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Keeping Muscovy Ducks

More or less, duck farmers have stated that Muscovy ducks are very easy to raise and keep as compared to other breeds. They are good for domestic purposes, such as pets or for ornaments or for farm production for their eggs and meat. Muscovy ducks can exercise insect control in the yard, farm or ranch. However, this breed is not popular for domestication, but they are still capable of serving domestic purposes making them worthwhile and rewarding to raise them.

This breed, similar to the Mallard, does not form single mate partnership. They will mate either in water or in land, which is very unusual for ducks, that typically mate on the water only. Domesticated Muscovy ducks can mate up to three times every year.

The female Muscovy can lay a clutch of 9-17 white eggs, normally in a tree burrow or tunnel, which are incubated for 35 days, and is seven days longer than most eggs of the duck. The sitting duck hen will leave the nest once daily from 25 minutes to 1 hours, and will then eliminate waste, drink water, eat and sometimes groom their feathers. Once the eggs start to hatch it may take a day for all the chicks to break through the egg shells. When wild ducklings are hatched, they normally stay with the mother duck for around 10-12 weeks. Their bodies cannot generate the heat they need, particularly in dry regions, so they will stay close to the mother duck particularly at night.

Normally, the drake will stay close with the brood for several weeks. The drake will walk with the ducklings during their regular migration in search for habitation, food, and protection.

During their first weeks, Muscovy ducks feed on grains, corn grits, weeds, insects and almost anything that moves. The mother duck will initially teach them on how to scavenge for food.

If you are keeping Muscovy duck, you should first keep them in a small confinement if they are below three weeks old, allowing them a provision for a heat source. They are still not capable enough of generating their own body heat during this early age. The baby ducks should not be allowed to swim, except in a shallow basin primarily used for drinking water. The main diet at this point should be composed of the recommended protein content according to the age of the duck.

Transfer the baby ducks into a larger pen at the age of three to six weeks. You can introduce swimming using a baby pool at this time as long as the bottom of the baby ducks is entirely plumaged. At this early age, baby ducks should be granted a certain period of time in a yard to learn how to hunt their own food. Also, they will scratch for grains that can be added to their normal diet.

You can house the Muscovy ducklings in the open when they are about 6 to 12 weeks. You should make sure that they are kept in a safe and enclosed pen to keep them away from predators. A small wire fence should be used, but not chicken wire. A wide access to a baby pool should be provided at this time. Ducklings should continue their food nutrition, including egg mixes, grains and green feeds as they grow stronger and more mature.


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