Need advice on sitting duck please

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Eirwen
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Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:46 pm

Need advice on sitting duck please

Post by Eirwen » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:27 pm

Hi all, long story short, I thought I had Muscovy mules but wasn't sure as I only took the pair of ducks in from a friend who was moving and she thought they were Muscovy's. They didn't have red faces so knew they weren't pure breed Muscovy's, and someone on here suggested they were Magpie's, as they look exactly like them. So when Martha kept wanting to sit on her eggs I decided to let her so I could know for sure if they were Mules or Magpie's.

Martha's been sitting on her eggs for over 3 weeks now and I went in her coop to try and clean out some of the poop around her today. She got up off the eggs and I saw that one was broken and discoloured yellow around where it was broken, and I thought "just as I was expecting, there's nothing in them and now they're starting to rot'. But when I took it out I saw the black inside and opened the shell to see a dead chick inside! It was almost fully formed, only its yoke sack (?) still outside its body, but it had everything else normal looking with perfect magpie markings! It was so cute, shame it didn't make it I'm not sure how long ago its shell got broken, but I take it that some of the other eggs have chicks in them ready to hatch soon! EXCITING! I'm now trying to read everything I can about raising ducklings!

So does anyone have any advice about whether to let Martha raise her own ducklings? Will they be ok with her in the coop without any other heat source?

At the moment her other half, Will, is sleeping with her in their duck house, but I take it I'll have to separate them once the ducks hatch? Or do I separate them now? I have a new larger duck house ready for them, but I gather it will be easier to move Will into the new house rather than to try and move Martha with her ducklings once they arrive?

They live in a large pen with 50m long electric netting with 7 chickens at the moment. I have another 50m net ready to set up, I can either put them in their own big pen or use the extra net to separate Martha and her ducklings from the chickens and Will.

Oh and one other curious thing, my friendly speckledy hen has started to peek in the duck house regularly the last couple of days, yesterday she even went in there, and hung around the entrance a long time. Martha didn't seem to mind. Why does the hen do that? Just nosy? Does she know there'll be little ones soon?

Advice much appreciated!
Oh and I have posted in duck section too but it's not very active over there, so hopefully someone will see my post here!
Icemaiden
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:05 am

Re: Need advice on sitting duck please

Post by Icemaiden » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:07 am

Hi Eirwen.
I'm sure that a lot of people, like me, sort their messages to "view unread", so they see everything. The lack of response on the duck forum is only because people don't comment when they don't know the answer, unlike on some other forums...

So I'm sure that your message will be seen just as soon as someone knowledgable (like Dorset Duck Owner) looks at the forum next... Meanwhile, please keep us posted!
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Eirwen
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Need advice on sitting duck please

Post by Eirwen » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:21 am

Thanks for replying :) Sure enough that person did reply :) Well no news yet.. I went in there today to put some sanitizing powder in the duck house and Martha got up off the eggs. Got a good look, no others broken and they were nice and warm. Bought unmedicated chick crumb in just incase, and a roll of chicken wire incase we need to do some seperating! Put extra diatom powder around the nest too. I'm on pins and needles waiting! :)
Eirwen
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Need advice on sitting duck please

Post by Eirwen » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:19 pm

Wondering if anyone has advice in general about sitting birds? I'm surr a lot of info about broody chickens and sitting can be applied to ducks?
Martha is still sitting, inspected coop yesterday and still no sign of hatching. None of the other eggs have broken at least! When do I count the incubation period from? When she first started sitting or when she started sitting 'tight', not moving at all except for once/ twice a day for 5 mins?
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