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Broodies
May 30, 2012
10:42 am
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Sydney
Mighty Chicken
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June 11, 2011
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Hi there,

While I’ve used broody hens many times before and thought I knew all about it, I suddenly ran into something new and a bit puzzling.  I have a blue muscovy hen that went broody, so I gave her 8 khaki campbell eggs and she sat on them.  Then, about a day after she started sitting, a Gold Laced Wyandotte hen squeezed in next to her in the corner and the two of them have been brooding for several days now, seeming to get along just fine.  Is it normal for a duck and a hen to share a nest?  What will happen when the 8 baby ducks hatch out and they have two mothers, and one is a hen?  Maybe some of them will start to cluck, and need counseling…lol.  Thanks for your help!

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May 30, 2012
11:07 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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haha, they’ll be fine!  What the real problem (?)  (though a brief one) will be is when the chicken’s ducklings jump in water and the chicken hen freaks out over it.  I’m not totally sure about if the clutch is a mixed one and both ducklings and chicks hatch, and if the chicks would consider getting into water.  I don’t think they will, but I’m guessing the time between laying the eggs will take care of that and it’s probable only one species will hatch…maybe.  Mostly even baby chicks would not consider willingly getting into a pool (or even pan) of water.  They will probably peep and chirp from the edge at their ‘duck-sibs’.

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 30, 2012
11:53 am
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Sydney
Mighty Chicken
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Well, I’m glad to hear that there’s no huge problem with this arrangement.  It’s pretty cute so I wouldn’t want to have to separate them.  Also, a friend of mine just told me that her chicken ‘scalped’ itself when going under a fence, and now has no comb.  She says that the chicken is really friendly to people now but the other chickens don’t like it anymore.  She wants to know if the chicken is OK and if the behavior change is normal?  I’m not sure what to tell her because I’ve never had that happen before….I know that a chicken needs the comb to regulate temperature, though. 

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May 31, 2012
10:10 am
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LK
Mighty Chicken
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I would wonder if the khaki campbell eggs hatch first, if the muscovy might give up on her own eggs. Their incubation time is different. The muscovy incubation is 35 days, and I am sure that the kc eggs take less time. The chicken eggs will hatch even sooner…21 days, I think? It might be handy to have someone who will sit longer than the other to help hatch out everything. Otherwise, you might want to have an incubator handy. I asked a similar question lately on a poultry forum and they said that after a couple of days, the broody will give up and leave the rest of the eggs, as the live little ones are always the first priority. After 2 days, if they haven’t had food and water, they are done for.

As far as a chicken hatching out ducklings, we had this happen when I was a teen. The hen got really crazy when her ducklings just up and went out to the water one day. They didn’t care. They joined the adult ducks. She ran back and forth, flapping her wings like crazy and making so much noise to tell them to come back (she tried to be a good mom), but like typical children, they ignored her. They were having too much fun! It was very funny and I will never forget that sight. lol I would think that the chicks will keep to land.

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