Muscovy Duck Questions

LilyD

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 24, 2011
3,244
4,021
432
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
My sister got 3 Muscovy ducks this year to add to her flock because she knew I liked ducks, so now I want to add some to my house but I have a few questions. I have 10 muscovy ducklings that should be coming some time this spring (if we ever get a spring) so I just want to make sure I'm ready.

1. What do you feed your Muscovy's? I have heard multiple things: first one person told me not to feed pellets because they can kill ducks, I then had another person tell me that pellets are fine and they feed regular chicken feed to their ducks. What's the real answer. I have access to a locally made gamebird feed that is 28 to 30% protein but the adult version of this is pelleted only the starter is crumbles.

2. Can I house my Muscovy's in the same barn with my chickens? Right now I have a 4' by 8' coop for the chickens. I was thinking that I would add on a second room to the outside of the coop for the ducks so they are in the same place. The chickens would be able to roost up above and the Muscovy's would have the lower levels. Hasn't been added yet so I can always change the plans, I was interested what others have done.

3. Do Muscovy's need nesting boxes to lay in? Once again I have heard many different answers. If at all possible I would love for them to lay at least in the coop as I stink at Easter egg hunting, but what do I need to add to entice them to lay their eggs in there rather than out in the bushes, trees or pastures on the property? I have 2 acres that they will be able to free range on. That would be a lot of area to search lol.

4. If a duck goes broody do I need to separate her from the other birds or will they take care of themselves and the eggs? I have chickens that go both ways. Once we had a little bantam chicken who would sit on eggs with the large fowl chickens in the room and she would even chase the rooster out if she felt he was in the way. I also have had a large fowl chicken who would let other chickens kick her off the nest so I had to move her. Are ducks like that or are they naturally more protective of their eggs? Also do I need to separate her and her babies after hatching or will she just keep them all safe from the other chickens and ducks?

5. What are the best feeders and waterers for Muscovy's? I don't want to get them something they have difficulty eating or drinking out of and I had heard that ducks need to be able to dunk their heads in the water even if they don't swim.

Any other things you could tell me would be great. I just want to be the best Muscovy mommy I can be once they get here. They will be starting out in a brooder in my greenhouse outside when they are babies and will move into free ranging and living in the coop once they are big enough that they won't get hurt by the rooster and chickens.
 

Buck Oakes

Songster
5 Years
Feb 9, 2014
2,472
129
201
Madison/Gluckstadt, Mississippi
You feed grown muscovies corn thy can catch their own bugs for protein

Dot keep them in a barn they don't like confined living conditions if they were outside they would be much happier

You don't have separate broilers, muscovies like to share nest so females will guard net together and lay together to, and also males protect the females when their on the nest

You feed baby muscovies non medicated chick starter

For feeder all you have to do is put it on a board or put some con on the ground and my muscovies love drinking from buckets , they stick their whole head in it and just dabble like crazy lol

Make sure they have a pond or bathing pool, if not then teir feathers can become to silkie and eventually loose their natural oils which isn't good it's actually very hazardous because their oils also protect them from infection

And lastly no they don't need nest boxes but they can lay in them , mine just dig a hole under some bushes or in a cavern and lay their so I thinks that's all the info u asked anymore ?'s
 

LilyD

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 24, 2011
3,244
4,021
432
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
I am only planning on keeping them inside at night so that they won't become predator food. We just had a family of foxes move into the pasture next door so I want to make sure they are all safe from them. The food that I have locally is called game bird starter. They said that is what they have for ducks. But I would love for them to learn to get most of their own food and then just feed them more during the winter months because we get heavy snow up here. I have some eggs coming to hatch in a bit and some babies coming soon as well so they will all be pretty young to start. Also at what age can you start feeding them veggies and are there any veggies that they shouldn't have?

I am assuming you have to have them in a heated brooder the same as chicks to start. I also read that you shouldn't let them swim until they have their feathers on their bellies but I have seen a ton of videos of baby muscovies swimming. Is it okay to let them swim as long as they are supervised while they are little?

I am planning on putting their brooder in my greenhouse, which is where I will be for most of the spring and summer. That way they can be out when I am there to watch them and then I can put them back in when I need to go in or if they seem to be getting to cold and not going into the brooder on their own.

Do you keep your scovies in the same coop as your chickens or do you have them in separate quarters? My chickens free range too and I would love for them to all be in the same space but since the Muscovies are so much bigger will I have to worry about them hurting my hens and roosters?

Thanks so much for your help,
I just don't want to go into it not knowing what I am doing and end up hurting them by mistake.
 

LilyD

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 24, 2011
3,244
4,021
432
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
DUCKOBSESSED ~

Thanks for the post. I was worried because I have had some people tell me that scovies can kill their chickens. I am hoping that if I raise them in with the chickens that they will have respect for them and not attack them when they get bigger.

Thanks for the treat list I will be pouring over it for the next few days. I will be getting my first few scovies on Sunday from the poultry swap. Can't wait to get some in the brooder.
 

DUCKOBSESSED

Songster
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
908
68
156
Northern Wisconsin
Now you still need to watch and separate if they attack. I spent a lot of time with and watch them constantly. Also if a drake mates with a chicken it can kill it. But muscovie drakes are mellower so it can work.
 

kristinn

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
127
6
71
Brighton, MI
I had my muscovy pair in with 9 chickens over the winter because my chicken coop is heated, and I never had any problems. They roosted right along side of my chickens and the drake stuck to his duck, although my drake is very mellow. The biggest downfall to housing them all together is that ducks are messy, and you will have to clean your chicken coop out a LOT more often!
 

Going Quackers

Crowing
8 Years
May 24, 2011
7,776
824
351
On, Canada
My sister got 3 Muscovy ducks this year to add to her flock because she knew I liked ducks, so now I want to add some to my house but I have a few questions. I have 10 muscovy ducklings that should be coming some time this spring (if we ever get a spring) so I just want to make sure I'm ready.

1. What do you feed your Muscovy's? I have heard multiple things: first one person told me not to feed pellets because they can kill ducks, I then had another person tell me that pellets are fine and they feed regular chicken feed to their ducks. What's the real answer. I have access to a locally made gamebird feed that is 28 to 30% protein but the adult version of this is pelleted only the starter is crumbles.

2. Can I house my Muscovy's in the same barn with my chickens? Right now I have a 4' by 8' coop for the chickens. I was thinking that I would add on a second room to the outside of the coop for the ducks so they are in the same place. The chickens would be able to roost up above and the Muscovy's would have the lower levels. Hasn't been added yet so I can always change the plans, I was interested what others have done.

3. Do Muscovy's need nesting boxes to lay in? Once again I have heard many different answers. If at all possible I would love for them to lay at least in the coop as I stink at Easter egg hunting, but what do I need to add to entice them to lay their eggs in there rather than out in the bushes, trees or pastures on the property? I have 2 acres that they will be able to free range on. That would be a lot of area to search lol.

4. If a duck goes broody do I need to separate her from the other birds or will they take care of themselves and the eggs? I have chickens that go both ways. Once we had a little bantam chicken who would sit on eggs with the large fowl chickens in the room and she would even chase the rooster out if she felt he was in the way. I also have had a large fowl chicken who would let other chickens kick her off the nest so I had to move her. Are ducks like that or are they naturally more protective of their eggs? Also do I need to separate her and her babies after hatching or will she just keep them all safe from the other chickens and ducks?

5. What are the best feeders and waterers for Muscovy's? I don't want to get them something they have difficulty eating or drinking out of and I had heard that ducks need to be able to dunk their heads in the water even if they don't swim.

Any other things you could tell me would be great. I just want to be the best Muscovy mommy I can be once they get here. They will be starting out in a brooder in my greenhouse outside when they are babies and will move into free ranging and living in the coop once they are big enough that they won't get hurt by the rooster and chickens.
1. Pellets can kill ducks? well, there is one i have not heard lol simply not true, if it is i have miracle ducks then. Couple of options with this one.. some use ducks growers(past duckling stage of coarse) some use multi flock, all flock, flock raisers, some use layers... some use chicken growers...

I use? a 16% pullet grower -in a pellet- lol and whole corn, mine free range.

2. You can, i don't scovies do roost, mainly the ducks vs the drakes... i have a shelf low enough for the drakes to get up on though. Biggest issue with the ducks and chickens "sharing" is the mess, if you feed indoors, ducks must have water to eat so they fowl up water, they are not called waterfowl for nothing lol Plus i have to say some chickens pecking at ducks bugs me.. i have standards who free range so they are around my ducks, but i like separate housing that all said again, others blend it and it's all fine, having enough room and providing what each bird types need is the key to it working.

Eta; drakes with chicken hens another be watchful, some will try and mate with them, that ends badly and even death they are not compatible at all.

3. Mine don't, i just haven't found it to work... most of mine lay in the barn, their locked in overnight and let out later in the AM. That said NOTHING short of locking the birds into a pen will cease all shopping for other locations, scovies are very good at this broody business and just as equally so finding unique nesting spots.

4. While brooding i leave the mama and her nest be... after the babies hatch i temporarily pen them off just to ensure babies are getting feed/water and have their feet under them, then i let them loose.. if the mama is any good she will watch those babes and count!(yes, i have seen this, not making it up) each one to ensure they are with her.

My one broody, used to put the "kids" in the barn at dusk and come back out to forage on her own. Caution though, drakes are known baby killers, mine don't but do watch.. and females can be aggressive with the young of others, usually though they won't cross that mama.. they can be quite the beast.

5. These are my feeders...



This hangs in the main barn, it has no chicken bars those things meant to keep chickens from scratching out feed.. that annoys bills of ducks...



That is my outside feeder.. i have two of them, they hold 50lbs feeds..

As for waterers this concept will keep the water fairly clean... i have used it myself..



idea came off this blog
http://frankiemakes.blogspot.ca/2012/06/watering-solution-for-ducks.html

I also like rubber livestock bowls... super durable and easy to clean/dump.


Females fly and well, drakes usually don't as they grow to large, the claws are something else so mind those! Females do honk/quack just not often, they prefer trilling, cooing and they do hiss too! they are actually documented with their fly eating ability? which is pretty cool, despite some opinions out there they do like to bathe now and then some can be quite the water hogs, they do have a less developed oil gland than other mallard derived breeds but the concept of not needing bathing water bothers me and is simply untrue.

Do you get cold where you are? mind the fleshing on males prone to frostbite similar to any larger combed rooster really. Think that pretty much covers it, we're always here to help when you need anything.
 
Last edited:

LilyD

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 24, 2011
3,244
4,021
432
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
1. Pellets can kill ducks? well, there is one i have not heard lol simply not true, if it is i have miracle ducks then. Couple of options with this one.. some use ducks growers(past duckling stage of coarse) some use multi flock, all flock, flock raisers, some use layers... some use chicken growers...

I use? a 16% pullet grower -in a pellet- lol and whole corn, mine free range.

2. You can, i don't scovies do roost, mainly the ducks vs the drakes... i have a shelf low enough for the drakes to get up on though. Biggest issue with the ducks and chickens "sharing" is the mess, if you feed indoors, ducks must have water to eat so they fowl up water, they are not called waterfowl for nothing lol Plus i have to say some chickens pecking at ducks bugs me.. i have standards who free range so they are around my ducks, but i like separate housing that all said again, others blend it and it's all fine, having enough room and providing what each bird types need is the key to it working.

Eta; drakes with chicken hens another be watchful, some will try and mate with them, that ends badly and even death they are not compatible at all.

3. Mine don't, i just haven't found it to work... most of mine lay in the barn, their locked in overnight and let out later in the AM. That said NOTHING short of locking the birds into a pen will cease all shopping for other locations, scovies are very good at this broody business and just as equally so finding unique nesting spots.

4. While brooding i leave the mama and her nest be... after the babies hatch i temporarily pen them off just to ensure babies are getting feed/water and have their feet under them, then i let them loose.. if the mama is any good she will watch those babes and count!(yes, i have seen this, not making it up) each one to ensure they are with her.

My one broody, used to put the "kids" in the barn at dusk and come back out to forage on her own. Caution though, drakes are known baby killers, mine don't but do watch.. and females can be aggressive with the young of others, usually though they won't cross that mama.. they can be quite the beast.

5. These are my feeders...



This hangs in the main barn, it has no chicken bars those things meant to keep chickens from scratching out feed.. that annoys bills of ducks...



That is my outside feeder.. i have two of them, they hold 50lbs feeds..

As for waterers this concept will keep the water fairly clean... i have used it myself..



idea came off this blog
http://frankiemakes.blogspot.ca/2012/06/watering-solution-for-ducks.html

I also like rubber livestock bowls... super durable and easy to clean/dump.


Females fly and well, drakes usually don't as they grow to large, the claws are something else so mind those! Females do honk/quack just not often, they prefer trilling, cooing and they do hiss too! they are actually documented with their fly eating ability? which is pretty cool, despite some opinions out there they do like to bathe now and then some can be quite the water hogs, they do have a less developed oil gland than other mallard derived breeds but the concept of not needing bathing water bothers me and is simply untrue.

Do you get cold where you are? mind the fleshing on males prone to frostbite similar to any larger combed rooster really. Think that pretty much covers it, we're always here to help when you need anything.
One of the ladies at the poultry swap my sister got her scovies from actually told her about the pellets. She said that ducks could not eat large pellets and the pellets could actually choke them. I have heard a few other people say they feed theirs just regular layer pellets and they do fine.

The multi flock we have up here is a 28% protein I think and is a crumble.

My idea for expanding the pen for the ducks is to add a large area ( 8X8) onto the coop that I have for the chickens. This area will have a dirt floor with sand on top so if the ducks decide to play in their water it will be able to soak into the ground. I am glad to see they can use a regular waterer. I was wondering if their beaks would fit in that. The only hard time would be in the winter because the water buckets freeze so I wouldn't be able to use the bottom waterers then I would have to use a bucket so it can thaw out and refreeze without damaging it.

In the summer I try and leave the doors open so they can come and go as they would like and can stay out if they want unless we have predators. Then I would lock them in for the night. We do have a family of foxes that have moved into the neighborhood and I think they are casing out our house so for now we are in lockdown at night.

We do get really cold at night in the winter (30 below was the lowest this year) so I do put a heat lamp in the coop to add warmth. Can you put oil or Vaseline on their carunkles in the winter to keep them from getting frost bite? Do their feet have the same problems or is it just their faces?
 
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