Muscovy regulations

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9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
I recieved my notice from George T Alan that they made changes to the proposal on Muscovy ducks. I, and anyone else interested, has until December to mail in (they aren't accepting e-mails) a response to the changes. The changes are better, but still clearly state that Muscovy duck can be raised for Personal Consumption only, meaning you can't sell Muscovy duck meat anymore (sad news for a lot of meat suppliers out there).

But I found a glaring flaw in their proposal and would like to share the following information for all who are interested.

The domestic variant of the Cairina Moschata is not genetically identical to the wild Muscovy. The Domestic Muscovy was first farmed for meat before the 16th century. During hundreds of years of domestication, the Muscovy duck was hybridized with Cairina scutulata (white winged wood duck) as well as with Sarkidiornis melanotos (South American Comb Duck). The result is the Cairina Moschata Momelanotus (generally referred to simply as Cairina momelanotus).
All true domestic Muscovy ducks are a distinct hybrid. Cairina momelanotus are larger than their wild counterparts, nest on the ground rather than in trees, and come in a wide variety of colors. (interesting to note that the momelanotus was imported to America from from Europe prior to the import of even Pekins to the U.S.)
Having examined multiple instances of photos claiming to be of the Cairina Moschata in the wild, I have noticed that almost every photo is actually of a Cairina momelanotus. While I sympathize with the Southern states in their plight with feral Muscovies, those are not wild birds. Many show traits of being a mix between a true Cairina moschata and the Cairina momelanotus.

If the determination of the Muscovy being a migratory bird is based on these mixed breed birds, it negates the validity of the label. Cairina momelanotus can survive where the true moschata cannot.

The proposed regulations clearly state that there is no genetic difference between wild and domestic Muscovies, and there is. Domestic Muscovies are a hybrid. The proposed regulation bases it's definition of migratory on the assumption that there is no difference between domestic and wild Muscovy. Thus the application of the label migratory is not valid (until and unless they can produce a true moschata and not a momelanotus in the areas in question). While the current proposal is fine for most small farms and hobby breeders, the fact remains that they are taking away the right to sell Muscovy meat, based on false information.

Thank you for your time.
Can you please post sources for the information on domestic muscovies and their genetics? If I do include that information in my letter, I'd like to be able to truely cite my sources to a good, legitimite source.

I just read the proposed regulations the other day and as I understood it, you can keep or sell Muscovy for egg or meat production but NOT as pets. The only thing I saw effecting meat and egg production was the options for the mandatory marking they will require.
Maybe I'll go back and reread that.
Here I have copy and pasted the part of the regulations that say what will and won't be allowed.

Specific Proposed Changes to 50 CFR 21.14

In 50 CFR 21.14, we would remove the requirement that muscovy ducks
may not be acquired, possessed, propagated, sold, or transferred,
except for sale as food. We would add the following provisions to the
You do not need a permit to acquire, possess, or sell
properly-marked, captive-reared muscovy ducks or their eggs;
You may not release muscovy ducks to the wild or to any
location used by wild ducks; and
You may not sell or distribute muscovy ducks as pets. Muscovy
ducks have been sold as pets and given as prizes, activities we intend
to disallow. However, we do not consider muscovy show ducks to be pets.
Maybe I'm being stupid, but what does that have to do with the muscovy regulations.
Maybe I'm being stupid, but what does that have to do with the muscovy regulations.

The muscovy regulations make it so that you have to have them for show or meat purposes to sell them which helps with the standard breed poultry fanciers.
You are right. LOL My bad.

I don't see a big issue outside of the options for marking. If you have pet Muscovy, just collect and use some of the eggs. Now you are keeping your Muscovy for food purposes. I have pet Muscovy but I collect their eggs and allow some hatching for the freezer. That will allow me to continue what I do. My only issue is the need for marking them in one of 4 manners before they reach 6 weeks of age. If you band them, you'll have to do it at least twice before they are butchering age and a tattoo I would have to pay someone to do. I don't know about ducks, but a letter or number on a person would be expensive. The other 2 methods are out right mutilations and I will not do that.
Thats weird from what I saw 21.13 only applied to Mallards and ALL mallards coming from hatcheries break that regulation.
Also why do you have to band them twice? from what i read you only have to band them once but then you have to keep the band on until its getting prepared too cook. What i see is a butchered duck with one leg lmao
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I raise them already and from 6 weeks to 15 weeks their legs grow A LOT. I don't think a band large enough for a 15 week old would stay on a 6 week old and a band for a 6 week old will be outgrown.
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