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Muscovy Ducks NOT interested in Flies

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CarliJo, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. CarliJo

    CarliJo New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2017
    OK, I'm super new here and have no idea how my initial post ended up in Flock Management.

    anywho, I need help from Duck peeps!
    I've been stalking BYC for months and finally added an account because I need help that I can't find here yet. My ducks are not eating flies.

    I have 4 Muscovy ducks that are 8 weeks old today. I adore them. I adore their 4 distinct personalities. We got them when they were about 4 days old, raised them under a heat lamp for about 4 weeks and then moved them out to this incredible duck hut my dad built.
    We are in Oregon. I am incredibly sensitive to bug bites of any kind, and they come from miles for my tasty flesh. I was very attracted to all I read about Muscovy hunting flies and mosquitoes.
    When they were in the garage, I did notice them hunting a fly or two that came in, tracking flight with their eyes and heads or trying to snap at them. As Mama Duck, I have taught them well how to hunt down slugs and worms and they are quite good at checking the ground.

    These suckers don't seem to give a hoot about flies. I'm going bananas. I don't know how to mama duck them to fly hunting. Their hut has flies all over in it, particularly in the warmth of day. We wash the patio down from duck poop daily, but before that is done the flies are hovering all around. While they nap. Below the swarms of flies.
    I have reduced their feed to encourage more foraging and hunting. I feed them at night and they are really excited, there is a small amount left over in the morning and it's all gone by noon. Am I too late to get their instincts for flies to kick in? My husband wonders if I've taught them too well about worms and they are busy looking down and not up.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Please don't reduce their food, they are still babies and won't do any serious bug hunting until they are mature, and even than they won't catch every bug, and mine don't chase down flies. You will still have flies even with ducks, they will eat the larvae if they can find them but I think you are expecting too much out of them.
     
  3. CarliJo

    CarliJo New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2017
    Well that is helpful. I feel like most of what I have read here is that if you keep more food than they eat in a meal around they will not learn to forage. I read a few threads where people used the term "lazy" with Muscovy, which I didn't see when I was doing research before getting them.
    I appreciate that feedback. I'm so impressed with their worm skills.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,895
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    My adults walk around the yard mostly at night and early morning foraging, they must have excellent night vision, and it can quite the sight to look out at midnight to see ducks wandering around with their heads down looking for bugs. They prefer bugs to feed in my experiences, and forage pretty far out to find them.
     

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