Our Muscovies
This page was last updated on: January 15, 2010
This site was constructed by me, Scott Shilala, with help from the poultry hobbyist community, and support from my wonderful wife, Kelly Jo.
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All these pictures are taken by me, Scott Shilala.
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The Easy Chicken
for beginners
The two birds above are the foundation of our flock.
The Patriarch was named Mr. Duck. Aptly, the hen who is still with us today, is named Mrs. Duck.
These birds are the foundation of the stock that we are still working with today.
We don't breed our Muscovies to Standard for one reason, I hate Carunkles. Carunkles are the awful looking bulbous red lumps that are pronounced in the males.
We've carefully bred to minimize the carunkles.
What we do like is the Blue color, and the light coraline scaling that you can see on Mrs. Ducks breast. It is more pronounced in her babies.
We lost Mr. Duck, although it was probably best as far as our breeding efforts go.
We did manage to retrieve one of his offspring. He is the father of the latest generation from which we kept two hens.
We've managed to remove all but a small bit of white from the crest, and have almost achieved what we are trying to create, a beautiful
Coral Blue Scaled Muscovy.
The latest two hens have a gorgeous scaling on the breast, with just a bit of white on the crest..
We look forward to what comes from these hens with this spring's hatch.
We also plan to raise a male out of this generation who shows minimal carunkling and the best possible scaling.
He'll be the final stop in the breeding program, and will leave us with exactly what we need to select for some beautiful blue muscovies.
Our muscovies are "working" birds.
They are excellent foragers, keep all the spilled feed cleaned up, clean all the nummies out of the compost pile, and clean the coops up when they are open.
They usually stay out of the gardens, but even when they do pass through, they don't harm a thing, except a few bugs.
They don't make any noise at all.
Occasionally when a hen gets VERY excited, she'll let out a pitiful little quack. Otherwise they just "hiss". It's really not a hiss, but a rasping noise that they make.
Hens will warble and trill sometimes.
An odd thing about them is their roosting ability.
Muscovies take to high ground in the evening, usually on top of our coops or flight pens.
When it's cold, they will hole up under a coop, or find a sheltered corner to gather in.
They are EXTREMELY winter hardy. They wander the yard in the coldest of weather, wading through snow, making trails.
I have never witnessed a bit of frostbite on any of them, how they manage, I'll never know.
Our hens normally start laying in early March. A hen will lay a clutch of roughly 15-16 eggs. They sit on the eggs for 35 days. Our hens usually hatch 13 ducklings from each clutch, and will hatch 3 clutches a year, depending on the weather. We will sometimes break up the last clutch if it's getting late in the year so the girls have time to moult for winter.
The hen is a diligent mother. She shows her babies to her food bowl, then to the first pool or puddle she can find.
The ducklings are master mess-makers.
It's funny to watch the ducklings follow the mama. The babies are always laying down.
When mama moves ahead, they all stand up, paddle for all they're worth, then lay down again.
This goes on all day, except when the babies get in the shade, where they like to chase bugs.
They spin around in circles trying to catch flying insects, and soon learn that ants aren't a treat.
Muscovy ducklings are extremely hardy. It's very odd to lose one from any clutch.
One thing to watch for is jealous males. The adult males will kill ducklings, grabbing them by the head and shaking them. Soon the babies are smart enough to keep their distance.
I hope you've enjoyed the pictures of our ducks.
We've tried lots of ducks, and the Muscovies are the only ones who we've truly taken to..
That's mainly because of their character, hardiness, and work ethic.
They require almost no special care, never become sick, and fend for themselves without wandering.
They are truly the ideal duck for the farm.
I should also mention that they are considered the finest table duck in the world, producing a dark, greaseless meat.
They've not hit our table yet, but they've certainly shared plenty of meals at the back porch.
Thanks for stopping by!!!