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Is anyone familiar with Muscovy behavior?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mrsmarkham, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. mrsmarkham

    mrsmarkham In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2009
    Jackson, MO
    In our pen we have 3 hens and a drake, They have a 30 gal black water trough as their "pond" , I free feed and they have a really large ex dog house as their coop. The pen is almost 8 ft wide and about 20 ft long, with 4 ft high sides.

    Here is the issue, every morning when I go out to check food and water, I find two hens next door at the neighbors. The drake and one hen will be in the coop looking at me calming but the other two are camped out at the neighbors house. They have done this so often all I have to do is open gates and they waddle back to our yard like a parade and straight back to the gate of their area. The minute they are inside the pen, the drake gives them verbal heck and they spend the rest of the day in the back corner of the pen.

    My question is this: Are Muscovys like geese and pair off for life? Or do they rotate partners? Do I need to separate my two hens from the love birds or is my Drake just being a jerk?

  2. taraann81

    taraann81 Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    I don't think you need to separate them. They usually pair off in to groups, 1 drake to 3 females is the ideal. He will breed with them all but yours seems to be the same as mine and has a favorite hen he stays with. Why don't you clip your girls wings to prevent them from escaping your pen? ( I only suggest this if predators are not a worry).
  3. Jeff9118

    Jeff9118 Songster

    Feb 21, 2009
    Greenup KY
    What I'm curios about is this breed of duck is also commomly refered to as whispering ducks because about the only noise they can make is hissing. If your drake is making other noises other than hissing then he is probaly a mix or another breed of duck. Also it is very common for Muscovies to wander and is a normal behavior.
  4. Swamp

    Swamp Time Out

    Apr 20, 2009
    Michigan Upper Peninsula
    Muscovies are known escape artists. They will go under fences, and even climb over them when necessary. A four foot high fence is nothing to them.

    I've been observing the behavior of my muscovies (three males and four females) In my group there is one dominant male who has a harmem of four females. The other two males are not allowed near the group. He will chase them away. Now when a female wants to mate, she will stay close to the dominant male. The next day or so another female will be by his side. That male is in big demand. If a female does not want to mate, then she will avoid the male.

    It sounds to me that the others don't want the male's attention just yet.

    Below is a link to an article that describes how the females are able to control the paternity of their offspring in the event of an unwanted mating:

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  5. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    Good info here. My scovies really push to go under the fences and also fly over them. I allow them to do what they need to do. Strangely, my two females elected to nest inside the fenced yard area and not 'in the wild'.

    My drake is pretty mellow, he was bred here on the farm and was the low duckling in the group and thus treated badly by the rest. He is not an overly aggressive breeder which has been nice. His daddy was the opposite, horrible and would rape the hens as soon as they would get off their nests for a break.

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