4 Out of 5 Stars (Based on 9 reviews)
I purchased a male and female at the Romsey show to my surprise as I wasn't planning on getting my ducks for another few months. My wife chose the birds (she didn't want them) and for 3 weeks they lived in half summerhouse, they always found a route into the other half so lots of cleaning lol. I have two kids ages 3 and 5, they love the ducks because they are so friendly and will eat from their hands. They are now living in my veg patch (had to build a spacious home for them on stilts) a deep pond that they can be found in most of time when they aren't rummaging through the rest of the garden. I have clipped their feathers for this year and that was an experience lol critical not to cut blood feathers. So after my long description, in a few points they are quiet, happy, friendly, easy to care for and even my wife now loves them bc they are such great birds.
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I recently bought some Muscovy eggs on line. I had been looking for ages to buy some ducklings, but they seem to be quite hard to come by. I did find one local breeder in Kent, who was out of stock. If they did have any, they would have charged £50.00 each!. So when my eggs (for £9.00) arrived, I let them rest for 2 days, and put them in a small incubator. In the last 10 days, I placed them under a broody hen, which meant she was happy, and the eggs stood a better chance of hatching. Only 2 hatched. One lilac drake, and one pied female. They are 6 weeks old now, very tame, and are a delight to have around. They are as big as my chickens at the moment, and already, they take no nonsense from them.
As they are not related, I am hoping to breed from them in the future. More eggs, means more cooking, and baking.
They're not the greatest layers or lookers, but somehow they're so sweet with their little attempts at quacks, and funny waddling. And they have minds of their own.
I don't have to clip wings, they can fly, but if they're happy they don't fly away.
So it's better if you don't clip and then they can fly away from the fox if they have to. Plus they like roosting on fences etc.
But don't listen to people who say they don't need as much water as other ducks- mine bathe far more than the others (Campbells, Runners and Cherry Valleys), and really love if it's deep enough to get right under. My biggest problem is keeping them out of the horses' water trough, and topping up the sandpits- males have big, sharp claws, so I don't think a paddling pool would last long.
They are excellent broodies, but so far my eggs haven't hatched and even after 6 weeks, it's had work getting the eggs away- they don't give up! I must brave it sooner and candle the eggs early on. Their bite doesn't hurt that much.
My ducks were fine through the harsh winter, they sheltered under shrubs in the garden and took refuge in the porch at night. They free-range over the paddock and the field next door, never fly away even though they could, make no noise, are great with my small grandchildren and get on with the sheep, the pony, the hens and the dogs. They are the nicest ducks and very easy to keep. They are very tasty too, although don't bother plucking them, just use the breast as there is not much on the legs and wings and my friend the gamekeepers wife said she had never plucked anything so problematic. I can never find the eggs as they go off and lay in old tree stumps 2 or 3 fields away and come back pleased as punch with between 10 and 16 ducklings
Muscovies have masses of personality and are a hundred times smarter than chickens. Although mine have never been aggressive, I would think twice about allowing small children to handle them: the males can be very strong and I have dislocated a thumb trying to catch one. Mine lay almost daily during the Spring and Summer but begin later in the season than other fowl. They are pretty miserable in the snow and have not enjoyed recent Winters. I've never allowed them free range of the whole garden (too many foxes) but, having seen them strip their sizeable run of vegetation, I am not convinced that's a good idea anyway despite the snail cull.
Being a breeder my self i would say to everyone who has a smaller garden to buy these birds. they dont need water to swim in and they kill all snails and insects very good birds..
Muscovys are really hardy birds, my brother has 7 and he has no slugs what so ever, pure white one's are nice too.
I had a muscovy that sat on a nest of 18 eggs last yr in February through snow, driving rain and gale force winds that came straight off the sea- very hardy resiliant birds, good mothers, very friendly and make good table birds.
This breed is good at hoovering up all the slugs and snails in the garden very very quite and good egg production and are a good table bird.
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