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Introducing Existing Muscovy Drake to New Muscovy Hen

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Nott, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Nott

    Nott Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Central Texas
    Hi there, I apologize if this question has already been answered elsewhere, but I couldn't seem to find it. I've just joined, though I have lurked this website constantly for advice and opinions all through my first experience with my very own first flock.

    I have a Muscovy drake who is a little over a year old. I have had him since he was a duckling. His brother was unfortunately killed about six months ago by a roaming dog that got on to our property. My drake has never known another duck. We got a Muscovy hen this weekend who is around his age. She is in her own duck coop for now to ensure she is healthy and to allow her to get used to the routine at our home. Our duck coop is about five feet tall and has separate doors with dividers between doors that can be removed and replaced as needed, so it can be two small coops or one large one. I currently have the divider up between our new hen and our drake. Does anyone have any advice about how long I should wait to take the divider away so she and the drake can actually interact and share the coop? I don't want him to run her ragged and stress her by being overly excited and amorous. I plan on keeping the hen cooped for about a month so she will be more likely to stick around, and letting our drake out daily to free range as usual.
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    A month should be more than enough for her to feel at home. It is safest to have them seperated that long to ensure that she is healthy. After quarantine, can you put up a divider that they can see through? That way they can see eachother without being able to interact. I would then try short, supervised introductions. All drakes are different. If he wasn't ever with a female it may take him time to figure out what to do with her anyway. Some drakes are aggressive breeders, some aren't.
     
  3. Nott

    Nott Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Central Texas
    Thank you very much! It's hard for me to find out terribly much about Muscovys, especially something specific like that. That sounds like a great approach. Our drake is very laid back and enjoys mingling and foraging with our chicken flock, but you never know how an animal will react when the opposite sex is thrown in the mix. The poor hen seems so traumatized from the move that I wouldn't want her to lose whatever tenuous feelings of security she hopefully builds up while cooped for a month because our drake harassed her terribly.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    You may want to consider clipping one of her wings to prevent flight. Just in case. You clip the flight feathers only. They will grow back after she molts but that could avoid her potentially getting lost if she were to fly.

    Be prepared also that most drakes are not very graceful when it comes to mating. It usually looks worse than it is and they do a lot of stomping around on the hens back before they figure it out. [​IMG]

    You can also give her some things that she can get up on away from him. Concrete blocks placed upright are favorite perches for mine. Post some pics when you have the chance.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Nott

    Nott Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Central Texas
    I hate the idea of taking away her natural defense and ability to fly, but you're probably right. I would be more upset if she flew off and got herself killed. Every time someone mentions clipping wings, they mention that blood stop powder. Yikes, do the wings really need to be clipped to the blood in the quill?

    Haha, our drake is clumsy as it is, so that should be a sight to behold. :p

    Thank you! I will definitely post some pictures when I get the chance. Our new hen is very beautiful. All white with blue eyes. Our drake is an ugly blue fellow, but then again, I don't think any Muscovy drakes are the most attractive of birds. :p
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I understand about the natural defences but its probably a better idea at first. She will probably molt before year's end so you can then decide to clip again or not.

    They should NOT be bleeding. If they do it was done too young or incorrectly.

    Look at this info.
    http://www.cornerstonefarm.net/wingdemo.html
     
  7. Nott

    Nott Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Central Texas
    Whew, thank goodness. I'm glad that it's not a painful process, though I'm sure the hen will be upset with me for a while afterward. That's a wonderful diagram and info. Thank you very much for all of your help! :D
     

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