Wintering Muscovies

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChickensInMyYard, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Hello all! I have a Muscovie Hen here with 12 little hatchlings! My Drake looks like his chest is sticking out a little further, proud daddy! My question is, how do they winter in colder climates? Are they as hardy as my Large Lavernder Orps? And what do they prefer to bed on? Shavings? Straw?.

    Thanks.
    ChickensInMyYard
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  2. nanaluvsgps

    nanaluvsgps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know how they winter, cause im from australia, but they like to nest on straw/hay because they can burrow into it and give the little duckies a wind break :)
     
  3. Valntyn

    Valntyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Muscovies are awesome in Winter. Last Winter was my first with them and I fretted over their fate, but they stayed outside (in their fenced-in area) almost 24/7. I think there were TWO days all Winter, during separate storms, where they stayed in their shelter overnight during the worst of the storm. The next mornings, though, snow or not, they were out and about again!

    I've only had one hatching so far, and it was mid-Summer, so I can't speak much toward caring for babies in the cold, except to say I would make sure to have a shelter for them with lots of straw. I would expect their mama will take great care of them otherwise.

    Hopefully someone else will chime in and give more tips. Congratulations on the babies! [​IMG]
     
  4. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Valntyn :)
    Muscovies do very well in the winter. If they have a lot of caruncling (the red stuff on their face) they can be prone to frostbite but if you have adequate shelter then you won't need to worry about that as they will use the shelter when they feel the need.
    I would use hay/straw for bedding especially while the ducklings are little. The mother should make a nest and the hay will help insulate/keep everyone warm.
    And if you can, I would suggest putting a heat lamp in their shelter. As the ducklings grow, you will find that the mother duck won't be able to fit all of them under her to keep them warm. If you have a heat lamp for them, then the ones that don't "fit" won't get cold.

    Other than that, they should do very well! You will find that they don't mind the cold or the snow. As Valntyn mentioned, they only tend to stay in their shelter on really really cold, blizzardy days/nights. Other than that you will find they prefer to venture around outside and play in the snow!
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    They do okay, i did have some trouble with my ducks)girls) getting chilled in the super cold days we had so i do have a heat lamp on hand, mind you i have way more birds for this winter which i think will help.

    I also recommend Vaseline for the facial flesh as with the need for cleaning the nares it cracks in extreme weather. I only bed with pellets & shavings, i hate straw personally.. if I were to use anything it will be hay but i found that not needed. Key is good, dry shelter with adequate ventilation.
     

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