Muscovies are taking over my yard!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by awarmrainyday, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. awarmrainyday

    awarmrainyday Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    23
    86
    May 17, 2014
    Hey everyone, I had posted elsewhere about building a coop and caring for my livestock dealer-neighbors sick/rejected chickens he lets loose. Him and I have never spoken and probably never will, I've reported him three times for animal cruelty and nothing has been done. He buys and sells constantly (small livestock) and doesn't care for the sick or hardly even feed any of them. When it rains some get stuck in the mud and die there. It's pretty gross and sad.

    So I have four of his rejected hens (one of which is in the house taking a course of antibiotics right now) in my new little coop (big enough for 6-8 hens. And I have 26 muscovy ducks in my front yard right now. I threw scratch out for six of them one day and ever since then they arrive at dawn, bringing friends, and leave just as it's getting dark. Of course I throw scratch out in the yard for them when I leave for work along with a tub of fresh water, because I just feel so bad for them. At night some of them stand and look in the henhouse door and walk back and forth before finally leaving. I have a feeling they want to stay but I assumed they had shelter somewhere.

    So the original flock looks fairly healthy now. My favorite, a dark drake, comes up to me and hisses and wags his tail. He follows after me and gets the first bite at every handful I throw down. This morning it was drizzling and along with his crew he brought a whole other flock of very sad looking muscovies. Some are so thin you can see bones through their feathers. Their feathers are ruffled and muddy and ragged, a few of them were standing on my porch visibly shivering. All of them were soaking wet but there were no puddles around that they could have bathed in. So I'm wondering if they were outside all night.

    So what do I do? I really don't want 26 ducks (and however many more friends they might bring), but I'm not one to turn my back on animals in need either. Do I build a little shelter for them next to the henhouse (they nap during the day all around the henhouse), or do I just stop feeding them (which would be really hard to do and sad) and they'll go away? Here's my concerns:

    - If I stop feeding them they'll starve and/or freeze to death and I'll feel horrible
    - If I continue to feed them I could end up with 100 ducks in my front yard
    - If I build a shelter it wouldn't be predator proof and not large enough for all of them

    Suggestions please! [​IMG]
     
  2. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    66
    101
    Oct 30, 2015
    Oh dear... this is really difficult. I say keep reporting, and maybe to health officials instead of animal cruelty officials, especially if your town has code about how much livestock can be kept and how they are to be confined (for example, my town will fine you if you let them run loose, they must be confined to a coop). Otherwise, I'd recommend you maybe adopt them out, or something? I'm not sure if that could be counted as stealing but he'd have to prove they are his animals, and by that time they'll be scattered to the wind.

    I know it's hard but maybe if you build a fence around your property (not sure how large your property is but maybe there can be something done to keep them out? I know you feel bad for them but....)

    I know if I was near you I'd come and take some since I have a pretty big coop.

    If you want to build them shelter... maybe just some lean-tos? Can't be worse or less predator proof than where they are now if what you're saying about your neighbor's poultry practices are true.
     
  3. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,873
    482
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    You could just start processing them. Muscoveys are reputed to be the best meat ducks and there are some excellent recipes for roast duck to be found on the internet. I know. I just roasted a duck and it was delicious. BTW, as you probably know, Muscoveys multiply like crazy.
     
  4. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,421
    196
    221
    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    The best you can do and I hate to say it but contact your police department saying that his animals are Causeing a disturbance and if they still keep comeing then contact the police again and they will confiscate the ducks and whatever else there is and they will probably go to a park somewhere were they will be fed everyday or put into some kind of duck rescue.
     
  5. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,421
    196
    221
    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all

    She said that she didn't want them to die
     
  6. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

    3,047
    326
    321
    Apr 20, 2007
    This is so sad. I just wonder if you could call the aggriculture rehabber in your area and they could do something. You might even call the television station in your area and see if they would want to do a special interest story about this situation. Where are you located at?
     
  7. awarmrainyday

    awarmrainyday Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    23
    86
    May 17, 2014

    South Central Pa, about an hour south of Harrisburg. Anyone nearby want some ducks?
     
  8. awarmrainyday

    awarmrainyday Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    23
    86
    May 17, 2014

    Hi jofanx! Thanks for your input. My backyard is fenced and the only thing that keeps them out of there is the dogs. I live out in the country next to state forest land. I thought about building a very basic shelter and putting straw in it and putting it out of the way somewhere. Would a structure like that need a floor? I wouldn't mind so much if they were in the backyard but my dogs probably wouldn't stop chasing them.
     
  9. awarmrainyday

    awarmrainyday Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    23
    86
    May 17, 2014
    I couldn't eat them, though I hear they are good. They're cute and I've grown a little fond of a few of them. And unfortunately my area is only covered by state police and everything is "out of their jurisdiction." I thought about calling the township amd asking about the regulations on it, he has a small property and hundreds of animals on it. I believe that there is an ordinance allowing only so many animals per acre. Honestly, and this is horrible, but he's an older man so I keep hoping something happens that he can't deal live stock anymore.
     
  10. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Muscovy are so personable! It's totally reasonable to want to help these poor guys out.
    A couple things to consider:

    - If you keep feeding them, you could have a lot more than 100 come this time next year. Muscovy breed like rabbits, capable of 3-4 clutches a year of 10-20 ducklings each clutch.
    - Diseases. I'm a bit of a disease-phobe and would be concerned about allowing these ducks near the hens you've already nursed back to health.

    It looks like you're not having any luck with reporting the inhumane conditions over at the neighbors. Who did you report the neighbor to? Did anyone come out and take a look?

    I did a quick google search for Pennsylvania farm animal rescue groups and came across these three:
    Hope Haven Farm - http://hopehavenfarm.org/contactus.html
    Chenoa - http://www.chenoamanor.org/contact-chenoa/
    and
    Greenmore - http://www.greenmorerescue.org/Contact.html
    I don't know anything about them, though Hope Haven is run but a vet. The Greenmore site talks a lot about dogs, but they do claim farm animal rescue. I would contact all of them. Even if they can't do anything about the ducks, they quite possibly can give you ideas on what to do next.

    Good Luck!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by