Muscovy duck escaping

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by WaddleWaddle, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. WaddleWaddle

    WaddleWaddle Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    2
    71
    Dec 1, 2013
    Culpeper, VA
    I have 3 adult male muscovy ducks who are all the same age and are the only ducks I currently have. They have their own duck area separate from my chickens although during the day I open up the chickens door so they can mingle in the duck area which is larger. The duck area is enclosed with 5' tall mesh fencing. Two of my ducks have been chasing and picking on one of the ducks. Today he got out of his enclosure twice. We saw it happen the second time. They chase him to the fence and he climbs the fence to get away and goes over. I ended up separating them for the night and put him in with the chickens and let the other two in their duck area so that he would be safe.

    I am planning on getting more chicks and ducklings in the spring and greatly increasing both the size of the runs as well as the size of the coop.

    I have thought about getting some female muscovies for the boys but I honestly don't want anymore muscovies, I really want to get other duck breeds in the spring. We acquired these boys from friends of ours who were moving and couldn't take them with them. I worry that if I get ducks of another breed that these boys could injure the other ducks.

    Have you ever dealt with behavior like this or have any suggestions?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    23,151
    2,301
    521
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I think you are wise to have this concern, and I feel there are ways you can move forward.

    Bravo for taking in these guys!! I used to be unsure about their caruncles, but I have decided that they are handsome.

    When we have relationship difficulties in our small flock, I split the pens, both day and night pens. It is extra effort to manage this, but it keeps everyone here, safe, and relatively content.

    Folks with Muscovies sometimes clip a few wing feathers so they cannot fly far off.

    Some keep a drake pen, especially for springtime. And drakes will try to mate with chickens, and that can kill the chickens, so you need to be aware of that and protect the chickens.
     
  3. WaddleWaddle

    WaddleWaddle Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    2
    71
    Dec 1, 2013
    Culpeper, VA
    The boys have not tried to mate with my chickens, but I do realizethis is a possibility and the chickens are only allowed out with the ducks when I am able to supervise. I really have become fond of these boys and I want to make it work I just want to make sure everyone is safe. I have thought about in the spring when we expand our runs and coop to make three separate paddocks one for each of the boys and their girls that we would get for them. I would also then have another area for smaller ducks and a separate one for chickens. That would require a really large area though and I don't know if we have the space for that!
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    23,151
    2,301
    521
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I wonder if you could have the paddocks, but not huge, and see if, with a good mix of males and females, they might be able to peaceably share a common area during the day, with the ability to retreat to their own paddock at night and in case of aggression.

    I have runners and buffs, and I have read that Muscovies have their own personalities. Not to imply that there is not PLENTY of personality around here!!!
     
  5. WaddleWaddle

    WaddleWaddle Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    2
    71
    Dec 1, 2013
    Culpeper, VA
    Would the muscovis females have to be muscovies or can their group be made up of females of other breeds?
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    23,151
    2,301
    521
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would go with big females to avoid injuries. What are some big breeds? Might Pekins be a good match, y'all? (addressing myself to all the Duck Forum members)
     
  7. WaddleWaddle

    WaddleWaddle Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    2
    71
    Dec 1, 2013
    Culpeper, VA
    I was thinking Pekins also. I was thinking 3-4 females for each male. What do you all think? What size paddock do you think would be appropriate if they have a common area and then paddocks for night time and separation if needed?

    Any ideas for in the meantime before I can get some girls for them? They will go for a week or so with perfect behavior and then they act up.
     
  8. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,683
    144
    208
    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    If its sleeping quarters only, then you're looking at 2.5 sq ft per bird. Adult Pekins should be a good choice. Plus if you can hatch a Lavender Hinnie, I would like it please! LOL
    In the meantime, I'd look on CL and here and ask around to try to adopt a handful of adult ducks. Or continue as you are doing. My thinking is that since you are seeing problems during ranging, unpenned times, your issue might not be solved till you add like 9 adult females.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by