2000.
Kim, how are the eggs doing? I can't find anything on the interbreeding of the 2 types, so haven't got an answer for you on that one, just that mating is one thing, fertilizing is another. Sounds like your best idea is to take the first hatchers away. She may or may not take them back. If you try it, give the last ones hatched a bit of time to get up to speed before reintroducing the older and more vigorous early hatchers. If it works, fine, if it doesn't, put the ducklings back where you had them. I feed baby chick grit even when using boughten starter. You may have trouble finding unmedicated chick feed, if so, ask for water fowl or unmedicated game bird starter. Gerbil
-- Gerbil (email@example.com), August 02, 2000.
I had an orphan duckling last summer one of my chickens hatched that I took in the house for a few days until the moscovy hen hatched hers. I placed the orphan Blue Swedish in the same building near the hen and her new brood and she took it right in. That same orphan turned out to be a hen and still runs with the muscovies instead of the regular ducks. I incubated duck eggs this spring, including hers, that hatched two and a half weeks ago. They appear to be Blue Swedish but won't know until later if they are sterile or if she was fertilized by my Khaki or Buff drakes. My Muscovy hen was very protective and didn't seem to mind she had one baby that quacked.
-- Diedre Votek (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 2001.