Can muscovy and cayuga produce offspring?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by savingdogs, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have males and females of both cayuga and muscovy that are reaching sexual maturity. Already I'm noticing the drakes are pestering the hens of the wrong breed! Grrrrr. I was hoping they would keep to their own kind. I guess that was wishful thinking.

    Does anyone know what cayuga/muscovy offspring would be like? I have more muscovy drakes but my one cayuga is....active. ahem.

    If I wanted to sell purebred hatching eggs or produce purebred babies, how long would I have to keep the breeds separated? We have kinda one big barnyard for everyone and they all like it.

    If anyone has a photo of a cayuga/muscovy I would be extremely interested in seeing what a cross looks like. Or wondering what it would taste like as well.
     
  2. treldib

    treldib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they can produce offspring but the offspring will all be mules which means they are sterile (can't have babies of their own). This is because Muscovies are a South American species and all the Mallard-Derivative ducks are North American. This means they are too far apart genetically and would not produce viable offspring. I will let some people more experienced with 'Scovies answer the other questions.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The crosses will be sterile. They are also very good ducks for eating. Leaner than the mallard derived breeds and faster growing than their parents. As a kid we kept a flock of pekin ducks and muscovy drakes for the production of "mules" for the restaurant trade.
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I quote from http://www.metzerfarms.com/FAQ.cfm#Mule


    Muscovy and domestic ducks (such as the Pekin - which were developed from Mallards) are very different as they have been genetically isolated for over 50 million years. They can be crossed but you get some very interesting results. If you cross a Muscovy male with a Pekin female you will hatch moulards (or mule ducks); if you cross a Pekin male with a Muscovy female the progeny are called hinnies. In Europe and in Asia many mule ducks are produced because of their large size, quality liver and reduced fat content in the carcass. Artificial insemination has been developed in ducks due to the desire to produce mule ducks. If left to mate naturally, the fertility is only 20-30%. Artificial insemination brings the fertility up to 80%. Whereas a Pekin takes 28 days to hatch and a Muscovy takes 35 days, a mule or hinny takes 32 days to hatch.

    Approximately 60% of mule ducks are males. Some of their characteristics are like the Muscovy as they are large, quiet, slow moving and have long claws but are also like Pekin as they swim well, the males and females are much the same size and they do not fly. Hinnies are not grown commercially. Male hinnies are much larger than female hinnies, like the muscovy, yet the females look like Pekins but fly quite well. Mules and hinnies cannot reproduce. Both males are sterile and only the hinny females lay eggs (though they cannot hatch). If you have Muscovy and Pekin together, the chances are poor that they will cross but if they do, a hinny will probably be the result as Pekin males can catch Muscovy females more easily than Muscovy males can catch Pekin females.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    In retrospect, I realize that a disproportionate % of the offspring produced were drakes. I'm guessing that our fertility rate was around 80% with natural breeding. We kept five muscovy drakes with Approximately 20 pekin hens. The hens were selected from a flock known for natural reproduction, and most of our ducklings were raised by the hens. (All of this took place 50 or 60 years ago.) Oops, guess I just outed my age.[​IMG] Good information katharinead!
     
  6. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Would it be safe to assume that many of these things would hold true for a cayuga/muscovy crossing?
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Absolutely, as Cayugas are a mallard derived breed.
     
  8. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well my cayuga drake, Tupac (my cayugas are named for black music artists, girls are Beyonce, Whitney and Rhianna) has started to quite actively pursue one of the muscovy females, not his own ladies. She is a little younger and is rather afraid of him. He chases her all around the duck pen until he catches her and holds her down. I'm not sure if they are mating (don't cayugas have to mate in the water)? He kinda sits on top of her for awhile?
    I've seen him mating with Beyonce, Whitney and Rhianna in our pond. It looks like he is drowning them! But that looks more like real mating to me. Sorry to be so naive, but these are my first ducks and I don't have anyone else to ask!
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Ducks don't have to mate in the water, but they are generally more successful mating in water. He is exhibiting mating behavior with the muscovy. At this point in the game, he would probably try to breed a water bucket if nothing else was available. You've already noticed how your hen's heads can become submerged while being bred. When multiple drakes are gang breeding a hen, they can drown her with this behavior. One of many reasons why too many drakes in a flock can cause problems. You are in the right place to ask questions. Someone on here will have whatever information you may need. (Also some mis information so just use common sense.)
     
  10. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow! That is good to know. I currently have one cayuga drake and four muscovy. We have three of the muscovy drakes scheduled for freezer camp and plan to end up with one cayuga to three females and one muscovy to five females.

    But if my muscovy drakes might drown a female then maybe freezer camp should be scheduled a little sooner. I was thinking of processing them in the fall when there is more room in the freezer.
     

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