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Author Topic: Baby Muscovey Ducks -- playful kids  (Read 1976 times)
Cindi
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« on: November 22, 2007, 11:58:30 PM »

The Muscovey ducks are probably the most interesting little things.  They have a very friendly, soft nature, don't quack, as we picture all ducks doing.  The hens kindof peep, the drakes kindof hiss.  Very soft and soothing sounds to the human ear.

The young ducks are very playful, always playing with something if they can find toys, like pieces of plastic, water that is falling, for instance when I am putting water into containers, glittery things, anything that they can pick up and play with.  It is very cute.

The other day my Sister and I were building a new part to the chicken barn.  We were reducing the size of the original one so that the chickens would be warmer.  They have a much smaller coop now, that will make their lives just a little bit nicer, and warmer.  When the weather warms up, like in summertime, we can remove the newly built structure to make it more roomy, or if we have more fowl.  Which we will.

On the end of the 2X4s that we got was placed a couple of red plastic flags.  I had left them in the chicken yard and the ducks had the greatest time playing with the flags.  I also had a piece of green plastic that had been used to cover some straw, they also had a great ol' time with that too.  So playful, so cute, my little pals, raised in the incubator, raised by humans, even more friendly than the babies that the mother Muscoveys had raised on their own, yea!!!!  Chickens even have a curiosity that surprises me!!  Have a great and wonderful day, Cindi



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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 09:40:45 AM »

Yeah, chickens (actually birds of any kind) can be terribly funny.  I usually feed the chickens and collect the eggs around 4pm.  The rooster and laying hens are bunched at the gate awaiting dinner.  If I go into the pen at any other time they come running looking for a handout.  The 3 month old pullets run to their roost box (an old converted dog house with roosts in it) and wait for me to feed them. 

I just set up the incubator in a home made (sloppy construction) cabinet that is mounted on the side of the shed but in the chicken pen.  I can set the eggs in the incubator, then tranfer them to the brooder (an old stock watering trough with the bottom rusted out) that sets next to it.  From there I transfer them to the pullet section and from there to either the fryer pen of the laying pen.

I've found that with the incubator outside in the cabinet that I need to install a light bulb above the incubator to help normalize and maintain the heat due to fluctuating temps.  Settings eggs in the middle of winter is going to be a challenge but a friend of ours wants to get into selling brown eggs (she used to do this) but the hatcheries won't begin selling chickens until late January or February so I'm going to hatch her out a batch.  The incubator holds 42 eggs so I should get a good number of fryers (extra roosters) as well as raise the 24-30 hens she wants.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 09:52:13 AM »

Brian, oooh that is cool, your escapades, hee, hee.  If the construction is sloppy as you say, who really cares?  The birds don't.  We have some "sloppy" engineering around here too, some really first class, but, seriously, if it works, who cares?   And you know what, I don't think any job that any person does when it comes to building can be considered sloppy, I think it is all a wonderful piece of work,and I can only say "yea!!!!!!!"

The last incubated chicks was about 50% of the eggs.  That bugged me.  I thought the incubation would have been higher.  The chicks are about 2 weeks old now.  The previous batch incubated are looking almost full grown, they are pretty close in size to the hens that were their mothers, hee, hee.  (we hatched out about half that time too).

Pretty soon we'll get another batch going in the incubator.  It will be nice to have lots of laying hens.  Still haven't figured out the sexing of the chickens yet.  I know you told me how, and we will fine tune that, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Do you remember seeing the picture of the white rooster that we have?  Do you know what breed it might be?  I know we have a Rhode Island Red rooster, but he doesn't seem to sire any of the chicks.  Wonder why, I see him on the hens and the white rooster goes nuts trying to get to him to get him off, but usually he can't run fast enough, these roosters are fast eh?  Hee, hee.  Have a wonderful and greatest of day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 10:52:43 AM »

The last incubated chicks was about 50% of the eggs.  That bugged me.  I thought the incubation would have been higher.  The chicks are about 2 weeks old now.  The previous batch incubated are looking almost full grown, they are pretty close in size to the hens that were their mothers, hee, hee.  (we hatched out about half that time too).

Check your temps--most instructions that come with incubators says to set the temp at 99.5 F but with that setting you'll only get a 50% hatch.  It is better to set the temp at 101-102 F and that should increase the hatch %.  Or, in your case, increase the temp by 1 degree C.  The other factors are humidity and condition of the eggs.  The higher temp needs a slighty higher humidity.  All eggs should be blemish free and as clean as possible without washing.  If you must, wipe the eggs with a slightly moist towel--the less water used the better.

Pretty soon we'll get another batch going in the incubator.  It will be nice to have lots of laying hens.  Still haven't figured out the sexing of the chickens yet.  I know you told me how, and we will fine tune that, just haven't gotten around to it yet.


Why don't you go to breeding them sex linked.  Coop up a RI rooster with some Plymouth Rock hens or visa versa--The rooster will be red and the hens black.  There's a lot of other combinations on sex links.  Remeber my post about a Light Brhama rooster and Buff Orpington hens where the rooster turned out white and the hens buff?  From your post I think you probably have enough different varieties of chickens to make several different sex link combinations. Remeber that sex link is only good for the 1st generation of the cross, after that you'll get both sexxes in a variety of color combinations.


Do you remember seeing the picture of the white rooster that we have?  Do you know what breed it might be?  I know we have a Rhode Island Red rooster, but he doesn't seem to sire any of the chicks.  Wonder why, I see him on the hens and the white rooster goes nuts trying to get to him to get him off, but usually he can't run fast enough, these roosters are fast eh?  Hee, hee.  Have a wonderful and greatest of day.  Cindi

Breed = Mixed.  He doesn't seem to match any of the pictures I have on specific breeds.  I have a trio of bantams that I use for natural hatching that I got from my brother who got them from the Amish, or Amishikens as he called them.  They turned out to be part Silke after one of the offspring hatched with a throw back to silkie feathering.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2007, 09:48:49 PM »

Brian, I will take your advice about the incubation.  One mistake that I see we definitely made was not having the eggs "clean" when they went into the incubator.  They actually were rather kind of dirty with poopy stuff.  We thought that it was not good to put clean eggs in there.  See, there is so much to learn, both my Sister and I need to do a little more studying on this subject if we are to be successful.  She is the Chicken Lady.  She belongs to that chicken forum now that Ann cited, and I think she really likes spending time there (just like me and this bee forum, hee, hee).  We make quite a team, her and I, I am grateful for my wonderful Sister.  We will raise the temperature as well, she will be listening and learning and we will be much more successful with our birds.

The sexlinking thing is a very interesting and intriguing subject.  And yes I remember your post about the Light Brahma rooster and the Buff Orpington hens.  And I think that is a good idea to attempt this type of breeding.  We have Banty Roosters (several types), the white one I was speaking of, a funny one that has a double frilly looking comb, he looks like a small version of the 4 Barred Rock hens that we have, another really weird bigger Banty type and then my favourite, Antonio, he is the Rhode Island Red and I think that he is absolutely magificent, he is just so beautiful.

We wouldn't be able to do any specific breeding yet because we would have to create separate breeding pens, that is work that is not done around here until probably mid January, it is just too busy with winter readying and then the holiday seasons.  But once those are gone, we are headed into the spring work mode (even though winter remains).

Brian, what kind of chicken would we get if we bred the RI to the brown sexlink hens we have?  (are these brown sexlink hens some kind of breed?)  I am studying about chickens, I am not slacking, but it is hard with so many other things to study too.  Have a wonderful and great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 12:34:26 AM »

Brian, what kind of chicken would we get if we bred the RI to the brown sexlink hens we have?  (are these brown sexlink hens some kind of breed?)  I am studying about chickens, I am not slacking, but it is hard with so many other things to study too.  Have a wonderful and great day.  Cindi

Sexlinks work only in the 1st generation, after that you get olio.  Breeding any chicken that's already the product of a sex link breeding voids the sex link, color wise you will get any variation of the primary colors of the parents in either sex of offspring.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2007, 09:20:34 AM »

Brian, right, I should have read through the lines better.  You DID say that the sexlink works with the first generation.  It was funny with our sexlinked chickens we had out of 15, one that resembled the RI rooster, the rester were all brown like their mothers and some were mottley brown looking.  Think we have 7 roosters and 8 hens that are now old enough to really tell.

So....let me see if I have this straight.  If I took that RI rooster and locked it up with the Barred Rock hens, their babies would be males would look like the RI red and females like the Barred Rock?  It actually doesn't sound that difficult after all, I am getting the hang of this, slowly.  Lots to study about.  Have a wonderful and greatest of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2007, 10:45:58 PM »

Brian, right, I should have read through the lines better.  You DID say that the sexlink works with the first generation.  It was funny with our sexlinked chickens we had out of 15, one that resembled the RI rooster, the rester were all brown like their mothers and some were mottley brown looking.  Think we have 7 roosters and 8 hens that are now old enough to really tell.

That sounds normal for a second generation of sexlinked chickens.

Quote
So....let me see if I have this straight.  If I took that RI rooster and locked it up with the Barred Rock hens, their babies would be males would look like the RI red and females like the Barred Rock?  It actually doesn't sound that difficult after all, I am getting the hang of this, slowly.  Lots to study about.  Have a wonderful and greatest of days.  Cindi

The hens will be all black with brown and redish capes.  The roosters will look like RI reds.  You can sort the chickens right out of the egg by the markings on the chick as to hen or rooster.  Even if you don't know which is which to start with they can still be sorted and then as they mature the roosters can be identified by the earlier developing combs and tail feathers and fed to be fryers while the hens can be raised for egg production.

Another thought on your incubator--set the temp at 38 C that's 101 F.  Are you using an automatic turner, these are invaluable for rotating the eggs during incubation.  If you rely on turning the eggs my hand it can be problematic if they're not marked on one side to that all marked sides are up or down at the proper time.  The automotaic turner turns the eggs every six hours while doing it by hand is usually limited to twice a day, sometimes once a day, and sometimes forgotten.

With pigeons you can get sexlinked young by mating a blue bar or blue check male to a red check or silver hen (different variation of the same colors), the males will all be red or silver and the hens blue.  that's the only color type sexlink that works with pigeons that I am aware of.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2007, 11:00:42 PM »

Brian, I have been doing some studying on the sexlink chickens.  Black and Red Sexlinks.  Both use red birds as the father, like Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire. 

Quote from the site:
"Black Sex-Links are produced using a Barred Rock as the mother. Both sexes hatch out black, but the males have a white dot on their heads. Pullets feather out black with some red in neck feathers. Males feather out with the Barred Rock pattern along with a few red feathers. Black Sex-Links are often referred to as Rock Red"

Just a little diddy that I thought I would put in here.  Wonder why they say that the males feather out with the barred rock pattern and a few red feathers?  It is so interesting, and we are surely doing to dabble in some of this genetic stuff.

We have a pretty good incubator, I think it holds about 140 eggs (not sure exactly), and yes, it does have that timer that turns the eggs automatically.  Have a wonderful and greatest of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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