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Sex Ed: Mating Questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a female muscovy (Daphne), and two younger males (Saffron and Clover) who hatched on 8/26 (so not quite 5 months old).  When I got the boys, Daphne had just stopped laying and was molting.  A couple of days ago Clover and Saffron started mating with Daphne, or trying to mate.  This morning Daphne laid her first egg in a while.  What are the chances that her eggs are going to be fertile?  Can the boys be fertile at their tender young age, or are they likely just dry humping her?  We were figuring we'd keep the boys just long enough to get one clutch and then give them away (there are quite a few people who would like to adopt them as pets around here).   What we'd really like to end up with is 2 or 3 females.  But, if it's going to be a while before anything can happen, I don't think we want to subject Daphne to rough stuff for too long.  Clover especially likes it really rough.

post #2 of 4

Muscovy ducks are generally considered mature at around 7 months of age, although the males may not be fully fertile until around 12 months old. 


At five months old, young drakes are subject to raging hormones (much like teenagers!) and while there is a chance that the eggs may become fertilised, I would wait until they are at least 10 months old before allowing the female to sit on the eggs. Often at this age the young drakes may only fertilise some eggs - meaning you could end up with just two or three ducklings from a clutch of twelve or so eggs! Or, there is a good chance that none will be fertilised at all.  


The females, being more 'petite' and gentle than the males should be kept separate from the males if there are more males than females (as in your case), because much of the time, the poor female will just be "raped" many times a day. If there was more ducks than drakes, then it would be fine to keep them together or if there was just one of each (aka a pair). 


In your case, I'd try and separate Clover and Saffron from Daphne (although try and let them all see each other) because muscovies really need the company of other ducks! When your boys are around 10 months old and/or it is early spring (when muscovies lay their eggs), I'd suggest you let the males in with her one at a time. To have a greater chance of different colours in the ducklings, let one boy in for one day at a time, swapping them each day, while she lays eggs. The day she starts sitting (usually when she has 10-14 eggs), take both the boys out again and let her sit in peace. The ducklings should hatch in about one month! 


Good luck :) 

post #3 of 4

First post! 


We have 11 muscovies and 2 mallards. 


There are 4 muscovy drakes and 7 females. Some of the flock started late summer, the rest were added later in the fall. 


It seems I'm suffering a similar problem. All of the sudden my formerly (the older, roughly at 5 months) sweet drakes are being obnoxious, amorous and now, attacking each other...possibly non-stop. I've separated them in the same pen with wire fencing. 


Am I to understand their aggressiveness will tend to pass? Will it worsen again in the spring? Will they mellow out and be fun again? 


Our main intent is eggs. I knew nothing about muscovies until they started getting enormous. Sounds like they are fair layers. We love how large, quiet and generally, increasingly friendly they are. All that said, I will cull the flock for the good of the flock if necessary. 


Thank you! 

post #4 of 4

:welcome Huckleberrypres :D


In my experience as a long-time muscovy breeder, I've found that the drakes from about 5 months of age until about one and a half years old, tend to be very aggressive and desperate to mate with the females. 


Generally however, the males will remain quite aggressive until around 5 years old (although they do mature and become less crazy with each year)!


Just like people they have their own personalities, and I've had numerous drakes who never lost the fighting spirit and would fight their fellow males until death  (or a fence!!) did them part!


If you want eggs, it's a good idea to have muscovies on a ratio of one drake to a minimum of three females. This way each female will be encouraged to lay the maximum number of eggs. Good luck with your boys!! 

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