Two Muscovy Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DarkWater1929, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This past spring, we were given a tiny, crippled, duckling. It had clearly splayed legs, so I splinted them, and they mended ok. But the duck, now grown, has a crooked spine. It seems to manage pretty well, and has developed the ability to fly much farther than any other bird on the place!

    My husband has developed a particular fondness for this duck, which he calls "squash," for its crook-neck, and the feeling appears to be mutual. The duck follows him everywhere!

    2 questions bug us, however. First, is our duck a hen or a drake? Any ideas?

    Second, when my husband is holding the duck, it will seem to snuggle with him, and clearly enjoys his attention, but it will also take hold of the skin on his arm with its beak and give ferocious twist! LOL! It is as though it were trying to get chunks of flesh off! Can this be playful? Or are we mistaking a predatory behavior for affection?

    All thoughts are appreciated![​IMG]
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  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    That nabbing and pinching is actually affection, or romantic inclinations. Ducks don't seem to limit themselves to falling in love with just other ducks. Sometimes they romance humans they care about.

    Lovely duck! I am not a Muscovy keeper, so I'll ask @Miss Lydia to give her opinion about whether you have a drake or a duck.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You have a beautiful female Muscovy. Who is showing affection but if I was you i wouldn't like that kind. Best way to stop it is to put her down from your lap and ignore her when she does it.

    I have a scovy drake who like to do this at times because I raised him from hatch [mom rejected] He'll get carried away at times and nip and bite. With him I treat him like another drake would by holding him to the ground on his belly with one hand behind the neck the other at the end of his body where tail meets but with your girl because of her spine and neck I wouldn't do that. They are tough but I'd worry about causing injury to her so best would be to just ignore her when she does this. Unless of course hubby doesn't mind. lol

    If you don't have any other ducks or water fowl she really doesn't know she is a duck either if she has never been around any others. That makes it rough as far as where they fit in the family tree.They just need to know you and dh are her care givers and it's not nice to pinch the hand that feeds you. Try giving her a non breakable mirror where she spends her time in her house or yours so she can see herself. My drake loves to come in and look at himself in the stove glass he's a ham.

    One of my females will pinch the day lights out of me when she is broody only time she does this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Miss Lydia, I just about had angina when I read "put her down!" Then I finished reading the sentence - take her off your lap, put her on the floor. Phew!!!!
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Oh sorry I went back and re read sure wouldn't want anyone to think I was advocating putting their duck down for pinching. Wow.
     
  6. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both so much! I couldn't be more delighted to hear that she is female! That Does, however, make the behavior of one of our other two ducks rather mysterious. We have a khaki Campbell hen, and a runner drake. The Drake, who usually loves the ladies, persecutes our dear Squash constantly. He will do as you say, biting her on the back of the neck, and grinding her head into the dirt. Sometimes, when she is at her swimming poo,l he will shove her head under the water and hold it there, as though he were trying to drown her. He does not do this with the other female, and so we had concluded that either Squash was a drake, or that because of her deformity, the Drake is trying to run her off, presumably too prevent luring predators.

    Does anyone have any suggestions how we might prevent this Behavior? Or any insight into why he might be doing it? Squash is special enough to us both, and especially my husband, that we are considering getting rid of the other Drake. However this would be sad for the other hen, who likes him.


    Thank you again so much I left a great deal hearing that squashes behavior is actually affectionate and perhaps romantic overtures to my husband LOL
     

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