Thursday, November 15, 2018

Momma Duck Adopted Me


my heart

  About 6 months ago, the rain around here was relentless.  There was a steady steam running through my paddocks and around the barn, sometimes right through the barn (wah).  With the water, brought over my neighbors ducks.  Being the absolute animal lover I am, I loved this.  There is one male, and three females that go with him everywhere.  Usually when it rains, they come over to my place.  My neighbours place is about 10 acres away.  Sometimes they go into the ditch by the road, and I herd them back home.

  When the rain left and things dried up, the ducks spent less time at my place.  Well that is, all but one.  She was hanging around daily.  Sometimes on the roof of the shelter, sometimes I would find her in the shed sitting on the snowblower.  Well hello Miss Duck...what can I help you with?  I loved having her around.  She would weed my garden and eat all the bad bugs.  Wash herself in my wash stall, float around in the dogs kiddie pool, you know, all the things crazy duck kids are doing these days.

  After a few weeks I noticed she made herself a nest in my shelter.  In the corner, under the feeder.  Low and behold, she layed 11 eggs in there.  Well, that was just way too exciting for me.  11 ducklings running around? OMG, I was picturing it my head, my..er, her, little menagerie of ducklings waddling around the barn.  Too cute to imagine.  I talked to my other neighbour and she knows more about ducks than I do, and she let me know the approximate incubation period and what I should do which was basically - nothing. 

washing herself in the washrack, which I find hilarious

babies?

  It was not meant to be, sadly the eggs were fertilized but none of them hatched.  I have no idea why, but it was sad.  I had to remove all the eggs because they were getting rotten inside.  I left all but one for her, so she didn't get too depressed.  That was months ago, and well, she hasn't left.  She's still in the shelter, in her nest, with one egg.  I have no idea if its the same egg lol.  But now winter is coming and I am worried about my momma duck.

  I can't seem to find much online about them.  She's a Muscovy, which are apparently tree ducks.  So they aren't huge water lovers, but tree lovers.  That's about all I know.  I am thinking I have to box in her area, or make her her own little shed for the winter?  It was -14 last night, and she was fine this morning, but I really don't want my momma duck to freeze out there!  I just love her to bits.

true camo duck

  My neighbor Michelle and I were laughing one day, at how she must be some independent type woman. Done being one of three girls, she just moved out on her own and started her own new life.  Too hilarious.  She still goes over to her original home, every day, and comes back, every day.  Her return time would always be when I was riding after work.  She would get so worried going through my ring while I was riding, she would do this waddle run so fast to get back to the shelter.  It was so amusing and adorable.  The horses love her.  They are all good friends.

  I really need to figure something out before it gets much colder.  Does anyone have any experience with ducks? Moving a nest? Help me, I need to make sure momma duck survives the winter!

16 comments:

  1. My parents have muscovy ducks and I not so secretly want to steal one from them - they're hilarious! Sadly, I know nothing about ducks in winter as it stays so mild here...theirs just have a shed with nest boxes they go into at night and a heat lamp in there when it gets cold. Still, one of the ducks chooses to nest under the back deck of the house, and will not be persuaded to move elsewhere, so I dont know. Maybe your local feed store might have an idea what they need for a winter there?

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  2. I know nothing about ducks, but this post warmed my heart. I love this little duck too!

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  3. My Grandparents had Muscovy ducks (and all manner of other poultry) when I was a kid. Sometimes when a duck (chicken, goose etc.) goes broody they just won't give up even if the eggs don't hatch. We had a goose that sat on a nest every single year and her eggs never hatched,we finally bought her a couple goslings because we felt bad for her, lol. Unfortunately you need to take her last egg away from her, she will keep sitting on the nest as long as she has an egg. If you want to give her a warm place for the winter set up a box with straw and a heat lamp, but she may go back to her flock once she leaves her nest. Good luck, maybe you need your own flock of ducks!

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    1. I had wondered about that, but I don't want her to leave me back to her flock!! haha so slefish. A heated box was what I was thinking.

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  4. You'd be surprised at how hardy ducks and chickens are! My in-laws had a pair of Muscovys that free ranged during NY winters and went into their empty barn at night or whenever they got cold. They never got any special treatment besides having access to get out of the weather. I'd say the only thing to watch for would be frost bite on her feet--I ran into that occasionally with my chickens, but they're far stupider than ducks!

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    1. This is great news. Her nest in the shelter for now is really deep bedded with straw and hay so hoping that keeps her OK for now.

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  5. awww that's awesome!! i love birdies <3 i don't know much/anything about ducks but believe muscovys are popular with homesteaders and small farmette owners bc they're good meat ducks (and egg layers too!) so i'm sure there's tons of info out there on them, probably among homesteading blogs etc

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    1. Homesteading blogs....good idea. I couldn't find any forums or anything. Might try coth.

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  6. Now I want a duck. I have always believed that if I was a bird I’d be a duck. I would build her a box- can you do it in the shelter where her nest is?

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    1. I was thinking about it, but the shelter isnt really that big and I can't get electricity out there for a lamp. Still on the fence about it.
      Also, you need a duck :)

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  7. No duck experience, but this story is adorable and I learned something new. I didn't know tree ducks were a thing...

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  8. So cute - I love ducks and always wanted a duck :) I hope she stays through the winter

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  9. ohh i love ducks too!! Muscoveys are my fave too! we have wood ducks here but they are up by pond we dont really see them!!

    Good luck I am sure she knows where to get to stay warm!

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  10. What a sweet story.

    From a quick Google query (to abate my own curiosity about your question), this thread seems helpful: https://www.homesteadingtoday.com/threads/keeping-muscovy-ducks-in-cold-climates.554967/

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