"One of these things is not like the other..."
Meet Jemima and Betsy. Jemina is the Muscovy duck on the left and Betsy is the Columbian Rock x Rhode Island Red chicken on the right.
About a month ago, I noticed that the other ducks were picking on Jemima so at night, I put her on her own in the feed/prep area of the barn. Soon after, I noticed that she was stealthily building a nest behind the "cubby area" where we store hay (hence the name Jemima, after Beatrix Potter's character Jemima Puddle-duck, who tries to hide her eggs from the farmer's wife so she can hatch them herself).
Then came Betsy, who also liked to nest in strange places. I thought the two of them might get ornery with each other as while the ducks and chickens don't pick fights, they're certainly not chummy. It appears these two have worked something out.
A few days after these two started co-nesting, Betsy left for some power scratching in the barnyard. She ran out through the barn doors, wings flapping and comb twitching, and beelined it to Gall's morning manure pile as fast as her little chicken legs could carry her. She was on a mission: to scratch at all the undigested grain kernels in his poop. While she was engaged in her gross buffet breakfast, I got a chance peek at the nest.
The white eggs are Jemina's and the brown ones are Betsy's.
I wondered what would happen when the eggs started hatching -- chicks hatch after 21 days while Muscovies take 35 days -- but again I decided to let nature take its course.
Seems like I made the right choice this time.
Now what I can't figure out is, how did a Barred Plymouth Rock egg/chick get in to the nest???