Full flight Muscovy

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jdywntr, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    142
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I am so undecided if I want to clip the wings of the ducklings. Well, I guess I shouldn't be calling them ducklings anymore as they are fully feathered and 14 weeks old (when do we stop refering to them as ducklings anyway?)
    This morning while eating breakfast I was treated to the sight of several of them flying about 5 feet off of the ground for about 100 yards. One ended up flying up to the top of the 6' pasture perimeter fence.

    So, I know that there are several on BYC that leave their muscovy full flight. I am well aware of the pros (predator evasion) and cons (flying off) etc. We have a lot of predators here. Dogs, coyotes, hawks etc.

    My question, do you have problems with your ducks flying into areas that they shouldn't be? I don't allow them in the pasture anymore as it is overgrown and I had lost a few chickens to dogs, coyotes and hawks in there. But if they flew in, they would be able to fly out, if need be.
    I'm not too worried about them flying off as there is not a ton of available feed sources out there right now and they know where their meals come from.

    My adults are clipped until they molt.

    Ugh, I can't decide.
     
  2. Megan Amber

    Megan Amber Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,970
    68
    198
    Mar 13, 2013
    I had a pair of muscovies one time.(Now I have Runner/Cayuga mixes and they dont fly.) Back when I had the muscovies the female was always flying out of the pen. Anytime the drake would try to breed her she would take off and take a nice walk in the woods before coming back. The funny thing was though, she always flew out but never could figure out how to get back in. When you say clipping the wings I assume you mean the feathers? I would recommend clipping. I have lost several chickens to predators because they simply would not stay in the fence!
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,556
    360
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    You know i did not clip any of those boys before i finally sold them last fall, yes, they fluttered about a bit, some better than others as per usual but i figured i'd leave it as it was, they didn't get into much in way of trouble.

    All the adults and even the under 1yo are full flight, the ladies clear the 5ft fence that is around their mini barn, but since i free range, i think this gives them some sort of opportunity for protection, prevents that sitting duck moment. The drakes OTOH cannot fly, even the younger guy has lost the ability since he matured.

    They don't fly into anywhere that is an issue often, the odd time a girl may make a too far sharp turn and land in the field that is not ours but we shoo her back and all is well, this usually only occurs in the morning when we are there and it's a happy to be able fly moment that gets misdirected but it's not a common occurrence(like can count on a hand how often and only certain birds).

    I have not had ducks just fly off because... my ducks even come back into the fence area( i leave the gate open) during the day to eat/rest and forage in there "run"(1/3 of an acre) despite having acres more to explore they are very content.

    Since i free range i will never opt for clipping, the young here are taught by the older birds on where to go, so far it ain't broke so i ain't fixin' it lol
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    142
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Thanks GQ. I knew you had full flight but with your broody headaches I figured you wouldn't be able to answer until later. [​IMG]

    I think I may leave them for now and if it becomes an issue, clip later. Mine also are usually in their run 40'x50' and go out to forage a few times a day. The chickens are out for most of the day.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,556
    360
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    LOL! i came to hide in the darn house! i need a drink [​IMG] You can always clip if you have some being buggers, i just find for us it works, the most that happens day to day is a fly out to the wooden playground or a fly out to the horse field to enjoy the heated trough lol Generally the girls just walk.. or in the case since the freeze, slide.
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    142
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    LOL

    Thanks again
     
  7. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Unless a nearby area is swarming with predators I would not clip their wings and let them fly around as they please, muscovies usually stay at their home.
    It is more natural for them to be able to perch on a fence or a tree than staying on the ground the whole time.
     
  8. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

    508
    18
    118
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancaster, CA
    Sorry for jumping in here but I am really interested in Muscovies. If you clip their feathers are they then unable to get off the ground at all? Even to roost? I'm sorry if that is a silly question :p We live in suburbia, with a main, busy street on the other side of our wall. It would be in their best interest not to fly over it, but I would like them (if I were to talk my DH into getting them as I am trying to) to be able to roost as they like.
     
  9. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,519
    479
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    I clipped my Muscovy drake's wings and he still roosted slightly off the ground like he did before.
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    142
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    When I was in the suburbs, I did a partial clip, where you leave 2 outer primary flight feathers, (it is supposed to look prettier) on my muscovy hen and she still got up and over a 6' privacy fence. I then did a full clip and she stayed put. They can still jump up to roost. My roosts are about 2' tall in the coop.

    I've always kept mine clipped since first I was in the suburbs of FL and a ton of people there HATE muscovy and then we moved to the country and I got 3-4 month olds who were fully feathered and I wanted them to know where home was.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by