New to muscovies...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DVTO2, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2010
    So I have been wanting to get some ducks and geese and bought a trio of Lilac Muscovies this weekend at the Big E. Though I'd planned on getting some this was a bit of an impulse purchase and I wasn't fully prepared. I rigged a makeshift pen in the corner of a welded wire fence run I have for the dog. The breeder said the ducks would not need any thing covering the run, but early the next morning one of the hens flew the coop, as it were. I tried to catch her and she flew out of sight. I did not want to be responsible for setting breeding muscovies loose so I quickly contained the other ducks and roofed the run with poultry wire. The hen came back, settling under the chicken coop and i was able put her back in the run. I am hoping they become tame enough that I can use them in the garden for bug control.

    I had not seen the comments on regulations on muscovies as migratory birds before my purchase. As I understand it, it is permissible to keep them and breed them for meat or eggs - I had planned on them as meat birds. Is this the accurate?

    The other question I had was how best to control the breeding. I would like some ducklings this spring, but I don't want hundreds of ducklings. Do I segregate the male with a fence, just try to stay on top of the eggs, or what might people suggest.
     
  2. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    Michigan
    Trim their primary feathers on ONE wing. That will effectively keep them grounded. I'd keep them penned for at least a week, too, so they know where food/water/housing is.

    It is permissible to keep them IF THEY ARE PROPERLY MARKED. They will need to be banded, permanently pinioned, have a toe removed, or be tattooed. If I were to buy adults, I'd tattoo them. I can't find permanent seamless bands for 'scovies.

    Ducklings will need to be permanently marked by some acceptable way BEFORE sale or before 6 weeks of age. I'll be trying tattooing, removal of a toe, and pinioning this year, myself.

    To control the breeding, just pick up eggs from nests when you don't want babies, or just take half of the nest or so. You can sell them as hatchign eggs. I usually do so well with 'scovy duckling sales that I reserve a nest usually around the week the hen begins to lay... [​IMG]

    If a hen hides a nest on you, she'll still come back at least once a day to eat and drink. This is USUALLY in the evening or afternoon - just keep an eye out. Eventually you'll catch her, then just follow her back to her nest nice and slow. If she knows you're following, she'll be reluctant to return in fear of compromising her nest.
     
  3. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2010
    The breeder did band the birds. I am hoping they will learn to be "home", as I want them to help with pests in the garden. I am thinking I will keep them in a covered run, probably a decent sized tractor near the garden.
     

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