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Muscovy ducks in winter - please help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi.  A few questions.

How cold can Muscovy Ducks tolerate?  Why won't they go in the shelter provided? 

They just sit in the most exposed place possible, in the snow instead of inside the many shelters we provide for them.  Windchill is already below -10, and suppose to go below -16C. later tonight.

How much should I be worried?  What more can I do for them?

post #2 of 12

If they know were the shelters are they will go in them when they feel like it.Do you have some type of fence to keep them safe from predators or do you just let them free-range 24/7?

post #3 of 12

Muscovies may not know what the shelters are.  Have you tried putting the food in them so they have to go in there to eat? You can also close them in at night, that often teaches them to go in. However, if you have geese (which are territorial) in the same area, they may not want to go into the shelters where the geese are. This is also true if you have a really dominant drake or hen 'scovy that doesn't want to share shelter. smile

Dona Barski
Caprice Acres
"Breed the Best, Eat the Rest!"
Several breeds of chickens, mutt geese, Muscovies, Welsh Harlequin ducks, Silver Fox rabbits, Miniature goats, French Alpine dairy goats, Boer meat goats
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Dona Barski
Caprice Acres
"Breed the Best, Eat the Rest!"
Several breeds of chickens, mutt geese, Muscovies, Welsh Harlequin ducks, Silver Fox rabbits, Miniature goats, French Alpine dairy goats, Boer meat goats
Reply
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

They all know where the shelters are, they were raised in them when they were chicks.  There is always food and water in there for them on top of their main feeder.  Not that they have any interest in their food, they would rather catch and eat their own.

The yard is fenced, but it is almost three acres with a large, 20foot deep pond.  They quickly learned that we cannot swim.

Once they are adults, they refuse to sleep inside at night.  They resit being herded into a house, and they are all but impossible to catch if they don't want to be caught (the sharp talons make it difficult in the best of weather).  There is no way I can close them in the duck house if they won't go in it in the evenings.  They will wonder in and out during the day, but settle down, outside, next to the pond at night.

We put some extra shelters (like large dog houses) near where they hang out at night, but they show no interest in getting out of the wind. 

How cold can they tolerate?

post #5 of 12

Muscovies are pretty smart birds. If they are feeling too cold they will go somewhere that feels more comfortable. Just keep an eye on them. If any look ruffled up and aren't moving around much, or aren't keeping up with the rest of the flock, then I'd be concerned. Otherwise don't worry about it - if they know where the shelter is and have easy access then they are like kids: they will come in when their noses are runny and they are done playing in the bad weather.

Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

That's good to know.

I just want to make certain that I'm doing everything possible to help them.  They have shelters, a full sized duck house, we change the water a few times a day so that it won't freeze, they have grains to eat... anything else I might want to do?

post #7 of 12

Pile up the straw and take a deep breath when they completely ignore all of your efforts and stay outside.

My geese drove me crazy last year because in the worst of weather they would be relaxing out on the ice a few feet from the door of their (relatively) warm, cozy shelter/pen that had been heaped with straw.

Whenever you get the chance make sure you watch when they move. Anyone who is lethargic or limping should be caught and inspected. Unfortunately since they are flock animals, sometimes someone who _isn't_ feeling well will brave the climate just so they aren't all alone. Usually you can tell because they just look wrong to you.

If you are genuinely concerned then you can teach your muscovies to go in the shelters at night and lock them up in there. Sometimes the peace of mind is worth knowing they are grumbling about not being able to play in the blizzard.

Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your help.

post #9 of 12

I have 6 scovies at the moment.  Two sleep on the roof of my house.  Yesterday 3 others slept on the rail of my deck... Tonight 4 are in the coop with the chickens, and two back on the roof...  Can't figure it out, but they all look happy... for a duck.

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post #10 of 12

A couple years ago I had this ONE hen that refused to go into the house at night. She slept outside all night and I would have to bring her in every morning to defrost her wings & tail. sometimes the others slept outside also but for some reason they were never frozen like her. She was fine otherwise.. I did it mainly for my peace of mind but she did enjoy the warm towel-filled basket she gotta sit in for an hour every morning.  She survived the winter just fine & i am sure she woulda been fine without coming in every morning.

LF BBS Wyandottes, 1 chihuahua(izzy), 1 mouse cat(inky).
"Not all of Gods creatures are cute & cuddly but they have just as much right to be here as you and I."
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LF BBS Wyandottes, 1 chihuahua(izzy), 1 mouse cat(inky).
"Not all of Gods creatures are cute & cuddly but they have just as much right to be here as you and I."
Reply
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