Muscovy's are perfect on a farm with a lake full of mallards they do not disappear off with the wild birds and return to their own duck house every night, if you have enough space you don't need to clip them as they don't fly far. They love wetland and shallow areas best for foraging but also love a splash in the lake a few times a day. They are friendly and wag their tails when they see you. The males make a hissing huff noise while the females make a squeak noise. Males will bite occasionally but it does not hurt and normally because they want some food from you. They lay reasonably well but because of going broody they should not be compared to mallard types who do not go broody. They make very protective mothers, I would say ferocious if you attempt to touch a baby so best not left with children if they have a brood. Good meaty bird, meat is low fat.
The most unique breed of poultry I have the pleasure of keeping on my farm. The drakes are gentle giants easily twice the size as the females and this difference in size can be observed from about 4 weeks of age, making early sexing of ducklings very easy. They are unlike any other duck breed and are full of personality. The females lay reasonably well and if allowed to be free range will return to the same nesting place. Muscovies have a excellent flying ability and will happily sleep on house roofs or on the top of sheds. If living free range they will nest from quiet corners on the ground to the very top of a hay stack. Male to female ratio needs to be low as the males are not overly active. Within the flock males and females will form small family units with the males only mating with a few females. The incubation period of Muscovy eggs is 35 days.
In my opinion, Muscovy ducks might just be the best duck specie. Their facial appearance may take a bit of time to get used to but they are the most lovable birds. Their egg production is good, around 100-150 eggs a year if you don't let them sit. If you want to have a broody, the Muscovy is the breed you are looking for. Also the Muscovy is the healthiest duck meat on the market, 98% or greater fat free. They come in a range of colours and are simply stunning. They don't make quack either, instead they produce a quiet, friendly hiss. They also make the friendliest of pets, often eating out of your hand.
I reccomend the Muscovy to anyone who wants to breed, have their own food or simply a pet for life.
The Muscovy is easy and friendly. They eat all pests and so do not bring the fly problem other pets can bring. They eat veg and so are not good for living in a veg patch, but great on grass. It would be possible to let them into a fenced veg patch to eat slugs, or let them reach through a fence. They do not like most herbs and so are perfect for a herb garden. They are friendly and will come in a cat door if they think of the house as a food source. Female muscovies are very gentle. Males can be tame, but can get beaky, although they are gentler than geese and cocks. They get along with guinea pigs and rabbits and chickens, cats and dogs. The eggs are excellent, the meat from a muscovy is excellent. Kept just as pets they can be a delightful friend, pulling up worms as you dig, taking peas from your hand, but fully hardy. My muscovies shelter in a plastic rain barrel on its side fixed to a stump, with a holes cut in the lid. They need water to wash in freshened twice a week. I have a tub that collects rain water and overflows into my hydrangeas, so I only occaisionly dump out the water and add fresh. I supplement them with wheat under water in winter and growers pellets when young. They love to dabble for defrosted frozen spinach in water. They will denude your pond of all oxygenating plants and frogs and other life unless your pond is very large. I transfer pond weed into their water to make up for having a cover on my garden pond. Altogether a much easier than the runner ducks I used to have. A great pet with the bonus of being very very quiet.
Muscovy ducks are incredible! I've kept many breeds of ducks over the last 30 odd years and avoided Muscovies because I thought the mass of red caruncles made them look ugly (oh how wrong I was) to cut a long story short I gave up keeping ducks two years ago because my husband couldn't stand the muddy mess they made of any wet area of garden! Now back to Muscovies - I discovered that they were not as messy as other ducks and talked my husband into letting me get some. Their looks grew on me and I now think that they are beautiful and best of all I get to keep ducks with no muddy quagmire because to my absolute delight I found that they do not dabble their beaks in mud no matter how wet the weather and even better they are so very friendly and follow me around like little puppy dogs with their tails wagging like crazy. Beware a broody duck though - she will guard her eggs to the very death - I tried to move a broody Muscovy and ended up with her hanging from my sleeve by her beak. That taught me not to interfere with nature. Leave broody girls in peace and they are happy! All in all Muscovies for me are truly delightful pets and I would recommend them as garden ducks to anyone who loves ducks but hates the mess they make!
I purchased a male and female at the Romsey show to my surprise as I wasn't planning on getting my ducks for another few months. My wife chose the birds (she didn't want them) and for 3 weeks they lived in half summerhouse, they always found a route into the other half so lots of cleaning lol. I have two kids ages 3 and 5, they love the ducks because they are so friendly and will eat from their hands. They are now living in my veg patch (had to build a spacious home for them on stilts) a deep pond that they can be found in most of time when they aren't rummaging through the rest of the garden. I have clipped their feathers for this year and that was an experience lol critical not to cut blood feathers. So after my long description, in a few points they are quiet, happy, friendly, easy to care for and even my wife now loves them bc they are such great birds.
I recently bought some Muscovy eggs on line. I had been looking for ages to buy some ducklings, but they seem to be quite hard to come by. I did find one local breeder in Kent, who was out of stock. If they did have any, they would have charged £50.00 each!. So when my eggs (for £9.00) arrived, I let them rest for 2 days, and put them in a small incubator. In the last 10 days, I placed them under a broody hen, which meant she was happy, and the eggs stood a better chance of hatching. Only 2 hatched. One lilac drake, and one pied female. They are 6 weeks old now, very tame, and are a delight to have around. They are as big as my chickens at the moment, and already, they take no nonsense from them.
As they are not related, I am hoping to breed from them in the future. More eggs, means more cooking, and baking.
They're not the greatest layers or lookers, but somehow they're so sweet with their little attempts at quacks, and funny waddling. And they have minds of their own.
I don't have to clip wings, they can fly, but if they're happy they don't fly away.
So it's better if you don't clip and then they can fly away from the fox if they have to. Plus they like roosting on fences etc.
But don't listen to people who say they don't need as much water as other ducks- mine bathe far more than the others (Campbells, Runners and Cherry Valleys), and really love if it's deep enough to get right under. My biggest problem is keeping them out of the horses' water trough, and topping up the sandpits- males have big, sharp claws, so I don't think a paddling pool would last long.
They are excellent broodies, but so far my eggs haven't hatched and even after 6 weeks, it's had work getting the eggs away- they don't give up! I must brave it sooner and candle the eggs early on. Their bite doesn't hurt that much.
My ducks were fine through the harsh winter, they sheltered under shrubs in the garden and took refuge in the porch at night. They free-range over the paddock and the field next door, never fly away even though they could, make no noise, are great with my small grandchildren and get on with the sheep, the pony, the hens and the dogs. They are the nicest ducks and very easy to keep. They are very tasty too, although don't bother plucking them, just use the breast as there is not much on the legs and wings and my friend the gamekeepers wife said she had never plucked anything so problematic. I can never find the eggs as they go off and lay in old tree stumps 2 or 3 fields away and come back pleased as punch with between 10 and 16 ducklings
Muscovies have masses of personality and are a hundred times smarter than chickens. Although mine have never been aggressive, I would think twice about allowing small children to handle them: the males can be very strong and I have dislocated a thumb trying to catch one. Mine lay almost daily during the Spring and Summer but begin later in the season than other fowl. They are pretty miserable in the snow and have not enjoyed recent Winters. I've never allowed them free range of the whole garden (too many foxes) but, having seen them strip their sizeable run of vegetation, I am not convinced that's a good idea anyway despite the snail cull.
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