Friday, June 16, 2017

Muscovy Ducks in Springtime

The ducks start courting and mating as early as February some years. This year the courting got off to an early start because February was exceptionally warm. Courting usually involves the males preening their feathers and strutting around to attract female attention and then splitting off into harems. A relatively cool March and April slowed things down a little, but once May rolled around there were ducks on nests all over the farm. The ducks definitely have different styles in terms of where and how they like to nest, although many of them prefer the area of the rabbit barn because it is more protected and close to where they are fed. The following pictures illustrate different nesting styles. This duck likes high sides and ground level, but is constantly annoyed when showered by rabbit urine. She tends to look up at the rabbit and make threatening noises, which the rabbit simply ignores. This choice of nesting area perplexes me, but this same duck does the same thing every year.
This duck likes high sides and ground level, and has made a better choice since she is not directly under the rabbits preferred urination area.
This duck has a good view and won't be bothered by rabbit showers, but gets terribly anxious whenever we are feeding or working with the rabbits. She also has to cope with her nest of hay being slowly eaten by the bunnies. When the eggs hatch it is also a long way down for the ducklings (luckily they bounce well).
This duck likes privacy with a ground level view and protection from the elements.
This duck makes a good choice far away from other ducks, rabbits and with a good view.
And of course we now have lots of ducklings wandering around.

No comments:

Post a Comment