We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post to bring you this breaking news! WE HAVE DUCKLINGS! That’s right, the Muscovy duck mama’s eggs have hatched! They weren’t there on Thursday night, but by Friday morning they were waiting for me in the barn! We have either 14 or 15 baby Muscovies, but we’re pretty sure it’s 15. Because we let the girls set up their own nest, we’re not 100% sure how many eggs were under her, but it looks like she hatched every last one of them! We’re just thrilled. Mom is doing a great job, teaching them to eat and drink and generally be ducks. She does not want to let us have anything to do with them, so getting good photos (or an accurate count) has been challenging, but here’s a shot of the family together!
As you can see, we have a mix of mostly-yellow and mostly-black babies. I’m pretty certain, based on the research I’ve been doing about Muscovy duck color genetics, that this means both my males are fertile! My white drake should only be able to father white ducklings on the two females we had at the time this clutch started incubating. So in order to get non-white babies, that means my black male should also be fertile. The reason I spent so much time thinking about this is because we had suspected there was a chance the black drake could be a Muscovy cross. Muscovy and mallard-stock ducks can interbreed, but their offspring are mules, unable to reproduce. But it seems like he is a Muscovy after all!
This group will have a space to themselves for a week or so, then we’ll open the door and let mama integrate them with the rest of the flock!