Aggressive Ducks: Why drakes attack and how to permanently stop aggression

You’re wondering how you can walk in your yard without Mr. Macho tearing a gash in your leg with his razor-sharp talons and leaving nasty dark bruises with his hard, twisting bite. You don’t want to resort to inviting your beloved drake for dinner. Neither do you want to become the subject of the next viral YouTube video if your neighbors catch you facing off a little 15-pound duck in medieval armor.

You know he’s just a puny little bird, but you’re kinda scared of him. The kids can’t go out to pick eggs anymore. You can’t turn your back for a second, or he’ll pounce and attack.

I hear it over and over. HELP!!! WHY DOES MY DUCK ATTACK ME?

Don’t give up. There’s a solution, apart from killing him. Drakes are not mindless maniacs, however much they may seem to be. There’s a secret to it.

Continue reading Aggressive Ducks: Why drakes attack and how to permanently stop aggression

10 Effective Ways To Sex Your Muscovy Duck (With Pictures)

Newbie duck owners all over the world constantly ask, “What sex are my Muscovy ducklings?” Sometimes, even the gender of adult Muscovies is unclear to duck owners. I answer this question frequently.

Here’s the complete list of methods to determine whether Muscovies are males or females, whether they’re ducklings or adults.

Table of Contents

The methods to sex young ducks are approximately in order of when they show up.

  1. What DOESN’T Work
  2. Vent Sexing
  3. Bill
  4. Feathers
  5. Feet
  6. Body Proportions
  7. Behavior
  8. Tails
  9. Caruncle Growth
  10. Voice
  11. Body Language
  12. How to Sex Adult Ducks
  13. Comparison Photo Gallery (Adult Ducks)

Continue reading 10 Effective Ways To Sex Your Muscovy Duck (With Pictures)

I Found a Hidden Nest! (How To Stop Your Duck From Hiding Her Eggs – Proven Tips)

The other day, I was wandering around the duck yard, looking for two rascals who were late for bed, when I saw this: three lovely white eggs, snug under a wood pile.

Muscovies are notorious nest hiders (and have a bit of an annoying propensity to hate bedtime, too). They think hiding their nest is their life’s duty.

In fact, pretty much any breed often inclined to go broody is likely to hide their nests sometimes, because ducks who go broody are also interested in going broody where no one will find them…at least, so they hope.

Owners of ducks who like to play egg hide-and-seek frequently receive a pleasant surprise in the form of running into hidden treasure: a nest, sometimes with twenty or more eggs in it.

The only problem?

Continue reading I Found a Hidden Nest! (How To Stop Your Duck From Hiding Her Eggs – Proven Tips)

Can ducks lay 2+ eggs in one day? (You’ll be surprised!)

Everybody knows ducks lay one egg a day. If you exclaim excitedly, “My duck laid two eggs today!” you’ll probably get funny looks, if you’re talking to people who know anything whatsoever about ducks. They’ll tell you, no, ducks never lay two eggs in a day.

But they’d be wrong.

Once in a while, a duck owner will get one more egg than the amount of female ducks they have.

Can a duck really lay two eggs in one day?

Surprisingly, yes.

It’s rare, but it does happen and it’s completely normal. It’s most common in young ducks whose hormones are still out of whack. In fact, some people have even gotten three eggs in one day. Most likely, however, these extra eggs won’t last long. Soon enough, her hormones will balance out and she will start laying normally, one egg per day. These extra eggs are often soft-shelled, because ducks rarely have enough resources to make two shells.

Nevertheless, occasionally, a duck will keep laying two hard-shelled eggs a day for long periods of time.

If you have one of these “wonder ducks,” don’t worry about her. Enjoy the extra eggs for as long as she’ll give them to you!

What time of day do ducks lay eggs?

Ducks generally lay their eggs at early morning, around sunrise.

However, it varies a lot. Some ducks lay around 4:30 AM. Most lay around 6 AM. Others lay around 9 AM. And occasionally, a duck will lay in the afternoon, or even evening. Once I witnessed one of my ducks walking around at 5 PM when an egg dropped out of her. It never happened again.

If you want your ducks to lay in their coop, it’s a good idea to keep them inside until they’re done laying. Otherwise, they may lay anywhere in their yard. If you find that your ducks lay approximately at 6 AM, let them out at 6:30.

Unfortunately, however, ducks are perfectly capable of holding their eggs in until they feel like laying them. If a duck has picked out a special little spot under some wood pile 300 feet from their coop, she’ll lay there even if you let her out at noon.

In general, ducks lay during early morning, and they’ll probably have already laid by the time you let them out of their pen or coop. But if they scout out nesting areas beforehand, they’ll hold their egg until they’re given access to their chosen spot.

 

Do ducks need a mate?

When glancing through my site analytics, I noticed that someone searched this. I did the search myself, and nothing useful came up. So here’s the answer, for whoever searched or anyone else wondering this.

Does my male duck need a female companion?

Does my female duck need a male companion?

Answer: Continue reading Do ducks need a mate?

Can I move a broody duck’s eggs?

I received an email asking this:

I have a question regarding my female Muscovy duck she has laid her eggs in my closet inside the back room in my house I’m wondering is it possible to move the eggs back outside I can’t keep up with the mess that she’s making in my house any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thank you

My reply:

I assume she’s broody and you want to let her hatch the eggs, just not in the closet. No, moving the eggs won’t make her move herself. They seem to fix themselves on the location instead of the eggs themselves. The only way to make her stop laying or sitting in the closet is to completely board off her access to the closet (at least temporarily). That will make her stop being broody and stop laying, so you’ll have to wait until she tries again elsewhere.

One possible solution would be to put the eggs where you want them and prevent her from leaving the area. It’s possible she may decide to go broody on the eggs in the new location if she can’t leave for a few days. Just be sure food and water is always accessible. This method doesn’t always guarantee success and I’ve never tried it, but it’s a possibility.

In case you don’t want to hatch them and you just want her to stop laying in the closet, just take the eggs and block off the area. She’ll give up laying there quickly and will find a new spot (hopefully outside!). They love to lay in dark, secluded areas like closets, so you can encourage them to lay where you want by providing that kind of cover.

Good luck!

Study Shows Ducklings Are Not “Bird Brains”

A new study performed on newborn ducklings proves that they are smarter than was previously thought. They are capable of abstract thinking and understand the concept of “same” and “different” without being taught, as shown in this article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/07/15/make-way-for-ducklings-theyre-smarter-than-you-think/

When do ducks start laying eggs?

Your tiny fluffy ducklings have somehow transformed into a duck. They quack all the time, poop everywhere, and somehow turn everywhere around their water into a mudhole. They’re fun, but you’re wondering when you’ll get the rewards of all the work and money you’ve put into them. Where are those eggs?

Continue reading When do ducks start laying eggs?

Lucky’s Growing Up!

Lucky, the duckling whose mother Kiwi died (see “Never Say Never: Emergency Hatch” for more) and who was trapped in a too-wet membrane, is still alive, happy, and healthy! She is still somewhat of a runt, as she is smaller than the rest, but she’s doing good. Here’s some pictures of her, and pictures of her mom at the same age.

Continue reading Lucky’s Growing Up!

Hardy Ducky

Ducks are extremely hardy creatures. They have amazing ability to heal themselves.

Last week, my young male was attacked by a fox. He had some minor injuries on his back, but there was something wrong with his legs. There were no external injuries, but he could not put weight on either leg.

Continue reading Hardy Ducky

Videos: Ducks Eating Watermelon

Our ducks LOVE watermelon; it’s one of their favorite treats! Here are our girls going crazy for watermelon in The Watermelon Frenzy. (We eat off the sweetest parts and give the rest to our ducks.)

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Ducks and Onions: Can Ducks Eat Onions?

You’ve got some leftovers. The kids turn up their nose, and you’re full. The ducks are always starving, of course (or at least they act like they are). So, you think, why not feed it to them? And then you remember…it’s got onions in it. Is this a good idea?

Will ducks really eat onions?

Some ducks will shun them. Others will like them. Like most foods, it depends on their personal likes and dislikes.

Is it okay to feed onions to ducks?

There is a danger with feeding them too much (or feeding it long-term), as onions are mildly toxic to ducks. They can also give the eggs an “onion-y” flavor. Onions are often on lists of “never feed your duck/chicken this!” While onions definitely shouldn’t be any regular part of a duck’s diet, you don’t need to fret about those leftovers. People do occasionally feed onions to poultry with no problems. A few bites here and there won’t hurt. The same goes for garlic; large amounts can be harmful and can give the eggs a strange flavor.

A little is okay. A lot is not.

Are there any health benefits? Onions and garlic are very healthy for humans, but what about ducks?

Garlic can help to prevent internal worms in ducks and chickens. They are not strong enough to eradicate a flock of a heavy worm infestation, and they do not completely prevent worms, but they can help. Onions, however, don’t protect from worms.

What happens if my ducks get too much onions?

Overconsumption of onions can cause diarrhea or even vomiting. Extended periods of onion consumption can also cause hemolytic anemia, which leads to respiratory failure and eventually death.

Summary: It’s okay to give your ducks or chickens a little bit of onion; it won’t kill them. Just don’t feed a lot or for extended periods.

(But DON’T feed it to your dog. Onions are poisonous to mammals.)

Any onion fans, by the way, may be interested in visiting this website: Minds Full of Onions.

When Should You Assist With Hatching?

You’ve been on tenterhooks for several weeks now, anxiously waiting for your ducklings to hatch. Then one egg pips! You can see the tiny bill inside, moving and squirming. A few hours pass, and it hasn’t made much progress. Should you help it?

Continue reading When Should You Assist With Hatching?

Never Say Never: Emergency Hatch

When I started raising ducks, I never thought I would need or want an incubator. I was raising Muscovies, one of the best breeds for mothering. I was 100% for natural incubation, and I told myself, “Who needs an incubator if they have Muscovies? These ducks can hatch their own babies! I’m never getting an incubator.”

Continue reading Never Say Never: Emergency Hatch

Video: Muscovy Ducklings Swimming

Three Muscovy ducklings swimming and bathing with Mom for the first time. Lilac, their mother, simply sits in the water and watches the utterly cute day-old ducklings swim in their tub. This is their first bath, and they already know how to dive and do upside-down flips!

Video: Three Muscovy Ducks Foraging Free Range

Three female Muscovy ducks, Lilac, Apple, and Gracie, are happily foraging for yummy bits of grass, bugs, and worms. They find a large part of their diet from foraging freely, and they love it. They don’t eat much grain or other food that I provide, and they are free-ranged during the day. This is a beautiful video of ducks foraging.