Muscovy duck questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by marieb1, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. marieb1

    marieb1 Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    25
    Oct 8, 2014
    Hello,

    I have been raising chickens and quail for several years but I am new to Muscovy ducks. I have 5 total. 3 female and 2 male. The second male will be dinner soon. They are 3.5 months and are kept in a 6x12ft enclosure with wire sides and top because of hawks and coyotes. We live in Phoenix Arizona near an open mountain range.

    1) I'm wondering what you use for nest boxes?
    2) What is your routine for collecting eggs to eat and leaving some for the mamma to hatch out? Is there a way to get eggs everyday and have new birds for meat?
    3) what do you do with your drake when the females are setting/hatching. Should I remove him from the flock or leave him to mate the other females?


    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

  3. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    227
    40
    81
    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    I can help here. Hang on, let me go take a picture of my crabby broodies in their boxes. I use the black tupperware totes with a hole cut in the short side, weighted with a brick by the door and filled with shavings. I'll get a picture as soon as I can slip outback.
     
  4. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    227
    40
    81
    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    Also, my drakes are well behaved around ducklings, and MOSTLY leave the mommies alone apart from when they first come off the nest while incubating. Mommy kicks their fluffy behinds if they mess with her with babies, and if they do get feisty or ever kill a ducklings, I'd process.

    As far as collecting eggs, I'll collect until I start seeing signs the females are thinking about setting, put in some golf balls while saving some eggs for her from her and the other girls. Once I have enough, I mark the eggs I saved and slip them under mommy (while getting pinched plenty depending on the female) and mark the date.
     
  5. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    227
    40
    81
    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    Sheesh, we'll add that to the list of how to tick off a broody khaki campbell. They're a lot more aggressive on the nest than my muscovy girls.

    IMG_1479.JPG IMG_1478.JPG
     
  6. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    227
    40
    81
    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    Please excuse my hole cutting job. Those buckets are tricky to cut and would rather split, but they're the best nest box I've found so far.

    And this is just what I do. You've got a lot of options.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  7. marieb1

    marieb1 Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    25
    Oct 8, 2014
    Thank you for your help and pictures. I think I will do the same!

    As for the eggs....I'm confused... you collect and then give them back to her? Do you ever eat the eggs?
    how long with she lay for?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  8. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    227
    40
    81
    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    Aw, thanks. Good luck!
    And yes, when I want them to hatch I collect them and replace with golf balls so I can keep them clean and cool until she actually sits. Sometimes they get fouled or broken eggs on them. You don't have to do that, but it helps viability, and it gives me an actual set date to record.

    You can eat the eggs. I do. Feel free to eat them as much as you like. I've found the girls will lay and lay and lay until they decide to go broody on SOMETHING (like a poop ball or a rock or stick), then no more eggs produced whether or not they've got eggs until they've burnt out on sitting. The eggs are very good, and almost seem slightly milder than my khaki eggs. I'll collect in the spring or as soon as they've started laying after having babies for at least for a week or three until the females start acting really "nesty". Some females are less broody than others too so you might just get lucky and wind up with a lot of eggs before the unavoidable broody session. It's a terrible answer, but it really seems to depend on what the duck feels like doing. Some of mine are broody NOW monsters, others I can keep collecting and letting them get fatter and healthier after the strain of their last hatch for quite a while. You'll have to find out what kind of girls you've got. I'm sorry.

    If you're asking how long the laying season is, that depends on where you live and the weather (and again your ducks). One of mine always starts up in freezing February, and the rest start up the next month. Then they stop laying when it hits freezing in the fall.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by