Rasing Muscovies Intelligently


12 Years
Jul 22, 2008
South Central MA
I have six scovy ducklings, about 11 days old.

In order not to end up with the 'drake from hell' next Spring, should I not even try to get them used to me, my hands, my presence while they're in the brooder?

When I show up and sit beside it to enjoy them and they all come over inquisitively and look, am I setting myself up for Armageddon next Spring?

If I present them with my hand and they come over and look, am I doiing 'wrong?'

Should I not feed them in the brooder little bits of lettuce, which they take from my hands with delight? They also nibble at my hands. I love this, but is this what you pros mean by 'MIS-RAISING' a scovy, making the drakelets esp. identify too much with humans?

Recent thread on muscovies as nice has put me on to this.

? thank you


In other words, should I have basically nothing to do with these scovy ducklings except feed them and water them, and just observe but keep my distance?
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Male aggression towards humans really doesn't pertain only to Muscovy, it has to do with nearly all farm animals. With males it is instinctual to try to obtain dominance over their flock or herd mates because that is how they try to insure that they father the progeny - it happens with mallard derivatives too, they're just not as powerful and frightening to some as a Muscovy drake. You can find it with livestock that are hand-reared, as well.

Again, all animals are individuals so a person can only make basic generalizations based on the breed 'as a whole' and not on an individual basis. Indian Runners, for example, as a whole are not known to be reliable broodies and yet there are those Runners that can do the job remarkably well.

So, that said, if you go out on a daily basis and feed the birds treats in their brooder & pet them and talk to them, etc. you're not likely going to create a monster, as a general rule. If you bring them in the house and have them on your lap and pet and coddle and hold them 24 hours a day, yes, I'd put my money on the drakelets growing up to challenge your position when they reach sexual maturity and potentially flogging the crap out of you a time or two until you put a stop to it.

Personally, I see it as people trying to raise a duck as a dog which in the long run can cause problems. If you raise the ducks to be ducks then I think you're on the right track.
All the Muscovy babies i've raised we're always handled a lot while they were in the brooder and after they went outside. I did Not carry them around though, just gave treats and petted a little.

even at maturity they will still come up to me looking for treats and sometimes like to follow people around But they are still very much ducks. they still like to do their own thing, hang out in the creek and at times totally ignore any person that comes around.

I have raised other ducklings with very very little contact, just me feeding and watering them and they are extremely skittish towards people, they wont even hardly come up for feed if someone is standing right there.
Thanks Lach

I've got a bunch of K. Campbells, and some of them are terrified of their own shadow!

Our scovy babies are tame beyond what I would've expected. But they still know I'm not them!!!

btw, my two scovy eggs in bator are due to hatch tues. but scovy eggs are 'legendarily' next to impossible to hatch in a bator; so I expect failure..
uhhhm, if you want friendly ducks that, should something happen like one be injured, and you NEED to get your hands on it, then handle them O_O, if you don't and you need to get hold of one, then you WILL have a duck from hell, I never really handled my 'scovie drake, but got him as a baby, he has a good 3 + foot wingspan from wing to wing, and that crap hurts to be hit in the head by them wings!
I agree with Ducklove. Scovies are great because you can make pets out of them and they will still be ducks in their own duck world.

I had one who would crawl in my lap for a nap, yet he would still be very much part of the flock.

They are much easier to catch if they like being around you. Our scovies would follow us around and supervise us in the yard. They loved a head scratch, too.
I am so glad to hear this. That is exactly what I'm aiming for. And they really are tame and friendly even now they come running over when I come to their brooding pen outside. and sometimes they even peep in sorrow when I go away (not always).

I never thought boids could be so sweet.

Terrie, I really thank you for your experienced reply--and thanks to you Ducklove--and ALL of you posters.

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