muscovy ducks

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by GeneV, May 19, 2017.

  1. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    Backtobasix, questions on your muscovy ducks, also anybody else with muscovies. Ever try duck wax to pluck them? Do you pinion their wing or trim their flight feathers...or just leave them be to fly around? Do you pen them in at night?
     
  2. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have 2 Muscovy adult females. Both are laying. We do not eat our ducks.
    I also have quite a few khaki campbells. They will be for laying.
    I do NOT believe in trimming any bird's flight feathers. They have to have some
    way to escape predators. Mine are allowed to free range in the afternoons.
    At night, YES , they are penned. Currently they share a coop with my chickens.
     
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  3. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    Do they fly all over the place, or mainly stay put? Do you feed them at all when they have forage? I heard they can't be beat in foraging.
     
  4. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    we do not have any at the moment,
    but a few years back we ended up in the fall with 72 of them, couldn't sell them so we sent them to freezer camp.
    Dux Wax is a must for butchering any duck or goose.
    I bought a 20 pound block, it is reusable. over and over. I just strained the feathers out of it after each butchering session.

    I built a whizbang type plucker.
    we scalded the ducks and sent them on a whirley ride in the plucker first. then did the waxing.
    the drakes are a real challenge to pluck.
    geese pluck easier.

    I never cut wing feathers on any birds.
    the muscovys like to perch high up. like on top of the house or 2 story garage.
    or on top of a car..
    they are not true ducks , btw.
    true ducks derive from the mallard.

    they are wonderful to eat..

    we sold many butchered ones to friends..

    .......jiminwisc........
     
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  5. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Never tried duck wax. From what I've read there is barely any fat compared to traditional ducks (ie Pekin). Plus it's a different type of meat and i cook mine medium rare AT THE MOST when cooking breast meat for instance.

    I don't trim any feathers and let them fly as the want. The males hardly get lift once they are 7-8 months old. I find that once they learn how to fly, they enjoy it for a couple weeks and then it phases out (like a teen getting their drivers license)

    I don't really pen mine at night anymore. The females i do right now because all of them are sitting on eggs but the boys haven't been penned since December and only then because it was bitter cold (-20F)
     
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  6. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    I only feed them a little this time of year because i can't resist when they waddle so darn fast towards me when i get home. They all come running with tails waging and bills flapping around begging for it.

    Very similar to dogs the way they beg. Mine will walk up and down stairs to follow me into the garage, they'll push open cracked doors and follow me until i give in

    But you are correct, they forage phenomenally and digest grasses/brassicas/etc much better than other fowl. They help me garden the slugs and bugs out and hang out most of the day on our acre pond. I've even seen one catch a small garder snake and boy did they chase her around trying to steal it.

    We're also on a river and I'll set crayfish traps and they eat small ones whole or the big ones in 2 pieces (head/tail separated)

    Fun animals!!!
     
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  7. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    I heard they are delicious, like beef or veal. And make great mothers. On the to do list! Anybody pinion them? I don't need them perching up on my roof, and seems to me pinioning a wing when they're babies would be less traumatic to them (and me) than rounding them up to trim flight feathers.
     
  8. FCLady

    FCLady Well-Known Member

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    How much land do you have? They don't fly much, usually once a day to "show off" in a circle or to escape trouble.
    They like to roost on the top of their building, the chicken coop or sheep hut but come down to the ground to eat or be fed at night. They forage ALOT, that's when they tend to wander around. We feed them in the evening to bring them "home" into a fenced paddock with a Great Pyr, no worries about predators because of that. Before the Pyr we locked them up at night like the chickens.

    We save 6 hens, and one drake each year. Last year we put the silver pencil rocks that we have in the same coop as the ducks. We locked the ducks in when they started to lay so we could keep track of their eggs/nests. The pencil rocks go broody at the drop of a hat. So when the ducks laid their eggs, the pencil rocks took over the nest. Duck created another nest, another pencil rock took it over... Get the idea. I lost count after counting ducklings from SIX hens at 120 ducklings at their first setting of the season. This year I have 6 pencil rocks setting on duck eggs and so far 5 of 6 ducks are setting now too. What do we do with ALL THOSE DUCKLINGS? Fill our freezer. They taste great.

    We skin the ducks like rabbits. No worries about the pin feathers or plucking, much quicker. Take off the skin, cut off the breast meat, debone the rest and grind like hamburger. Whole with skin, they take up too much room in the freezer. More variety to use the meat that way too. Casseroles, chili, burgers, meatloaf with other meats, whatever. We have duck meat 2-3x a week all year, my favorite.
     
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  9. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What kind of bird is a pencil rock ?
     
  10. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    FClady, it's about 1.5 acres back where the animals are, with 1/2 acre of that being a pond. Though, they're not too big on hanging in ponds, right? It's alright, I got other ducks for that.

    One other concern about them flying is them going to the neighbors' side, how likely is that? The neighbors are maybe 300 ft from there, plus tall trees separating us from them. I don't need them going there, perching and poopting all over their deck, etc.

    Skinning rabbits is easy! If it's anything even remotely as easy as that, why are people messing with plucking them? I hear it's an absolute nightmare to pluck those suckers. I suppose it's probably to retain the fat.
     
  11. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    Because crispy poultry skin is delicious!.....and it can help hold moisture in the meat when roasting...but, yeah, I get it.
     
  12. FCLady

    FCLady Well-Known Member

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    pencilrock.jpeg
    ladytoysdream here's one of my pencil rock -
    they're a heritage breed I got from Dick Horstman in PA; mine go broody at the drop of a hat.

    I've tried SEVERAL things to keep mine at home. What works the best for me is keeping them fenced "home" when they are young - before those wings grow in. Then ALWAYS and ONLY feed them in that area. They will wander to the neighbors but generally only to eat, mine usually roost at home. If you feed in the evening everyone comes home to eat and spend the night. On the upside they will clean up bugs/slugs/ticks from both yards if they wander. My neighbor LOVED when they roamed in his yard cuz he had a small dog that never got a tick after I got ducks. If you make sure you feed them at home they should spend alot of time at the neighbors.

    They avoid deep water usually. Turtles may be a concern with the little ducklings...

    When you butcher over 100 ducks... time is the biggest factor for us. Plus we cut them up and/or grind the meat so it only makes sense for us. Those that keep the skin on and pluck enjoy the added flavor. At our age we constantly fight high cholesterol so we avoid all fats... except a little butter.
     
  13. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Well-Known Member Supporter

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    FCLady....thanks :)
    That did come up in search for me. But I wasn't sure.
    I have had several nice broody hens in the past. This year when 3 of them went broody,
    I had no eggs to give them. And time I got eggs ready for them, they stopped being broody.
    I finally have one setting as of yesterday. One of my tiny hens. I gave her 7 of her size eggs.
    Not sure but thinking maybe 5 might have been plenty. Oh well, time will tell. So far, she
    is all puffed up when I get close to her and has not moved off the nest since yesterday afternoon.
    She is in a cage with a wooden nest box so no other hen can add to the nest.
     
  14. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    I used to raise muscovy and sell the babies.
    a few years ago, they didn't sell well at all.
    in the fall we ended up with 72 ducks.
    NOW what ??
    My bride and I decided to butcher the whole lot of them.
    we pluck. but I also build pluckers and sell them. I model my pluckers after the WhizBang. I modified it and made it into a chain and sprocket drive. I build them and sell them and make another one after I sell one.
    anyhow, we did 10 ducks per day for what seemed like forever.
    I plucked them, and then waxed them.
    I would never do another duck if I couldn't get the wax.
    we sold many of the ducks to friends.
    had a lot of repeat customers..

    footnote: the males are quite difficult to pluck.

    ........jiminwisc.....
     
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  15. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    Yeh, that mosey on over to the neighbor thing wouldn't "fly" here lol. Well, looks like it would be either pinion a day's old wing or bust for me with these guys then.
     
  16. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    The labor:reward ratio factor. ;)
     
  17. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    I had the opposite issue. My first batch sold within days of me posting my ad, so this next hatch (which just hatched today) are headed to freezer camp at about 3mo old
     
  18. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Mine love the pond!! Our ponds about an acre and i can't bribe them off of it. They attract other fowl like geese and wood ducks, and they all socialize together

    I actually have a woody hen with babies on the pond and i think my drake keep things safe for them
     
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  19. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    In the years prior, I could sell anything that came out of an egg. I was selling over 300 baby guineas, all the muscovy I had. so I decided to go heavy on the scovies..
    I couldn't get rid of either. the guineas finally sold, but no scovies..
    I had them for enough years to breed only solid chocolate color.
    I played with my guineas until I had a solid white flock. and they were breeding pure white babies.. this took a few years to accomplish.
    I am down to 16 hens. 7 layers the rest freeloaders. 3 roosters. one guinea hen and four males. and a pair of toulous geese.
    by winter I hope to have only the geese and guineas. and if the right person comes along, they will be gone, too.
    a couple of years back, I wintered about 200 assorted birds. 30 guineas,18 geese,8 muscovy, 3 peacocks, and the rest were chickens..
    I will be 75,,,I had my fun with the birds.
    ........jiminwisc......
     
  20. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    In the years prior, I could sell anything that came out of an egg. I was selling over 300 baby guineas, all the muscovy I had. so I decided to go heavy on the scovies..
    I couldn't get rid of either. the guineas finally sold, but no scovies..
    I had them for enough years to breed only solid chocolate color.
    I played with my guineas until I had a solid white flock. and they were breeding pure white babies.. this took a few years to accomplish.
    I am down to 16 hens. 7 layers the rest freeloaders. 3 roosters. one guinea hen and four males. and a pair of toulous geese.
    by winter I hope to have only the geese and guineas. and if the right person comes along, they will be gone, too.
    a couple of years back, I wintered about 200 assorted birds. 30 guineas,18 geese,8 muscovy, 3 peacocks,a few trios of Royal Palm turkeys, and the rest were chickens..
    I will be 75,,,I had my fun with the birds.
    ........jiminwisc......