Muscovy Duck Feeding

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CluckyJay, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If my Muscovies free-range from dawn 'til bedtime, how much extra food do I need to give them per duck, a day? A rough estimate is fine. I am just trying to figure out my rough upkeep costs before I order eggs.

    I figure they will have at least two acres to free-range. The field contains a lot of bugs, voles, grasses and weeds. They will also be in my orchard with apples, pears and other fruits.

    I will be keeping three or four ducks and a drake and raising their young for the freezer.

    In addition to their forage, I want to feed them sprouted grains, peas, garden veggies and things like that.

    I have been doing so much research on livestock this week that my braid is pretty much dead. I figured posting this would be easier than spending another few hours trying to find a website with how much to feed each free-range duck, lol. [​IMG]

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. bwmichaud

    bwmichaud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a hard question to answer. A muscovy will eat whatever you make available to it. If you put out a lot of grain, it will eat a lot of grain because it's very easy for them to shovel the grain down the hatch. If you give them less grain, they will eat more of everything else that's available to them. It sounds to me like your place is heaven for a muscovy and you'll have to give them very little grain at all. I have a few apple trees and I always pick up the apples from the ground and hold them in my hand and let them takes chunks out of them. They love it.
     
  3. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have a saying here: if you count the layers of the pie, you don't eat pie anymore.
    i wont be too helpful on this because i make my own food and my ducks free range all day long and have food as much as they want, but for 30 pekin ducks one month old, 9 cornish X chickens and 25 layers i use a 2 buckets of food a day.
     
  4. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys. I figured it would be hard to answer. I was planing on purchasing organic grains and sprouting them for the animals in the winter. I have black soldier fly larvae and duckweed growing for a future feed project too.

    My main concern is feeding my Muscovy hens when they start laying and feeding the birds when winter is here. We always have forage throughout the year but probably not enough to sustain a lot of free-range livestock, lol. I don't wanna short change them. lol I guess if they are all eating too much for the budget, I can always process them quicker and keep less to breed.

    I want to avoid prepared foods. If I purchase my organic whole grains I can sprout them and offer something better for their overall health and my budget.

    I used to have a muscovy and he found everything he needed foraging it. He was completely free-range on over 6 acres so eventually my husband's dog got loose and killed him. [​IMG] Poor George.

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  5. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Two, five-gallon buckets of feed for your animals?
     
  6. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have muscovy and they free range very little. They are the very large white meat type ones. I did not know to encourage them to forage when they were small and they just haven't picked up the habit very well. My chickens free range really well and the ducks do forage, but I'd say at least 75 pecent of their diet is what I bring to them as opposed to what they find on their own. I think it could be the strain of muscovy I purchased. Mine are supposed to be exceptionally large (which they are) but they lumber around so slowly they can't catch much.
     
  7. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could slowly replace your flock with more active birds? When my animals start relying too much on me for food when they should be foraging or catching, mice I stop feeding them as much. They eventually go hunting because they see I'm not giving handouts. I don't know about doing this with a meat-type animal though. I've never raised meat birds. I usually just have regular dual purpose and egg breeds.
     
  8. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My strategy is different than most but here goes. I have the self sufficient type of muscovy. They are black with white heads. They actively free range. They love to go broody (and make excellent momma, she hatched 16/17). They are hardy and decent layers. I have 3 hens and a drake. Im going to reduce the flock size here in about two weeks. I will have two hens and a drake. They reproduce very well and its very bad to have so many broody mommas. One hen hatched 15 ducklings these will go to the freezer they are my meat ducks. If we like them really well I will do more than 15 next year. But back to the feed.

    The ducks and chickens are both fed the same way. They forage from dawn to dusk. They get a bucket of my homemade (and soon to be homegrown) scratch mix. Then they sometimes still flock raiser from the pullet coop. Muscovies eat anything and everything. I have seen them eat snakes and they also love onion chive. They ate it to the ground.

    In the winter I give the poultry wheat and alfalfa sprouts. And this year they will be getting homegrown worms from my bins. Hopefully the worms will be really strong by then and will be ready to use a feed. They get scratch and some flock raiser. Plus free range.
     
  9. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crossville, Tennessee
    What would you guess, roughly in ounces/pounds that you feed one laying muscovy duck? I was thinking about purchasing oats, peas and some other seed to sprout. This was going to be my base winter feed. I have already started harvesting everything from daylilies to weeds to save for additional winter feeding.

    I have the glass to make a large solar dehydrator and a decently sized greenhouse so when the gardens come in, there will, Lord willing, be plenty of dehydrated garden veggies/greens to add to the mix. I am hoping to keep some sort of greens going all winter too. I know its not rocket science, but when you are doing it by yourself on a tight budget, it just gets a bit scary, lol.

    I have the red wigglers going and the black soldier fly as well. They probably won't be ready to really harvest for a while though, lol.
     
  10. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:i would say they are 4-gallon buckets (10-12 liters). yes, i mix corn with wheat and i take it to a mill and transform it into bran. the birds also free range all day long. but my pekins are now, when they are one month old, bigger than the muscovy were last year, when they were 5 months old. during the winter you can feed them corn and wheat, but if you can get corn only, it is gonna be ok for winter time(everything i say here, on this forum, it is based on my experience or my family experience and we always grew animals).
     

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