Muscovy Duck Care


Sep 18, 2014
I'm here to ask any of you who own Muscovy ducks, what are their basic care needs? I have a lake near my house that has a nest full of muscovy eggs...unfortunately, it looks like the hen got run over by a car, I saw her carcass lying on the side of the road,

She was the only muscovy living around this neck of the woods. I quickly brought the eggs home and candled them and found some development! Luckily, I have my incubator running cause very soon I plan on incubating some silkie eggs. I have them in there now, hopefully the embryos haven't died.
I know just about everything there is to know about raising chickens, but ducks? No clue. Any insight?
Start here

That is so sad, good of you to try! now i have never incubated my own but will say since my ducks do, it's takes an average of 35 days for Muscovy incubation vs mallard derived ducks.

What do they need? safe housing, feed, and water some to bathe in.. can be a kiddy pool or some elaborate set-up. Mine get kiddy pools... and troughs.

Muscovy do fly and well, now most drakes(males) reach a point where they are too heavy to do so but it's worth mentioning. Next they do roost, like shelves and short tables to sit upon.

Claws, watch those by day 2 they feel like little needles.. and are super, duper sharp! they use them to climb trees in the wild.. as that is where they nested in hollows of trees.

They are tremendous fly catchers, actually documented for the ability to do so. They also are more land ducks vs water so will often prefer a quick dip and noodling about, they forage very well.

I own mainly Muscovy, started with that breed. They are extremely broody, like silkie chicken broody.. and can set even up to 3 clutches(or more) per year... the females while can honk they generally trill, coo and hiss and males can only hiss so are the most quiet duck going. There is a Muscovy thread, to share and discuss your birds, that would be good to look in on.

Good luck! my avatar is a young scovie of mine, last hatch of the season!
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I do hope you're successful. We were gifted with 4 musovies in the spring of 2013. Two drakes and two females. We had one hatching this summer of 6 but it was pared down to two (we're not sure why, but the barn is big is lots of hay and hiding places... lost? eaten by rats? we're not sure.

both of the females are on clutches of eggs again. Judging by the number of sex encounters we see with two drakes for two females, they ought to be fertile.
yeah Buck, I had read that. But even with a mouse my drakes show no inclination to scoop them up.

btw, my ducks have names too:
1. Sir Francis (Drake)
2. Detective Paul (Drake)

the first named after the famous circumnavigating explorer, the second from a Perry Mason character

1. Daisy (laid and brooded the first clutch, nothing came out) but she allows us to come sort of close
2. Defiance (hatched the first ducklings, named for her penchant and turning left when we want her to turn right)

Within a few days of hatching. already down to 5. And Daisy.
6 weeks old, the remaining two. very shy. not named. (We don't name animals we may harvest)
I'm looking into muscovy ducks too, for their fly catching abilities, meat, eggs. I was thinking of adding them in the spring, but we might get some this weekend.
I found a male Muscovy wondering around our neighborhood. I could tell he had been attacked - no tail feathers, one wing was damaged and he seemed very disorientated. I put him in with my chickens and he did well until he became an adult and very amorous. We had to kick him out, but we found a couple of females to keep him company. They are still young and I wasn't sure how to take care of them - what type of environment, and what about nesting.

I wonder about their nesting places. Mine seem to like anywhere but the nesting box my husband built - it is quite open - three sides and a roof. I find them sitting against the house and digging in the dirt to make a nesting place.

Should I just spread some straw around where they generally sleep and forget about the nesting house? We live in Hawaii, so there is no need for shelter from the snow. I don't think they mind the rain when we get it - we are entering our dry season now. We provided a small pool for them, which they love to take advantage of. They sleep on the ground, for now, do they need something to roost on - up off the ground?
My female Muscovys lay their eggs in their coop in their shaving I use for bedding. The do like to roost so we put up 2x4 a little lower than where our chickens roost and they decided they like the higher roost better. I don’t know what kind of predators you have there but keeping them outside without protection may not be a good thing since duck is up high on preds menu. Maybe the nest house you built could be closed in so they could have protection from predators and weather ?
Living in Hawaii, the weather is generally very mild, there really are no predators for them except for dogs that might be out and about - no wild packs or anything like that. The ducks live in a fenced in yard, have shelter from the elements, they just choose not to go into the little nesting house he made - probably because it is too open. It sounds like we need to make some place for them to roost and to enclose the nesting house a little more. I want them comfortable and happy, I hope that someday they'll produce ducklings and give some eggs for us to eat. They are such unique ducks, I like having them around. Thank you for the suggestions, I do appreciate the help.

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