Muscovy Ducklings

After the drought broke in January, our ducks decided it was time to breed, and one month later here are the results:

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Three nests have bred out so far, with about 12 ducklings each. The ducklings like to swim, but from our unfortunate experience of drowning a few ducklings, we keep the water shallow so they can walk on the bottom and climb out of the water easily.

In late summer we have a lot of pumpkins and squash, and these make excellent duck food. We just chop them into small pieces and they are promptly devoured. Apparently the pumpkins are full of lysine which is an amino acid required for protein formation.

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The males grow to about fifty percent heavier than the females. Once the males are about three to four months old, they are ready for sale or slaughter. We either take them to an abbatoir if we have enough to warrant the trip, sell them live at a livestock auction, or slaughter a few ourselves.

A slaughter ready male:

duck2

Muscovy ducks do not need water, and can be kept pretty much anywhere, as long as there is shade and drinking water. They are good lawn mowers, and are particularly adept at trimming verges. They are however partial to fruit trees and can jump up and pick off leaves and fruit to about 60-70cm high.

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These ducklings are about 3-4 weeks old and are just about to start getting their proper feathers. You can see how quickly they grow, when comparing them to to the newborns!

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 More Information

Muscovy Duck Central

Duck Nutrition

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