Muscovy Questions

BlueHorse17

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Hello everyone! I have four Muscovy ducklings that I incubated about two weeks ago. They’re growing fast! I just have a few different questions in regards to them. This is also my first time having ducks.

1. How old before they can be sexed?

2. When do they start laying?

3. Can they be kept with chickens?

4. Should their pen be covered? Will they try to fly away?

5. Has anyone trained theirs to use a nipple waterer, or automatic feeder they can step on?

6. Do they take dust baths? Or mainly clean off in water?

7. Besides their bagged food, what else can they have as far as treats?

8. What male to female ratio should I have?
 

Quatie

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Hello everyone! I have four Muscovy ducklings that I incubated about two weeks ago. They’re growing fast! I just have a few different questions in regards to them. This is also my first time having ducks.

1. How old before they can be sexed?
At about 6-8 weeks you should be able to see noticable size differences. The feet of the males are larger, as well as the body size.
2. When do they start laying?
They usually start laying at about 28 weeks, but if they come of age in the winter they may put off till next spring.
3. Can they be kept with chickens?
People do it and someone else can answer this better, but I would be wary of males with chickens. @Miss Lydia can help you with that
4. Should their pen be covered? Will they try to fly away?
So it is a possibility they will fly away. Mine free range on my property, but they have clipped wings. They can still jump over the fence if they choose to, but I have not had that happen. Some people have had no issue with them flying away.

5. Has anyone trained theirs to use a nipple waterer, or automatic feeder they can step on?
Not sure if you can train them, but they will still need water for them to dunk their whole head in.
6. Do they take dust baths? Or mainly clean off in water?

They clean in the water. They don't like the water as much as other ducks, but they still love their baths.
7. Besides their bagged food, what else can they have as far as treats?
There are a lot of things you can give them. Meal worms and peas are popular. But most fruits and veggies, lettuce. Scrambled eggs, and there is a long list.
8. What male to female ratio should I have?
 

Miss Lydia

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1 drake to at least 4 and up females.

My Muscovy don't begin to lay until following spring after hatch so 8-9 months old. They are slow to mature.

My Muscovy arent water hogs like my Runners and Buffs but they do like a bath a day,

I keep my ducks all 3 breeds with my chickens but my drakes have plenty of females to keep them occupied. My Muscovy drake does like to grab a mouth full of feathers if a chicken gets to close to his space.

forget the nipple waterer, mine have buckets and my chickens drink out of them too. No water or feed inside the coops though. Way to messy.

My Muscovy free range on half acre fenced and to keep them home I clip one wing each year in the fall after their big molt. Not the drake though he would never leave his girls.
 

BlueHorse17

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At about 6-8 weeks you should be able to see noticable size differences. The feet of the males are larger, as well as the body size.

They usually start laying at about 28 weeks, but if they come of age in the winter they may put off till next spring.

People do it and someone else can answer this better, but I would be wary of males with chickens. @Miss Lydia can help you with that

So it is a possibility they will fly away. Mine free range on my property, but they have clipped wings. They can still jump over the fence if they choose to, but I have not had that happen. Some people have had no issue with them flying away.


Not sure if you can train them, but they will still need water for them to dunk their whole head in.


They clean in the water. They don't like the water as much as other ducks, but they still love their baths.

There are a lot of things you can give them. Meal worms and peas are popular. But most fruits and veggies, lettuce. Scrambled eggs, and there is a long list.
Thank you so much for your response! I appreciate it!
 

BlueHorse17

Free Ranging
6 Years
Mar 20, 2015
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1 drake to at least 4 and up females.

My Muscovy don't begin to lay until following spring after hatch so 8-9 months old. They are slow to mature.

My Muscovy arent water hogs like my Runners and Buffs but they do like a bath a day,

I keep my ducks all 3 breeds with my chickens but my drakes have plenty of females to keep them occupied. My Muscovy drake does like to grab a mouth full of feathers if a chicken gets to close to his space.

forget the nipple waterer, mine have buckets and my chickens drink out of them too. No water or feed inside the coops though. Way to messy.

My Muscovy free range on half acre fenced and to keep them home I clip one wing each year in the fall after their big molt. Not the drake though he would never leave his girls.
Thank you for the information :)!
 

Crazy Maizie

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In addition to the above, I have mine eating out of a treadle feeder. They were easy enough to train, but I got the feeder when they were older. My favorite feeder for them is the ones made with PVC pipes and they stick their heads in. But, we needed something to keep the wild birds out.
We have a chicken waterer with the cups and the ducks like to sip out of there, but they have rubber bowls filled with fresh water, a stock tank, and a kiddie pool (during warmer months) to bathe and stick their heads in. The chickens will also drink out of those. Ducks don't dust bathe, but they will lay in dirt or sand where shade is provided.
The chickens are separated by a piece of fencing, but they also hang out together.
I don't clip wings unless necessary.
 
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BlueHorse17

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In addition to the above, I have mine eating out of a treadle feeder. They were easy enough to train, but I got the feeder when they were older. My favorite feeder for them is the ones made with PVC pipes and they stick their heads in. But, we needed something to keep the wild birds out.
We have a chicken waterer with the cups and the ducks like to sip out of there, but they have rubber bowls filled with fresh water, a stock tank, and a kiddie pool (during warmer months) to bathe and stick their heads in. The chickens will also drink out of those. Ducks don't dust bathe, but they will lay in dirt or sand where shade is provided.
The chickens are separated by a piece of fencing, but they also hang out together.
I don't clip wings unless necessary.
My main concern is that the ducks would fly over the fence and into the neighbor’s yard. Should I provide a kiddie pool or pond or anything for the ducks when it gets colder? The water would probably just try to freeze over but I don’t know if ducks can get pneumonia or anything like that. Not sure what the lowest temperature tolerance is that they can handle. Regardless they would have shelter, of course, when the time comes. As of right now they are still ducklings - only two weeks old :)!
 

BlueHorse17

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Any time you have neighbors who have dogs that’s always a chance. As for water a kiddy pool is good. In winter I only give mine a cement mixing tub to bathe in because
The pool would just remain frozen. So they get the mixing tub when it’s in the mid 30’s
That’s a good idea instead of a kiddie pool during the colder elements. So there isn’t really a way to sex them when they are only about two weeks old? Just need to look for the signs such as the boys looking bigger? I’m sure vent sexing might be an option but I’m not comfortable enough to do that to them.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
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I only tried vent sexing once on my gosling yep said it was a girl nope is a gander. Lol
About 4-6 weeks of age the drakes really start to out grow the females. They have a long stream lined look to them from top of head to tip of tail, legs sit farther apart than females too females look like they could step on their own feet but of course they don’t. Their legs just sit closer together they have rounded bodies like a football. Some Muscovy ducklings I can tell female by their faces they just look feminine but not at 2 weeks they all pretty much look the same.
 

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