Without a drake muscovy, will be females fly away in search of one?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by livininbrazil, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Songster

    Hi, I have a Drake about 2 years old, and 5 females, all free-range, and all but one of the females is perfectly able to fly, and they fly well, but always come back. Now, I have an increasing number of ducklings which are very sweet, and in general I manage to find homes for them, or get a neighbour to process them when they bigger, but I don´t want to put on him all the time, I processed one the other week, did it correctly, but I didn´t like it. So, another neighbour wants the drake, along with one of the females with ducklings (he´s a great drake, never does anything rough to the ducklings). Here´s the question: will my other females go off in search of a male? I want to keep them. Or should I re-think all of this? Anyone know? thanks.
  2. duck4u

    duck4u In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2013
    Are these wild muscovies in your neighborhood? If so it's under the animal abuse treaty to hurt, kill, take any animal (muscovy duck for example) from the wild.
    I'm new at these forums and I'm pretty sure ''process'' means to chop up a animals body, put it in a machine where its processed and etc.
    Now, muscovy females will not go in search for males.
    But they may fly away for various reasons why a female might fly away, she either got frighten, not enough food, not enough of space.
    Soon males will start to fly to wherever you live though.
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    They will likely not go in search of a male but if they are full flight there is always the possibility that they will not return or may get taken by a predator when they are out.
    If you want to be sure to keep them, you can clip the flight feathers on one wing to prevent flight.
  4. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Songster

    Thanks for your answer. I did wonder, as a while ago I gave some young females to a neighbour (not very close, everyone here has a smallholding or ranch), but some walked back here, I figured it was because I had a male here. So I gave them an adult male and returned the females and they stayed put. They´re now all breeding like crazy. Happy neighbour.
    The females I have had for 3 years, and they have never flown away, other than a visit to the neighbours, then they fly back. Predators are unlikely as everyone around here has cows, pigs, horses,geese and ducks and other livestock together with dogs for protection, so my females are free to fly, and they´re so beautiful when they do this, it´s lovely to watch. Only the juvenile males can fly, and they´re quite a sight, too, but always came home. (The adult males can´t get off the ground) but the neighbours eat (no machines involved) or sell them before they get to that stage, so I should stay free of visiting males. I´d just like to keep my females for eggs and keeping down the bugs etc. near the stream. And for their personalities, they´re great. So, as you´re sure I´ll not lose my females (well-fed, protected, very tame and happy) by looking for a mate, I should be ok letting my neighbour have him. I´ll miss having the ducklings, though, they´re a delight. I just don´t like slaughtering them, although the meat is very good. I know I could take the eggs away, but sometimes it´s difficult to find their nests. I did clip the wing of one female when I got my first duck and discovered she can scale a 1.80m fence! I still have her and when she´s going through molt, therefore no flying, she can get over any fence she chooses. Another female has her flight feathers all intact, and never tries to fly. The others love to do a tour of the neighbouring fields. I hope they don´t spot their drake! Thanks again for your viewpoint.
  5. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Songster

    Just as an up-date for anyone reading this in the future, I re-homed my male (together with a duck and her ducklings), so as not to keep breeding more muscovies than I can cope with. That left me with 3 ducks and their ducklings, but once the youngsters started to get big, the ducks DID start to wander further afield in search of a drake. On not finding one, they come back and "mate" with each other, but they are going much further afield than they ever used to when I had a male here, so PLAN B, I´ll keep a couple of young males and just take away most of the eggs. I won´t clip their wings (I only do that when I have a new-comer), as they´re very beautiful and there are very few predators here. They never go far, and always come back home. As regards space, they have 2 acres, including a marsh. Resume: YES THEY DO GO LOOKING FOR A MALE. Never mind, I´ll just have to be more vigilant in my search for nests! Thanks anyway for your comments.
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    An interesting observation, i have only had a mixed sexed flock so i cannot truly offer any input. I have quite a few independent females though, who clearly want nothing to do with a drake, and do not search out nor wander far in search of one.

    I remove the eggs, they are broody little ducks and will blow out of control if left to their own choice. The mounting behaviour takes place with females in flocks even with drakes as i have witnessed it here.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  7. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Songster

    Interesting you´ve had females mounting females even though there were males around. My geese only did it when there wasn´t a male about. This is the first time I´ve seen the ducks do it, and it´s the first time i´ve not had an adult male with them.
    I´m convinced they´re looking for a male, as they´re going further afield than normal. For example, one even goes along the road, I have to call her back in, and she never used to go anywhere outside my place! Then, on getting bqck into our stream, she flattens herself infront of another duck, which wasn´t looking to mount her. So, it´s better to keep males and then all the muscovy hens should be content to stay in our place, rather than wandering along the road looking for a good-looking chap!
  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Yes, it's a dominance issue with the mounting. I don't know what to say in regards to the search of a male, as i said i have quite a few independent females who purposely stay away from the drakes, others are almost found by one.

  9. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Songster

    Well, that´s what I would have thought normally...dominance thing. But, the hen that flattened her back is older than and always dominant over the hen that she appealed to! The one that did the mounting is the youngest one and doesn´t challenge anyone. To me, it seemed that the hen that flattened herself simply wanted to mate, and not finding a male still wanted to go through the motions. All interesting stuff. Anyway, I´ll hang onto some of the young males so as to not have muscovy hens combing the neighbours´ farms for males! :)
  10. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Songster

    Just in case anyone´s remotely interested in this, I kept 2 young males, but my neighbour that took on my old drake said they were going to eat him, and as he´s such a nice-tempered bird I did a swap again with my neighbour...I got my old drake back and she kept the 2 youngsters. I can´t have her eating the poor old guy!

    One of my ducks was definitely going off to look for a male, and she found him in a neighbour´s field........1 went broody, so she sat on goose eggs which have now hatched, 2 others just laid infertile eggs, they didn´t go looking for a male either, but are now very happy that the male has returned and are now following him around everywhere! [​IMG]

    So, I now have one drake and 8 ducks and will be taking most of the eggs away as I discover them...end of query.

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