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Re homing muscovy ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Eli1977, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a little bit of a predicament. My neighbor who lives about 5 minutes away by a car over the hill has lovely muscovy ducks and wants to get rid of them because they have taken over his pool. I am interested in getting them. We have 3very large chicken coops and only one is inhabited by my chickens that are mix of buff orpingtons, aracauna, and some weird mixed rooster who is very sweet. I also have a very small hen who lays eggs the size of an acorn not sure what she is. We had 39 chickens but hawks and foxes took out most. Now we made arrangements that they don't get attacked anymore. So that's why we thought about adding ducks. I was wondering how to rehome them. And would they be OK in the coop. Do we keep them in the coop for a week so they get used to it or not. Would the fly or go back to my neighbors?
     
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    As a Muscovy raiser, I'm a big fan. Are they all females (ducks) or are there drakes, too?

    [Depending on the number of Muscovies you may get and the size of your coop], assuming there's sufficient room, they should be fine. I free range mine so they can forage (they are excellent foragers), but if the hawks and foxes are too big a threat, I understand why you might not (and I've lost ducks and chickens to foxes and hawks here, too). If you keep them in the coop for a week or so, they will hopefully "get" that it's home and return there in the evening - but just be aware that Muscovies aren't easy to herd. I use a length of PVC pipe to guide them in at night - my "herding stick". [​IMG] I also clip a wing on each of mine to ensure they don't fly away because the females (ducks) can fly very well and high.

    Ducks' needs are a little different from chickens - for one, they need to consistently have a clean water source that they can blow their nares (nostrils) out in or they can develop respiratory issues. There's a lot of helpful information at the Learning Center on raising ducks here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/other-backyard-fowl-ducks-quail-turkeys-geese-etc.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. I am fairly new to chickens about a year or so but I studied about them quite a lot. It's very addictive. I have always wanted to have geese and ducks, bur I do have a two year old girl and no matter what I say she will always chase the chickens so I didn't brave the geese just yet. However we go quite often for a visit to our neighbors and she loves the ducks. They have boys and girls ducks. Their ducks are used to the chickens they have I am wondering though will my chickens have problems with the ducks. I have 13 chickens and we are getting about 20 more
    Also I have two big plastic tubs to water the horse / cows. Can I let the ducks to swim in those or should I get a small pool. I got a cat litter box (plastic for the coop while they are in the coop. And I also got a big shallow tub for outside. Is that enough? We are already feeding chickens layer feed so I think the ducks can eat that too. We have about 3 Acres around the house and another 50 acres of woods that also belong to us so there is no problem in foraging. I hung old cds on trees and on the coop to reppel the hawks and it works like a charm. We have great pyrenees dog to get rid of the foxes but so far she thinks she is there to catch the chickens.
     
  4. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    YVW. It is addictive, for sure!

    My 'scovies free range and hang out with my chickens, so it's definitely possible for them to coexist peacefully. There may be some skirmishes initially (some of my drakes like to pull rooster tailfeathers out) and you'll want to ensure the drake isn't trying to mate with the hens or it could be fatal - I've never experienced that with mine, but it's apparently possible. How many were you planning to try to integrate with your ~45 chickens? A ratio of 4-5 ducks per drake should keep both sexes happy.

    If the 'scovies can easily get out of the tubs, they should be fine. If not, you could set up some kind of ramp or steps so they can get out. Your acreage sounds nice - they should be able to do a lot of foraging. Will they go into a coop at night, too? I lost ducks to owls and other nighttime predators before I started clipping wings.

    Yikes! Hope your LGD figures out that she's there to protect the chickens, not catch them, soon. [​IMG]
     
  5. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

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    So my husband is set on starting with 2 females and one male, but I hope that soon the flock will grow by it self. I would like for them to go to coop at night and I think I will take your advice and clip a wing so they can't fly. I see my neighbors ducks in their huge oak tree and we have a lot of them so I reckon I'd have to have a search party to find them in the woods. I do hope that I'll be able to get them in at night. Is there any way to teach them to lay eggs in the coop or not? We have a lot of coyotes, foxes and snakes here in Tennessee so if they lay outside we may never see the ducklings. Also can I let them forage after one week in the coop or should I put them in a run first.
     
  6. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in KY, so we probably have similar predators...the Muscovies will get picked off if allowed to roost outside at night. I know - lost several when I first got them because they'd roost high and not go in at night. Clipping a wing will stop that, and you should be able to herd them into the coop at night.

    They should also figure out that they should lay in the nest boxes after a bit - but be prepared for them to poop in the nest boxes for a while. [​IMG] You can try putting golf balls in the nest boxes to encourage laying. Some of my girls like to lay in the chicken coop nest boxes, too.

    A week in the coop should reinforce that it's "home", but you could graduate them to the run if you prefer. Be ready for herding, though...and maybe a "duck rodeo" in the evening.
     
  7. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

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    Love the duck rodeo [​IMG] I am really excited to start on the ducks I really hope they going to like it here. And of course multiply. We go to our neighbors to see the ducklings when they have them. Did you hatch your own or do you get them bigger? Would you also recommend to have more species of ducks together or muscovy's only. We don't mind the noise we live in the woods away from everyone. And I get the morning knocking on the kitchen door from my chickens. They always beg for scraps and bread. So I don't mind the ducks coming up. Should I put something for th in the coop for the week while getting them used to the coop, like toys or treats. Hubby made roosts for this coop made out of trees quite thick so it's like having a tree I reckon it should be fine or should we get the roost out and just put down straw. I really hope you don't mind my inquisitive questions, but I am overjoyed to have found a good source of wisdom. Most blogs and info on line is very basic and I often find ppl keep ducks just for meat. Our family is more focused on future so we care for animals as pets not food. However when it's time we do not think twice.we like our chickens roasted or in soup. We have just had hog feast and trust me the sausage or the bacon that I am curing right now is way more delicious than store bought.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge we sure appreciate it xxx
    Ellie
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I have 3 Muscovy females that roost on the 2X4's with the chickens so keep the tree roost and see how they like it. I keep a deep covering of shavings on the floor of the coop for those who like to sleep there and for egg laying.

    Need pics once you get them home.

    I also Have a mixed flock or Muscovy's and Runners and Buff ducks and they all get along fine. The scovy's hatched the Runners/Buffs but they pretty much stay in their own group with no incidents. Keep food and water out during the day. And treats will warm them up to you quicker. They love dried meal worms.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

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    Update: we just got our 3 ducks and so far they have no interest in food but I can tell they are drinking. Should I be concerned? We just got them last night [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  10. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     

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