Muscovys

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

Does anyone raise Muscovy ducks? I had my first pair about 5 years ago. I heard mixed reviews on them as they have claws and are hard to catch. They are not as friendly as some ducks, although mine seem pretty nice.

You don't get as many eggs from them because the ducks will not give them up without a fight - great moms!

But Muscovy meat is wonderful. Not greasy and more like beef.

Mine crack me up as they follow me all over the property.


https://www.animalspot.net/muscovy-duck.html

Comments

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    We still have one hen. She is a good mom, excellent for hatching eggs.

    We never got to eat any. Generally predators got that privilege.

    We find them very friendly and personable, except for the drakes at breeding time, but a good straw broom helps then. They respect them and don't challenge those.

    Their claws were never an issue for us and neither was catching them.

    We especially liked to see them fly when we had them free. I thought that their angel wing marks in fresh snow was beautiful.

    They hated walking in the snow. If we gave them a trail of straw, they liked that.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have one older drake that probably should be butchered. I know they are best at a younger age but this drake is a bit too hard on the other female ducks so he should be used. He has an injury (not that its slows him down) to his one leg so someone would only get him for a pet or just serve him for dinner anyways.

    Has anyone ever used an older duck for meat?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    Haha @Monek Marie Nothing slows them down.

    We have never used an older duck for meat, but my first thought was to brine it to tenderize the meat. And...if you consider wild ducks, nobody ever cares about the age of the duck when they go out hunting.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 339 ✭✭✭

    I have my first Muscovy hen, she's now almost eight weeks old. One question - is it normal for muscovys to attack you? My girl is otherwise friendly and calm, but I've taken to calling her my crazy zombie carnivore duckling because she really attempts to bite my hands, my legs, my arms, my shoes and everything in-between whenever I enter the chick pen. It doesn't seem to be an 'I hate you" sort of thing, more like an "I want meat to eat - NOW!!!!" sort of thing, I give the girls two servings of mealworms daily, and she always acts like she's starving for them. All the girls are otherwise on freely available organic chick crumbles, plus several helpings of fresh organic greens daily.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    In my experience, this is not normal. I have had eager muscovies but never aggressive ones unless it is drakes in breeding season...and that wasn't too bad, since I had a straw broom handy to remind them who was boss.

    Have you been handling/touching the bird a lot? Is it the only one that may have imprinted and thinks it is a human or you are a duck? It is best to always handle them as livestock only, handling only when necessary & talking to them instead of touching/petting them a lot.

    My other thought is are you sure it's a female?

    Mealworms are a favorite of birds. Maybe you just spoiled her and she wants to be greedy for her candy.

    A biting muscovy is not a fun one.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would expect that slow cooking or stewing older birds would work fine, though I haven't tried it. Cooking stews long and slow has always been the traditional way to soften tough meat and make it edible. I have heard that this is a standard way to use the meat of a spent laying hen.

    Muscovys have a good reputation as meat birds. They are not related to other ducks raised for eggs for meat, so I wouldn't be surprised if the meat tastes quite different from that of more common varieties.

    I've never heard of anyone raising muscovys for eggs, only for meat.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    Brining before slow cooking might work too.

    Muscovies are not derived from mallards like all other ducks are. They are native to South America and are considered a tree duck. They will perch in trees, whereas mallards will not. They aren't related to geese as some like to claim.

    They are supposed to taste like a fine steak or ham. We never got to eat ours. Something always got them first.

    They can lay up to 3 clutches of 30 eggs in the warmer seasons. We have seen them do up to two here, but later hatches often don't make it through the winter. The eggs are good to eat, but they have really tough membranes...just something to keep in mind if using them to eat.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 339 ✭✭✭

    LOL! My girl isn't for eating, and I'd like her to reciprocate the feeling! Now that she's a little older, though, she's a bit less aggressive, thank goodness. She still requires her daily mealworms, though, and wants to be hand fed although sometines she really does bite the hand that feeds her. She's trying to fly, now, but I think she may be too heavy as she can't get higher than her tippy-toes. It's very interesting, she has very bright, intense eyes and seems somewhat conflicted about whether to trust me or not. She also hangs out with the geese and seems to be our gander's concubine. They're now a gang of three. I wonder if he's going to try to mate with her in the spring? Anybody have any experience with this?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @Suburban Pioneer He most likely will once the goose starts setting. Nothing will come of it however, because the muscovy is a tree duck while obviously the gander is a goose.