? on what to feed muscovys through winter.....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bufforp89, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I have 4 young male muscovys that I plan on keeping through the winter and selling in the spring. I have been feeding them the feed mixture that everyone else gets but its getting expensive and as they are not laying eggs [​IMG] or breeding I dont think they need it. What would be a good, hopefully inexpensive way of feeding them? I have heard just cracked corn would be ok but IMO I dont think it is and it makes them fat. Someone also told me scratch would be ok? Thoughts?
     
  2. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    109
    Jun 28, 2010
    Michigan
    Neither scratch or cracked corn will give them what they need. Corn is essentially like eating nothing but candy, way too much fat. Scratch would either be too fatty (too much corn in the mix) or not fatty enough (NO corn in the mix), and with lack of protein they can die from malnutrition. When poultry loose weight in the winter, they die from exposure faster. They will need good nutrition and at LEAST 16% (I prefer 18-20%) protein. Corn is a 'hot' feed which mean it has readily availalble energy that helps livestock stay warm in the winter, which is why I offer at least a little corn in most diets. A little goes a long way.

    My birds get free choice feed all year round. Our mix is soybean meal, oats, a LITTLE corn (for proper fat content), alfalfa meal, and a mineral mix. It is all ground fine and mixed with a little cocosoya to reduce dustiness. I also offer free choice oyster shell on the side.

    In the summertime, their diet is supplemented by free ranging. In the winter, I offer a hay bag for them to peck at and a vitamin/mineral/electrolyte mix in their water (Vi-Tal). Vi-Tal is EXTREMELY concentrated and lasts a LONG time, even giving it to all my poultry, goats, rabbits, and rats. [​IMG]

    Why are you keeping them over the winter if you cannot afford them? If they're eating too much, sell or eat them now. Muscovies make GREAT duck dinners, way less greasy than mallard deriviatives. [​IMG] They're ready to eat as early as 12 weeks old. That is, IF you can sell them. Mostly here, muscovy drakes go for free/cheap. I don't sell mine unless someone is interested in getting some. Otherwise, it's much more cost efficient to just butcher them. I don't grow them out and put a bunch of money/effort into them, to just give 'em away free. Normally when people come to me to get some hens, they want a drake, so I can usually pawn off my prettier drakes, but the rest I just eat. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by