lazy muscovys

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by NiteHawk, May 20, 2019.

  1. NiteHawk

    NiteHawk Chirping

    May 11, 2018
    I had a few ducks years ago, khaki Campbell's, and Muscovy's.
    I liked how my khakis really went out and scrounged during the day, they were never still, always eating bugs and slugs etc..however I found the khakis very delicate. A couple of times the young kids dropped the khakis over the fence after they got out, and they fell-- I didn't think it was too hard- kerplunk, and immediately fell over dead!! It got where they were gently placed over the fence, as several died, and one went into spasms for a minute before getting up and walking away.. we were in shock. The only thing we could figure is the bump on the chest effected the heart..
    The muscovys on the other hand were the laziest bunch of free loaders I have ever seen, they wouldn't scrounge for anything, I never saw them ever look for bugs, and they just waited around to be fed grain, I even tried cutting their grain way way back, but they would not look for bugs. On the other hand they were tough, they would fly over the fence and land with a pile driving crash and get up and walk away.. Every one I have ever spoke to who has muscovys tells me they are the best bug getter of all times.. I got my muscovys from several different places, but it didn't matter, they just stood around all day waiting to be fed, while a few feet away the khakis were snapping bugs out of the air..
    Did I have weird muscovys?? I have thought about getting back into ducks, and there are plenty of Muscovys around, but hesitate because the ones I had were very lazy.. I want something that will clean the bugs out of the garden, and supply meat, but they were ALL so very lazy, and most were "duds".. where my muscovys normal?
    any thoughts??
  2. Muscovy-palooza

    Muscovy-palooza Songster

    Oct 17, 2018
    East Tennessee
    First I would say it certainly depends on what kind of terrain that they have to forage. I am still learning but I will share what I have experienced over the past two years of having muscovy. We have a pond and a lot of springs around our place where they love to go to forage. I am not sure what they are eating in the muck, but they love it. We also have lots of pasture grass that they enjoy as well. Aside from that they eat some crumbles but not like when we got our first three in 2017. I think that they learned to forage more and taught their offspring. In fact I couldn't understand why they ate so little feed during the winter months. I suppose that they got what they needed, nutritionally. The sitting hens are more reliant on the crumbles since they have to eat in a hurry but they do still go to the pond and take a quick dip and forage briefly on their way back to their nests. My Muscovies like worms but dont care for dried millworms. Their treat of choice, aside from me going worm hunting, is what I call their sundae. It is comprised of 50% crumbles, 25% cracked corn and 25% black oil sunflower seeds, layered in a recycled single serving yogurt cup . The sitting girls will seek me out for their special treat if they can find me during their short break off of their nest. I sometimes find them on the deck railing peeking through the window in hopes to get my attention. They otherwise have access to crumbles with water right next to it in case they are in an especially big hurry.
    As far as getting bugs, I can't really say. I have seen them eat flies a time or two but we have so much area that they can cover it's hard to see exactly what they are eating. I would like to think that they are eating slugs, grubs and Japanese Beetle larvae.
    the cluck juggler likes this.
  3. NiteHawk

    NiteHawk Chirping

    May 11, 2018
    Our place is fairly level with a garden near the chicken /duck house, and an area next to the cow barn with tons of flies. mosquitos, and lots of bugs in the garden, and the muscovys would stand there all day, and doze or stand "zoned out" doing nothing, while the khakis ran around next to them snapping bugs out of the air..The khakis basically cleaned out the slugs and bugs in the garden.. I cut feed back to next to nothing, and they would stand there staring at me looking pitiful wanting food.. I admit I was disgusted with them.. Never seen anything like it, although I have had a few spoiled cows who thought they had to be hand fed, ( bottle babies)but even the cows when they got hungry would eventually move off looking for something to eat..
    Muscovy-palooza likes this.
  4. Jpat

    Jpat Free Ranging

    Apr 30, 2018
    Nova scotia
    My buddies duck flew off the shed roof last year and died when she landed. like you described

    he never gave them any layer feed or calcium their entire lives and her chest shattered when she landed
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  5. NiteHawk

    NiteHawk Chirping

    May 11, 2018
    oh my!!!!These birds did get chicken feed, and oyster shell was left in the shed.. I am thinking that being a thin duck --Khaki Campbell, they didn't have much meat on their chest like a heavier duck, and their heart didn't have much protection from bumps, because they didn't seem to have broken anything, and the one duck after hitting the ground had a couple seizure type movements and then got up and was fine. I think the blow effected the heart. where the muscovys have a meaty breast which I believe protected them from a direct blow to the heart.. My opinion...
  6. the cluck juggler

    the cluck juggler Incubator Addict

    Jun 12, 2017
    My 'scovies are quite lazy. They mostly chill in the sun all day long. They do, however, love to dabble. I have a long and thin pond and they swim along the shore with their heads under water munching on whatever. They also like big and slow bugs like bumblebees, and I once saw one kill an enormous frog... I've had significantly less horseflies around after I got them too, but as for smaller bugs like mosquitoes, the chickens are way more efficient.
    I don't mind them taking life easy and chilling. I love my lazy ducks.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    bluemerle and Muscovy-palooza like this.

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