How messy are they really?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BLaBauve, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Georgia
    I have a large chicken run with 13 hens. I was given two muscovy ducklings this weekend. Is it even feasible to think 1 hen muscovy could live with my chickens? The run is VERY dry, so I don't mind if part of it gets a little wet. I could keep a small kiddie pool in the run for the muscovy hen, but wasn't sure if that was enough. I am able to tend to my coop at least twice a day and refill the pool. Just curious if my run would become disgusting with her in there.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    We have 2 Mallards (drake and hen) in the chicken coop and run and it actually is not any dirtier than when we had just chickens. We made a catcher for the water inside the coop, and the chickens actually love when the water gets on the ground. They will crowed around when I dump the kiddie pool and then go digging in the dirt/mud for the bugs that pop out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  3. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Georgia
    Funny you say that, my girls are similar. Everyday I tip their waterer and they come running to drink the water in the leaves/dirt! My run really is very dry, so tipping the water does not make any puddles. I keep hoping 1 muscovy hen wouldn't turn their run into a mud pit like so many people say. I know several ducks could do that, but 1?
     
  4. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    We put the kiddie pool in the farthest corner from the coop. We are lucky that our run is on a slope, so the water that gets splashed out does not sit around much. I don't know if this is just my ducks, or if other ones do this, but they don't really splash the water out. They get in there and do their little swim in circles underwater thing, and then they scare themselves and fly out. It splashes a little, but nothing more that if it rained. Is there a reason you are not keeping the hen and drake together? Our two stick to each other more than the chickens, so she might get lonely being just a single duck.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    It's going to depend on how you set it up and manage it. There will be a bit of mess especially close to the kiddie pool due to splash.

    Some things you can do to manage:

    Make sure the drainage works well all the time. I underestimated the amount of slope I would need to keep the muddy water from puddling in one part of the duck pen, and it did not become apparent for nearly nine months. After that much time, the plant fibers from foraged plants and loose straw gummed up what I had, and it became anaerobic. No major gag-me stink, just a little whiff of swamp, and I made some changes. Took me about three hours to fix it up and now the used water pours off into the channel to the grape arbor again.

    Holderread recommends a platform covered with something like half inch hardware cloth (I'd use coated wire), or instead of a platform, a few inches of pea gravel. I use pea gravel, but it got gummed up so I needed to create more of a slope, which was pretty easy.

    Harness the inevitable: my runners - much smaller than muscovies, but I have ten and you have two [​IMG] have very moist droppings. I add straw, oak leaves (really help keep odors down), coir, and other high-carbon materials that absorb moisture, attract worms which the ducks eat, and produce some fabulous compost for my garden.

    I have heard of chickens drowning, but I don't know how common that is. Just a thought. Ducks need water to bathe in as well as drink, so having it available to them is critical. Having their own water supply helps the chickens, too, I am told, since ducks muddy up water within minutes - sometimes seconds after it is cleaned and refilled.

    Some people plumb their pools and drain the water into a field or garden area (great nutrient!). Making sure the pipes are sized correctly to avoid plugging up is part of the exercise. I just dump the concrete mixing pan into the channel and it goes downhill to the grape arbor. Simple. Easy to fix up if a straw dam forms.

    Those are my initial thoughts. Muscovies are fascinating animals. I am happier with my small breed, but I think you will enjoy your new babies.
     
  6. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Georgia
    In my little bit of research I've read that drakes will start to mate when chickens. I didn't want the chicken hens dealing with that. I am hoping I end up with 2 muscovy hens, but we all know that's not likely!
     
  7. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have not had a problem with the drake and the hens, but then we also have a rooster that is very protective over his girls, I think he would freak out if the drake ever tried that.
     
  8. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Georgia
    Quote:Thank you so much for this. I chose muscovies because they are so quiet, we can't have anything too loud. We don't keep roosters for the same reason. I also read they don't need a huge pond like some ducks do. I only have a tiny pond in my yard and it's full of fish and plants that I want to keep. [​IMG] I need a breed that does well in confinement most of the time. I'm very hopeful that these ducks will be able to stay and fit in with the chickens.
     

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