Need muscovy advice


11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
Southern CA
Hey peoples, we just got a very large dogloo for free and now that we have this as a type of housing I am trying to convince my DBF to let me have a few more ducks.

I want to get two or maybe three duckling muscovies. I already have an older Khaki and a mutt that I raised from ducklings, but someone the other day said that muscovies need slightly different care. My books that I have on duck care don't get that detailed when it comes to muscovies, so can you experts give me some pointers? Do they need different food? Housing? I know they can fly so I need to clip their wings, but what else should I know?
Well first off,... MUSCOVIES ARE AWESOME!

..Well that said I can answer your question, Muscovies are semi different than other ducks. Every other duck is Mallard derived while Muscovie's are the only ones that are not. Hence the 35 day incubation period compared to the 28 day to any Mallard derived duck.

If you breed a Muscovie to a Mallard derived duck the offspring will be infertile with a incubation period of around 30 days.

Anyways, Muscovies are different than other ducks in the way their oil glands work. They don't have very good oil glands so they don't do as well in water as other ducks [Although I have never seen any side affects from this on my own ducks, they have swam in a local creek for 3+ hours are were fine] so many keep their muscovies with-out water, they don't need water, but it makes them lots more happy

Muscovies don't make noise, only a low "hiss" or a small chirp from the females. Females can hatch up to three-four clutchs of eggs per year, and are excellent mothers [I just had a Muscovie mom hatch out 17 babies two days ago]

As for flying the females fly and the SOME of the males may "glide" a foot or so above the ground but not for long. Most males are too heavy to fly, but the females are great flyers and can fly a good ways. But don't worry, they may fly somewhere but they won't "leave" and never come back.

I feed them 1/2 corn and 1/2 laying pellets [The same thing I feed my chickens, and all other ducks]

I house my Muscovies with my chickens and have a simple setup. A dog igloo will do great for 3.

Best of Luck, and sorry for any spelling errors (Im not that good of a speller!)

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Thanks low country! That helped a lot, and I loved your pics the other day of your new momma and her brood! That was actually a large part of my desire to get more ducks and specifically muscovies; I just can't say no to the little fluffy faces!
I agree, muscovys are tops.. you will throw rocks at the rest of your birds once you get muscovys..

the males get quite large and pound for pound are stronger than any other bird I have ever tried to hold still..

one of my chocolate drakes is just smaller than my year old toulouse geese.. and they do not push him around..

as far as flying, I do not clip their wings.. We have a lot of foxes around here and I want them to have every advantage to get away..

they usually walk where they are going and only fly in emergencies. like to get first in line when we are giving them bread treats.. or when there is snow on the ground and they want to get from the coop across the yard to up onto the deck railing.. the drake can fly just as well as the hen..

It takes very little coaxing to tame a muscovy into a pet.. they seem to tolerate humans just fine.. they like us, they like us.

and they taste great.. we have to get rid of all excess drakes.
they are very tolerant breeders. not much fighting goes on over the females,, they just stand in line and take their turn... too rough on the hens...

I have rambled on long enough.

I don't really care about colors actually, I more in this as a utilitarian aspect and I just care about ROL and quality of meat. At the same time though, who says I can't enjoy my work? I love ducks and would have a lot more as pets if I could, but DBF says I can only claim one bird as a pet at a time so until my beloved Booger dies naturally I can't care too much about appearances or get attached. I would prefer to get females, and I have only found one hatchery so far that sexes the ducklings and that is Ridgway in Ohio but I'm working on finding a more local source to LA.
I LOVE MY MUSCOVIES! Although my neighbors (in-laws) have some offspring from my ducks and BOTH sexes DO fly back & forth from their place. And it's not a glide, either. It's UP & OVER the top of their HUGE haybarn, across three fences and onto the top of the coop run. Mine have never flown and I've had my original pair since 2003.

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