I have quite a few Muscovy duckling questions...

Going Quackers

Crowing
9 Years
May 24, 2011
7,829
948
361
On, Canada
I hope that's ok.


I currently have 4 mucovy ducklings, there actually 3wks today. Now i got them at a few days old from my farm supply and starting brooding them in the house we were still pretty cold at the start of May and even today despite a warm week-end are barely creeping into double digits... (for those who follow F im 52F)

They appear to be doing well, growing and the feathers are starting to come in. Now onto my questions lol

- There on a chick starter(non-medicated) how long do i use this? i keep getting varying responses from general searches on google and books and heck even the feed supply


- Do i feed other things? like should there be more to there diet than just this chick starter.

- When can they go outside? being there only at the start of feathering, i gather i need a pretty mild temp, we've also been raining like crazy and practically nowhere is dry... should i pen them up on a mild day so they can forage and bring them back into my brooder box at night?

Obviously, at this point i have no clue on genders but i keep reading conflicting things about drakes.. ie; nasty, terrible pets best suited for dinner
These ducks will be left to free range daily to help control flies and pests, we have horses. They will be shut in at night to avoid becoming a meal for some passer by but for ourselves they are not a dinner plan so should i be concerned if we get drakes? what is a good mix.. of genders etc.

Any other tips or basic advice for a beginner would be wonderful! is it worthwhile to invest in a book? do you have a recommendation of one?

Thanks for answering, i am sure this will be only the start of what will be many questions as they get older.
 

La Mike

(Always Slightly Off)
10 Years
Nov 20, 2009
2,582
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louisiana
Ok lets see lol. I would brood them until weather gets to at least 70's or better. That would be until about 6-7 weeks probably. Ducks can tolerate cooler temps than chickens. Mine go out at 2 weeks.
The chick starter is fine till they are big enough to eat regular feed. Greens after 2-3 weeks is a good supplement for them if the cant free range any, otherwise they should be able to get their own.
I personally dont have any issues with my drakes. They were raised from chicks also. Just spend time with them and you shouldnt have any agression issues.
I would try to have at least 2 hens to every drake so no dominance issues arise.
Other than that they are great foragers and pets
 

Going Quackers

Crowing
9 Years
May 24, 2011
7,829
948
361
On, Canada
Thank you i appreciate you answering my many questions lol

We figured probably around 6+wks of age till the weather steadies... we just enlarged the brooder last night so they have more room since it seems they'll be indoors for a few more weeks.

You mention greens? since there now 3wks can i give them grass clippings? we don't spray here.. or what other types should i begin introducing?

Glad to hear you have no drake issues at the moment we can only guess our ratio
good to know on the ratio of hens to drakes.. perhaps we'll be lucky and get only one drake lol


Quote:
 

La Mike

(Always Slightly Off)
10 Years
Nov 20, 2009
2,582
23
209
louisiana
I would start with softer greens like turnip,lettuce,celery tops something along that order.
 

mickt

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 20, 2011
29
0
22
Hi GOING QUACKERS my ducklings go on starter from day one untill there wing feathers start to come through(then you need to drop protien content ) then a grower till there app 16-18 weeks old then a duck breeder and a hand full of mixed grain every couple of days and have never had a problem with growth or fertillality. i have never been a big fan with giving a lot of fruit and veg because most of your good quality feeds have all of what your duck nees and giving treets can through out the ballance of protiene etc. but a lot of pp do and dont have a problem. regards mick
 

Mom 2em All

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Apr 20, 2008
4,032
550
336
Dora, Alabama
It has been my experience that two hens per drake is not enough. My drakes fought and fought and fought over the four girls. I ended up rehoming one of them. However, the first year they were fine. It was into their second year that the fighting began. I think it is an individual duck thing- enjoy them!

I have seven babies out there with Mama duck. They hunt worms, grab bugs, forage all day long with her- they are starting now to put more distance between them and Momma duck. They hatched in mid- March. I just checked out there, we had so much rain that my entire backyard is flooded. They were in the pond swimming, and Mom is up in the duck house.
 

ian4379

Songster
8 Years
May 8, 2011
267
17
101
Australia
hi all. mine stay on chick starter till 5 weeks, then i mix it in with my adult mix which is layer pellet, wheat and crushed maize.

i let my ducklings wander around outside straight away as long as the mum is always with them and they are seperated from the rest of the brood. the weather isnt an issue here(australia). if i'm raising them without the mum i limit the time they spend outside to when i can supervise till they are 6 or 7 weeks, only to protect them from predators like hawks.

i've read a lot of stories about nasty drakes, my two get along fine and i've never seen a fight, doesnt mean it hasnt happened though. i just liken it to dogs soughting themselves out.
 

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