Introducing new drakes to established flock- Advice Needed!

Ozarkhomesteader

Songster
7 Years
Oct 18, 2014
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Hey there! So I have a flock of muscovies I've had them for about a year and a half. There are 13 hens and one drake at the moment, along with 10 babies. I will be keeping any female babies from those 10. This spring, I had another drake, but my current drake ostracized him and he passed away. After that, the current drake couldn't keep up with the breeding, and I had a few girls nesting with infertile eggs. Made me get a lot less babies than I was expecting! So, I decided I need a few more drakes, and have been wanting to get some new colors and bloodlines in the flock anyways.

I have the opportunity to get a chocolate drake and a lavender drake from someone wanting to trade for some quail. They are quite pretty, and my thoughts are 3 drakes would be better for fertilization this coming spring breeding season. However, I had a few questions regarding introducing them.

1. Is it a good idea to add adult drakes? Being fall I figure this is the best time to do it, and I plan to separate a spot for the new boys in the coop awhile before introductions.

2. How do you manage multiple boy flocks so that one doesn't get ostracized? Is this a common problem with muscovies, or do I just have a really mean drake? I'm a bit worried that the new boys will be bullied relentlessly. I am willing to get rid of my current boy, but only as a last resort, as I think he's gorgeous. BUT him being mean is a concern, just wondering if its just him or if all muscovy boys are like that.

3. What male to female ratios do yall normally keep? I keep seeing one drake to around 4 hens. Is this a correct ratio to aim for? My goal is this coming spring to have most of my hens hatch babies, and I need good fertilization.

Thanks in advance for any answers!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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My Muscovy drakes have never been able to live peacefully together. At one time I had 4 drakes and had to have each with their own females separated from the others. I've had Muscovy since 2004 and all my drakes have been this way. My drake I have now and my gander will fight each other. But my Muscovy drake never bothers the 2 Runner drakes I have. I think at least 4 on up is a good number for one Muscovy drake. This is a good time to introduce since here laying and breeding is over for the year. Or it is here anyway
 

Ozarkhomesteader

Songster
7 Years
Oct 18, 2014
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Arkansas
My Muscovy drakes have never been able to live peacefully together. At one time I had 4 drakes and had to have each with their own females separated from the others. I've had Muscovy since 2004 and all my drakes have been this way. My drake I have now and my gander will fight each other. But my Muscovy drake never bothers the 2 Runner drakes I have. I think at least 4 on up is a good number for one Muscovy drake. This is a good time to introduce since here laying and breeding is over for the year. Or it is here anyway
Ahh, well good to know its not just him! Though that's kinda annoying! I find even my girls can get pretty mean to each other...Are you able to keep your drakes together outside of breeding season? Like over winter, and then separate once they start breeding? I hate having multiple pens during the winter, as care can get tedious filling waters and such. Maybe I need to rethink how many muscovies I keep. I just really like muscovy meat, and aside from the fighting, they are very easy keepers, and practically feed themselves here during the growing season.

I wonder if they would be ok free ranging during the day on the property, and then separating at night. The most trouble I have is when I would put everyone up for the night, and the dominate ones would bully the others out of the coop.

Thank you so much for the response!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
118,449
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Yeah that is a problem when putting them up. When we had multiple Muscovy drakes we built stalls inside the coop so my drakes had their own bedrooms. It was better during off breeding season to keep the drakes together. The only one I kept separated was my old guy and his girls. But once spring started they all had their own spaces inside the main fenced property .
All you can do is try and see how they do together. The more space you have the better.

Yep my girls can be very bratty to each other too. My oldest Muscovy female had to sleep in with the runners and Buffs [she's 14] for about 3 months because my other females were broody and would pick on her.
They are such awesome ducks though can't imagine not having them.
 

Ozarkhomesteader

Songster
7 Years
Oct 18, 2014
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Arkansas
Good to know! Thank you so much for the responses. We are planning a new Muscovy coop build for this winter, and I think I will design it with places to separate for breeding season. That is a good idea.

They are great, I can't imagine not having at least a few around here. Good to know mine are not abnormally mean...I keep trying to tell the girls to just stinking get along! I have a couple mammas that are sleeping separate ATM, other wise they are just way too mean to the rest.

Sounds like I just need to rethink my set up a bit so I am ready for separating and stuff.

Thanks again!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
118,449
141,291
1,982
Mountains of Western N.C.
If you build stalls you might want to cover the top too. We built frames with chicken wire so the boys once in their rooms couldn't fly out. Or climb out they are good at that too.
Love to see some pics of your sometime.
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
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Are you able to free range? It seems like the only way to have multiple muscovy drakes is with free ranging. But, if you're breeding for colors, then they will need to be separated most of the year as to not to mix while breeding.
I currently have 2 muscovy drakes separated from the main drake and his girls. I don't have a lot of room and they have to be penned up due to a fox issue. They have a smaller coop and they seem to get along just fine at the moment. They do still have spats, but so far I've not seen it get too bad. However, it might be different in the spring. My first flock was just 1:3 and it was fine after the first juvenile yr. While a juvie, I thought it might not work because the drake seemed to over breed. But, after the first yr he's been fine.
If I had more room, I'd get more females. But, i really don't need them as I can't eat the eggs and don't eat my ducks.
 

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