Compassion in World Farming

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Muscovy duck information

Before I really get stuck into my blog about our own Muscovy experience, here are a few bits of information I've found out about the breed (although this is only what I've read, so please do bear that in mind):

adult muscovy
  • Muscovies are the only domestic duck not descended from the wild mallard.

  • Wild muscovies can be found in Mexico & S America & are black or dark brown & white in colouring.

  • Domestic colourings include black, white, chocolate, blue & lavender.

  • They have a very distinctive red, lumpy 'caruncling' above the beak & around the eyes which is more pronounced in the drake.

  • Muscovies are perching ducks and have sharp claws designed for climbing trees & roosting.

  • Muscovies are a large breed of duck. The drake can weigh in excess of 15lbs, with the duck weighing around 8lbs.

  • Muscovies have under developed oil glands (for water proofing feathers) compared to other ducks. It seems that a tray or child's plastic pool of water is enough for domestic Muscovies to bathe & preen in.

  • Muscovies are capable of flying, but from what I've read are likely to fly around rather than away from 'home'. (We have been advised to clip our ducklings' wings when they have feathered)

  • Muscovy ducks make very good broodies & are protective & dedicated mothers. They can hatch 2 or 3 batches of ducklings a year. Incubation takes on average 35 days.

  • Muscovies are a quiet breed - the drake makes a low hissing sound & the duck a short, weak quack.

Most importantly, everywhere I have read about these ducks describes them as being very individual, intelligent, funny & engaging characters. I'm very excited about raising our ducklings!

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