Breeding Flock of Muscovys

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Grassman 52, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    looking for some suggestions on numbers of Muscovy ducks required to operate a self sustaining breeding flock.
    I currently have 32 Muscovys around 20 ducks and 12 drakes - in the process of selling a few and putting some away for meat. This is my first year with ducks and want to keep the correct number for breeding next year. My goals are to have enough to eat - sell - and enjoy eggs (secondary). Thinking that I would need to keep about 12 ducks and two or three drakes. Looking for adivice from people who breed these ducks please.

    Also how many breeding pens would i need to set-up?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Celtic Oaks Farm may be able to help you out there. She come and goes so you may want to PM her.
     
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How many people are you trying to provide eggs for?

    How much meat are you wanting a month?
     
  4. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With the Muscovy - eggs would be for personal use only - Family of 8. As for meat thinking of 8 -10 birds a month, this will allow me to take care of neighbors , friends, and sell some to differ costs
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are seasonal layers unless you are providing extra lighting during the fall and winter so you can expect 1-2 broods per year if left with mom. You can expect 10-16 ducklings per hatch if left with the hen although far fewer or up to somewhere in the 20's is not uncommon. So 120-192 ducklings if only one hatch per bird.

    I've read to expect to lose or cull up to 25% so if that were the case you would end up with 96-144 if one hatch. Based on these numbers, you probably have enough hens. Not all hens are good mothers and though known for broodiness, this is not a guarantee. You may want to keep a few hens just for eggs or collect any smaller, dirty or otherwise bad for hatching eggs to eat. Depends on how many eggs you want also.

    For breeding pens, you can set up 1 per drake. It really depends on if you are just breeding to produce ducklings or if you are going to be working on improving traits like color, size, mothering ability etc. Are they going to be free ranged or have access to a yard?

    Biosecurity and predator protection will be your biggest concerns since either could mean big losses to your flock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  6. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    1 drake per 3-4 girls coverage on average for breeding programs. As Jdy said you should have enough girls now for your meat goal, but if it were me and my goal to have ready supply, i would keep 16 girls, broken down into 4 breeding pens of 4 girls/1 drake each or two pens of 8 girls/ 2 drakes per pen. This way you have wiggle room if a duck isnt a good mother, not a good layer or if you suffer a loss there are back up numbers.

    Since they are seasonal layers you may wish to keep a duck know for high egg output like a Khaki campbell (who lay better than any chicken in a years time). This way you arent taking away from your meat supply when using eggs for eating.
     
  7. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both for your replies - Eggs for eating are not a big driver for me - I have chickens and 6 Pekins (4) just started laying. Looking more for meat production and then after a year or two I may start refining my breeding program. I purchased a Dicky incubator 2X2 a couple of months ago and have been hatching chickens for my brother and replenishing my flock - playing around getting familiar with the incubator.

    My thoughts are that I will let some ducks sit but use the incubator for production - I also will be breeding some geese in the spring so I am looking at my layout trying to map out breeding pens - fenced pens etc...
    Currently I have a large chicken coop 12X12 - 8Ft tall Duck house 8 X 16 - 8ft tall Geese shed 6 X 12 - 6 ft tall 1.5 acres fully fenced and secure that all birds free range - planted pasture grass and winter rye for the winter.

    Raised chickens for 3years, but this is my first year with ducks and geese - Jumped in with both feet[​IMG]
     
  8. SiTran

    SiTran Out Of The Brooder

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    New to duck keeping....I was wondering how long will these guys/girls stay productive? Hen laying? Drake fertility? Planning on eating the extra eggs and ducklings for meat....

    Sorry to original poster for changing the subject!
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I have ducks that are 8yrs and still lay every once in a while. I think my drake who is also 8yrs old is not so fertile anymore. But they will be with me till they go on.
     
  10. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    goose and duck incubation is not as easy as chicken. I always say anyone can hatch chicken eggs in an incubator. Ducks are not as easy as chickens, but far easier than geese. Artificial incubation of goose eggs takes a butt load of patience and willingness to fail often before you get it down.
     

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