I've got a broody hen that I, on a bit of a whim, decided to put some Muscovy eggs under, but now I'm wondering how wise that was. I know chickens will hatch duck eggs just fine, but Muscovies take a full week longer to hatch, and I don't know if a chicken has it in her to sit that long (a full 66% longer than she would with chicken eggs!).
Anybody have any experience with this specifically? Should I leave the eggs underneath her, or try to salvage them if she's not up to the task?
Any other tips on getting a hen to successfully hatch duck eggs?
We have some hens that are insanely broody. And they will NOT get off that nest until something gets out of those eggs. They will sit the extra 10 days for muscovies. Not every hen is that determined, though. We just let the ducks hatch their own eggs, muscovies are good mothers.
I have sat a broody hen on goose eggs and had success. I wonder though if you could do "shift brooding" (I just made that term up) if you get another hen go broody when the eggs have a week or two to go, move them over to her.
Maureen is right. My mother used games, they hatched the ducklings and raised them. She used the hens mainly for Pekins and Mallards, since they don't make good mothers, the Muscovies do.
One hen we had would even go in the water up to her feathers to be close to her "chicks". She thought they were crazy, but they were hers, and she was going to take care of them.
I've got two Muscovy hens sitting right now. (Last year our one hen hatched a clutch of 15; we kept back the females.). I'd have preferred to let another Muscovy set these eggs, but this bunch was in a spot in the barn (where some of my chickens tend to lay) that was attracting the attention of one particular chicken who was kinda sorta sitting, but not really. I didn't want her partially incubating those eggs and thus ruining them, so I opted to stick them under a bona fide broody hen.
Do I need to mess with sprinkling the eggs with water (to mimic an occasionally wet duck hen)?
I'll had the same experience with my broody hens. The hens get really excited when the ducks go into the water! They get excited that the babies jump into the water. Broody hens are great Moms most of the time. I have had a few abandon the nest but I believe they may have been new mothers. Have fun. If they do hatch they will be so fun to watch.
One lady I worked for used a broody hen to hatch peacock eggs. Then, yup, raised them like her own. Chickens are awesome. It was amazing to see the cognitive difference between the ones hatched and raised by a chicken mom vs the ones that were incubated and reared in a box. Totally different, the natural ones were healthier and just more street wise. The box ones couldn't figure out tail from beak.