Thinking about muscovies...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Gagroundhog, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Gagroundhog

    Gagroundhog In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2013
    Hi everybody, newbie here. [​IMG] I've been thinking about getting some Muscovy ducks but have a few concerns before I do. I am duck and goose experienced as well as chickens and turkeys. We had muscovies years ago and loved them. We lost them to predators which is my biggest worry.
    The thing is, we have a huge slug, roly poly and a multitude of other pest plaguing my garden so some ducks on it for a while would help while its not in use. Chickens don't seem to like them. So I thought about muscovies. It would be fun to have them again but we have predators here. We keep our chickens and turkeys fenced in or in chicken tractors to keep them safe and at home. Our property is surrounded by woods. I could put a fence around my garden but how hard is it to contain muscovies. Is clipping one or both wings effective? I know this also slows them down for predators so they will have a safe house at night and fenced during the day or would it be better to let them fly and lock them up at night. Our last ones were lost to bobcats and coons, also was a different property. Here we have coyotes. We have seen bobcats and foxes here too. Everybody is put up at night.
    I also read about dewinging them as ducklings. Would love input on this.
    Thanks in advance! [​IMG]
  2. learycow

    learycow Crowing

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    From my experience with them (I've had them for about 5 years now) pinioning them as ducklings is not the best thing to do. Since they are able to fly, you want them to be able to especially if you have a predator issue. Pinioning them ground them and gives them less defense.

    Mine do best free ranging. If you get them small, I would suggest keeping them in a coop near your garden. Maybe put up a small fence around it (or a portion of it) to start. Let them out during the day while they are little. Feed them in the coop so they always know where to go for feed. Since they are little, they won't be able to fly over the fence.

    Once they get bigger and start to develop feathers, I generally open a section of the fence and let them free range. They RARELY go far as they are so used to being fed in the coop. Whenever I go outside they always flock to me or the coop in hopes for "treats".

    Then you can clip ONE SIDE to prevent the females from flying long distances. They can still fly over fences, but it shouldn't be a big deal at this point in time as they are already trained to stay in the yard and go in at night.

    I have found that if I have adults that I add to the flock, they don't usually go in at night. And they can be hard to catch. But ones that I've got as babies or raised myself, always put themselves to bed once it starts to get dark.

    I've got 40 acres, half is pasture that they never go in. The rest is woods. They stay around the edge of the woods but mostly on my lawn. And they always find the garden in the summer even though its on the opposite side of my house (coop is out front, garden is out back).
  3. Gagroundhog

    Gagroundhog In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2013
    Thank you learycow, I have been thinking about this a couple of years. I love scovies but don't want to get any unless I can keep them safe. We have the chickens and turkeys and we work hard to keep them safe but they are easier to contain. I want the scovies to be safe too but have enough freedom to range safely. I'd have me some happy ducks. On our old property we had mallards. They did great. We didn't have problems with them free ranging around. I'm hoping to do the same with these if I can make it safe enough for them.
    We have so many goodies here that they could forage for, its a great place for ducks.
    We have more than 5 acres of bug eatin' paradise for them, I would love for them to have it!
    Those darn predators just have to leave! LOL [​IMG]
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    The drakes usually get to a point where their to large to fly, it's mainly the females who do. My flock is unclipped because they free range, i want them to have some form of protection. If you want them confined to certain place, then clipping females would be best. Storey's guide to ducks has info on how.

    All mine come in at night, we do have preds here.. so is my best defense. Their good foragers, mine are well fed but that doesn't stop them in the least on going out and about... they love to travel around the farm.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  5. Gagroundhog

    Gagroundhog In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2013
    Thanks Going Quackers, I'm hoping I can do that with mine some day. For now I'm going to put up some fencing around my garden and put them there for a while so they can get to know me and learn to go in at night. Of course this is if I find some close soon. I know where some are now but can't get them yet. These would be nice. They are 8-10 weeks old, still young but they have been outside so they are acclimated although waiting and getting some little ducklings would be fun too! (Sigh) Can't wait! [​IMG]

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