Getting Muscovy Ducklings - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PunkinPeep, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I have been wanting to get Muscovies for a while, and i just found someone in my area who happens to be incubating Muscovy eggs that are due to hatch this week, so i'm going to go get some once they hatch. I'm so excited, but i want to make sure i do this right.

    I have hatched and raised lots of chickens, but i've never touched a duck, so i wonder if y'all would mind kind of telling me the differences in what to expect. And any advice is very welcome.

    First, i read that i can use a regular chick waterer for the ducklings. But i keep imagining them trying to drink out of that tiny space with those big ol' duck bills, and the geometry doesn't seem to work.

    Can i really use a chick waterer?

    Second, i've always kept my chicks on pine shavings.

    Any problem with pine shavings and Muscovy Ducklings?

    My plan has been as follows:
    Raise the ducklings in an outside brooder with a heatlamp, and from what i understand, unmedicated feed. Is flock raiser ok? When they get feathered in and a little bigger, integrate them with the chickens so they can live in the coop. I figure that when they get big enough to fly, they can fly out of the chicken run on their own, and they'll identify the coop as home, so they'll know where to come back to for shelter.

    Next question: once they start flying the coop, natural water is close by, and i figure they'll find it quickly. I've read that Muscovies don't really have to have water like other ducks, but should i be providing a pool or something before they fly the coop? Feel free to straighten me out on this if i'm confused.

    And please share any information that might benefit me. I'm so excited and nervous!

    Oh, one more thing. I have elevated nest boxes in the coop for the hens. Will the ducks want to use those? Or do i need to provide something different for the ducks?
  2. Wulfandwyn

    Wulfandwyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2011
    my muscovys love having a kiddie pool. I started them with a rubber dog bowl when they were little. just make sure they have a way to get out if you decide to use a pool.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    At the bigining when they are tiny yes use a chick waterer, they can fall into other things and drown after about 2 weeks you can give them an open bowl but they will probably want to swim in it. lol, I always start my ducklings on chick starter then switch to FR crumbles at about 4 weeks. If you want them to be able to swim they will have to be supervised till feathered out, which means only for a short time and completely dried before going back outdoors. Some keep their ducks and chickens in a coop together and it seems to work, just make sure the ducks will have a place to sleep without a roost over top of them so the chickens won't be pooping on them, they just might roost along with the chickens. Another thing you'll need to be careful of is drakes will try to mate with your chickens which will kill your chickens, they have a totally different anatomy than a chicken. so If you get drakes you'll have to be especially careful till you see how he will act with your hens, I have drakes with my chickens and the drakes have never messed with the hens because they have plenty of girl ducks to keep them company, usually 3 ducks to a drake. They will start to fly around 3-4 months and you can give them a kiddee pool or a cemet tub to wash in but your chicken run will sure be muddy.. also ducks when older after getting all their feathers will need something deep enough to wash their eyes and nares out. This is very important. Also you will want to add nician to their feed in the form of brewers yeast powder or nician tablets to keep them from getting problems with their legs, ducks need more nician than what in chicken feed. again just till about 3 months old when they are growing so fast. I hope I haven't scared you off but there is a big difference between keeping chicks and ducklings... Please keep us updated on your new ducklings and of course pics... I love Muscovies [​IMG]
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Thank you very much for your responses on that. I'll be thinking about how to get them a little pool or something.

    Anyone want to take a stab at the rest of my questions? [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by