What will help these Muscovies want to hang around after I catch them?


9 Years
Jan 16, 2011
SE, Louisiana
I am being given the Muscovies and, I have come up with a catch-pen to catch them. The location where are, they've NEVER been messed-with. They've been fed by humans but not handled. OK, I catch them, bring them home, clip a wing, and pen them up. What do I do in order to make my place THE PLACE they WANT to return to every evening?

Is there some vegetables or something they consider a real treat that might encourage them to come running, even moreso, whenever I'm serving-it-up? Something that would be soooo awesome that they'd hang around?

How long does it usually take before they consider my place home and, I can risk releasing them?

There is a canal just behind my house. My plan is to allow the big mature scovies to free range. But, because of hawks and owls, I would prefer to keep moms and little ones penned-up whenever I'm away during the day. This could be several days at a time. I would only allow them out 2-3-4 days a week to enjoy the canal. When they reach a size where they are too large for the hawks and owls, I will cut 'em loose permanently. Would it hurt to allow them access to water only 2-3 times a week? I am not up for the stinking mess of a water-pool inside the pen.
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Food works really well. Mine love peas and scrambled eggs. They get any that end up cracked when the kids are gathering from the chicken yard. They also really like mealworms and earthworms. At the end of last season my son asked if he could dig in the garden for worms for the ducks. He ended up digging the whole thing over and it is ready to go in the spring.

I think you want them penned for a couple of weeks. We used to walk our out of their pen to a kiddie pool in an other part of the yard. They herd well. With reguard to wing clipping...you might do a search for "beauty clip duck" here on BYC. Essentially, it is a more attractive way to clip that doesn't leave them so lopsided but is very effective. Someone posted pictures....Bleanie maybe. I wisk that was what we did. Can't wait for molt to get that changed.
I have found that my muscovy will snub even the peas IF I have thawed frozen corn in the treat bucket. Sometimes I'll slip them a little mixed in with their normal treats. They go CRAZY for it and will bully the other ducks out of the way to get at it.

And as long as they always have enough fresh drinking water, letting them swim and bathe 3 or 4 times a week should be fine. Mine don't get in the pools as often as my other ducks anyway.
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My wonderful drake loves cherry tomatoes. He comes running for them- the others come running as well, but they dont eat the tomatoes.
I definitely agree with keeping them penned up for a couple weeks. If I were you, I would give them a kiddy pool and put feeder goldfish in there for them to chase and as a super treat. Then, when you do let them out, they will have decided that their penned area is their new home.
I agree w/penning them for a few weeks. Thawed peas are a biggy w/my Scovies. Dry or a plate of wet cat food esp. now as the girls are laying and LOVE the extra protien since there are few bugs yet. Even the broodies make a point of coming out for the peas and cat food... or peeping LOUDLY to let me know Not to forget them at their nests. I usually will give the broodies a handful of thawed peas w/bits of bologna in neck reaching distance of their nests if I can.
Good advice in the replies. Just don't forget to put a top on the pen that they will be in for a few weeks. They not only fly, but also CLIMB a fence to get out. Those claws that adorn their feet can be used for many things.

Good food and a secure environment is about it.

Do you have a plan for catching them to bring them to your place? They fly really well.......
I would treat them just like guineas and pen them up for two to three MONTHS not weeks. A couple of weeks just won't cut it in my book. I may be wrong but my poultry comes back every night with no problem. And i feed them just a little every night just as an extra measure of incentive.
Ok I know it is not the best treat, but mine love bread, especially cheap white bread. The one comes and knocks at the door before coop time, has her snack and takes herself to the coop. Goos Scovie.

I too would keep them up for a couple of weeks, so that they know where home )(food and snacks) are
If you haven't started already, you might want to go there and start feeding them something before you catch them. That way, they will associate you with food and will actually come up to you. It'll make them easier to catch and they will be waiting for you every day. If you're close to where they're at, they may even start to follow you home.
I've never had any problems with my ducks, I think I penned my first for a day or two and then let them out. Mine LOVE wheat. I have a metal milk can that I fill up with wheat, corn, sunflower seeds and other seeds. I give it a shale and all my birds come running.

By all means pen them up for a week or two, and when you feed them shake it around or whistle, they'll associate the noise with food. Mine always go inside the shed at night, and I haven't clipped their wings. If you do clip their wings you stop them from flying away from predators too.


as for the water when they're penned up. Muscovys enjoy swimming and splashing around but water isn't as important as other breeds. As long as they have enough to get their heads inside and clean their nostrils they'll be happy. A large pot or bucket will be enough, this is as well as fresh drinking water. You could also put a scoop of feed into a pot of water, my ducks love this.
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