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Experienced Northern Muscovy Keepers - I need help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cchase25, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. cchase25

    cchase25 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Oconomowoc, WI
    This is my first year with Muscovies and I love them! I have 6 - 2 male and 4 female. (also have 3 chickens)

    Anyhow I live in WI and I need some advice for how to winter them over safely. Up until now I have been putting them in the chicken coop at night. But now they can fly and 2 have started sleeping way up in an oak tree. The other 3 are staying on the ground but can fly. I don't want to let them stay in the coop at night anymore because they are so messy and the sleep in the nesting boxes. (But they haven't started laying yet.) So to my question, can I let them free range in the yard now that they can fly up away from predators? How will they keep warm in winter? Should I build a shelter they can go into at night? But then a predator could get them because they could be trapped in there. I can build a duck house and lock them up at night but leave the ones in the trees as there is no getting them back in once they go up to roost there. I have lots of sheltered spots in the yard and woods that they like to hang out in, but once the ground is covered in snow what do they like to do? Need some help from a good book or experienced Northern Muscovy keeper. Thoughts? Advice?? Thanks, Carol
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Flying won't keep them safe from predators
    You can clip the flight feathers on one wing to keep them grounded. Can you lock them in another area from the coop?
    Their caruncles can get frostbitten and so can their feet if not protected from the cold. I don't mean a heated hut, but they do need protection from wind and ice and snow.
     
  3. cchase25

    cchase25 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Oconomowoc, WI
    Yes I can build them a duck house, just wasn't sure if they need to be kept warm or not. We also have some sheltered areas in the chicken coop run area. I thought that flying would help keep them safe from predators, right now two go up in the tree as soon as evening sets in and I cannot get them down, they do stay up there all night and they are really high up so I am not sure what could get them, maybe a racoon could but I have never seen one in my yard yet. We did have a problem fox in the spring that got into my chickens... i saw him around several times and had to keep the ducklings and chickens locked up for quite a while. I believe something got it though becuase it has been months since i have seen it. The ducks are very big now and as I said the two tree sleepers are tough to catch. Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.
     
  4. cchase25

    cchase25 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Oconomowoc, WI
    I will have to learn how to clip their flight feathers too. Good suggestion.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Look on Metzers website for instructions on clipping, I have Muscovy and it's a must to keep them from flying, and it doesn't matter how high they go in a tree something will eventually get them, owls for one thing. There was someone just recently who posted about a raccoon getting their drake who was up in a tree at night. he got chewed up pretty bad. They are not safe on their own.
     

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