This is 2 of my Muscovy ducks, Itsy and her mum Tinker. Tinker has been broody for about a week or so now, her caruncles (the red stuff on her face) have dulled down to an orangey colour and her bill has become paler.
She’s been back in lay for a month, and as she got close to sitting on the eggs, the chosen nest site gets padded out with the beautifully soft, downy feathers from her belly. Our ducks normally sit on around 10 – 15 eggs at a time, but I have heard of up to 20 eggs in a Muscovy brood.
Once she starts sitting, she’ll usually only come off the nest once a day to eat, drink, wash and poop (the almighty poop is best avoided at all costs, the smell alone is enough to put you off your cornflakes.) She regulates the moisture levels of her eggs by having a good clean up in the pond and going back the nest damp.
When the female Muscovy becomes broody she’ll emit a high pitched squeak if anyone gets in her way when trying to perform their ablutions, they’ll also ruffle their feather and walk with their bodies close to the ground in a ‘Don’t mess with me’ stance.
The eggs take longer than hen eggs to incubate, at 35 days. The duck will lose condition during this period so it is vital that she can eat and drink her fill whenever she comes off the nest.
And then, you’ll meet some of the cutest little critters ever. Spend time with them when they’re young and they’ll eat out of your hand for life.
Want to know more about raising Muscovy ducks? Click here