One Muscovy Duck Owners Experience

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jwnova99, May 24, 2012.

  1. jwnova99

    jwnova99 In the Brooder

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    I just wanted to share my experience with my ducks in case anyone is out there looking for information. In my experience Muscovy ducks are wonderful. They are a very robust and self sufficient breed. They breed very rapidly, and produce good eggs and very lean roast beef tasting meat.

    Starting with 5 babies, I had 12 babies the first year, 38 my second year by keeping back 2 adults. I cooped 10 over this past winter 2 drakes and 8 ducks and as of May 24th I've already had 45 babies courtesy of 4 moms. I would have more but I keep taking their eggs to eat. I heard that a flock of 1 drake and 4 ducks can produce over 100 babies annually. I can vouch for that.

    I have 10 acres in WV, my property backs up to a 300+ acre forest to the back with neighbors on both sides. I coop my ducks in the winter and some nights but let them free range most of the time. They stick to my 3 acre yard and seldom venture into the forest or onto the neighbor's property. I'm not sure why, but they have a sense of home. They eat bugs galore, they dig for beetles and worms aerating my yard and they eat weed and grass seed as it is available.

    Most of the time I will feed my babies for the first couple weeks then cut back to only feeding every 2 to 3 days. I have let my adults forage for 3 months at a time without food and they fare just fine. When they run out of bugs, I see them eating grass tips, they will spread out in a line with their heads going back and forth back over and over the yard. Some times they will venture down in the forest to dig for bugs in the litter. My last brood in October had 6 babies, I didn't feed them at all, they grew a little slower then normal but they grew up just fine. These ducks are domesticated wild ducks and can survive on their own really well.

    I processed over 35 ducks last year. Most of them I skin and clean like a rabbit, the others I simply cut a slit in the front, fold it open and remove the two breasts which is where 70% of the meat is. This method is very fast if you run out of time to process them fully. The liver of the duck is simply awesome and melts in your mouth. I have never tried to pluck a duck, as I heard they are very hard to pluck and that skinning is the fastest method.

    You can not roast a Muscovy like you would a chicken, turkey or other duck. You will produce a piece of leather. I slow cook mine like I would a roast for a couple hours. Most of the time, I'll slow cook 3 in a slow roaster for 2.5 hours, pull it apart like beef and make many dishes such as Burritos, BBQ Duck, Soup, etc. Use it just like you would left over beef brisket.

    This breed has gotten a bad rap for quickly over populating ponds and areas where they are not wanted. There are many rules and regulations against feeding them in FL communities. I think people are looking a gift horse in the mouth. Here we have an army of bug eaters that produce eggs and meat for free. FL communities train residents to look for nests and destroy the eggs by giving them all a good shake, thereby letting the mother sit on them for a month before giving up. Normally at this point the mother is so tired and hungry she'll go another month before laying again. I'm sure these same people then go to the store and buy eggs. What a waste. Communities need to let them breed over the summer to handle the bugs, then feed and capture them in the fall. I'm sure there is processing plants or farmers that would process them for meat.

    I haven't raised any other duck breeds but I have raised chickens. For meat production this breed can't be beat. They only lay eggs for reproduction and if you continuously take them them they will stop laying.

    Hit me up for any questions you might have about this breed.

    yahoo messenger: jwnova99

    Here you can see two mothers, a flock of babies and two older siblings. The black ducks with no red around their eyes are about 2 months old and are a good size for eating.

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    Last edited: May 24, 2012
    2 people like this.
  2. Apyl

    Apyl Songster

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    Awesome info. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

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    Interesting. Although, i don't eat mine .. sorry.. [​IMG] Mine have continued to lay, i actually think they are pretty decent layers... only when they nest has it stopped and I took eggs all winter long.. i have seriously dozens...

    My breeding hasn't been as prolific but mine are young, so far i only have had one baby.. I have two nesting right now but hard to say, mine are free ranged but i lock them up nightly as i don't want them lost to predators, i do agree they are good at staying in an area mine have acres to roam but have a general area they tend to stick too.
     
  4. MallardDuckling

    MallardDuckling Songster

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    Thank you for sharing this! I really liked it!

    I'm new to duck raising and pick Muscovies as my breed. I adore them! Mine are still young, so I'm looking forward to them getting older to see what they're like.
    Mine are pets, so I don't plan on eating them, but I would def. share this info with my Dad if he was to ever get any for meat. I do however plan to eat some of their eggs they produce [​IMG]
     
  5. jwnova99

    jwnova99 In the Brooder

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    Thank you for your replies.

    I treat mine as well as I can and kill them as quick and humanly as possible. I got into raising this breed for the meat. I wanted to produce my own organic meat, that didn't take the head aches of goats, pigs, or cows. As far as poultry goes, these guys are strong and quick to fight. I have only lost one baby in 3 years and I think it was my own dog. Search Muscovy Dog Fights on You Tube and you will see what I mean about their strength. Mine will let you get really close but just stay out of hands reach. I know people have trained them like dogs where they love to be petted.

    Its actually harder for me to take their eggs then to butcher them. Since I free range mine, if I find a nest and take their eggs when they aren't looking, the moms will sulk around lost and look for their eggs all day. If they spot me taking them they come up and try to communicate with me, as if asking me to put them back. It's very sad. When they are born, the mothers will defend their chicks and the chicks of other moms. Once the chicks grow up I can capture them in the coop and the other ducks don't seem to care, they loose the instinct to protect their young once the chick grows up.

    One funny story is when I locked a mother out of the coop so I could hold her week old babies. Another mom came flying off her own nest trying to attack me. Problem is the real mother was waiting for me just outside the door ready to fight me too. My wife couldn't stop laughing. I had no idea they would defend each others offspring. Another amazing trait is that once born the moms will share babies and duties. You will see Moms who had no nest of their own help out and take a few chicks off for a walk.


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    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

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    Cute pic! It must all vary basing on how you raise the ducks, while i have found my other hens to speak with the duckling that hatched they generally have no interest especially the one who is not brooding. I do agree with the strength especially the drakes, i have two young ones that fight and i have had to break it up on occasion, holy heck are they strong! Mine lay their eggs in the barn so i can easily take them for food. I don't eat duck but i know they are considered a good breed for those that do.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    I love you pics..
     
  8. jwnova99

    jwnova99 In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2012
    Thank you!
     

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