December 10, 2014

Muscovy Ducks

This is part three of our day after Thanksgiving. Little did I know when I woke up that morning that hubby had a surprise for me - which turned into three surprises! Part one is here: Bringing Home the Bacon, and part two is Rosie.

When we went to get Rosie, our new LGD puppy, the couple who were selling the puppies asked if we wanted some free ducks. I really miss my ducks and my geese (she had a lot of geese too, Embden and Chinese and African geese), and we had an extra, empty crate in the back of the truck since the piglets were small enough to share one crate, so hubby and I both said yes, thank you!
They turned out to be Muscovy ducks. We've talked several times about getting some Muscovies to help keep down the tick population on Oak Hill. In the past we've had a lot of trouble keeping free range poultry safe from predators, but things seem to have quieted down a bit and we are hopeful that between Cracker and Rosie, we might be more successful at it.
The hen, the smaller duck in the background, had been setting on a nest of eggs since August. Yes, August. We were told that the other duck hens continued to lay eggs in her nest, and this hen just continued to incubate them. Three or four ducklings would hatch every couple of days, but she stayed on the nest, and the woman would take the ducklings and put them in the brooder. In fact, she tried to give me the little ones currently in her brooder but we're not set up for that right now and besides, ducklings are messy and stinky. I mean, really messy and stinky. Been there, done that. Not ready to do it again for awhile.
It was probably a good thing to remove this poor hen from that nest and give her a break. She was chosen to be ours because she was easy to catch.

The male was just lucky enough (or unlucky enough) to be caught in the couple's big chicken-catching net. He's very protective of the female, staying between her and me even in the crate.

I left them in the crate overnight because I had to clip their wings and knew it would be much easier to catch them than if they were loose, even in the confines of my chicken coop. I prefer not to chase animals and stress them out if I don't have to.

Muscovies are supposed to be good pets, quite personable, great insect catchers, and excellent layers and setters, raising up to 3 batches of ducklings a year. They are also supposed to be quackless - but they're not silent by any means. I've also read that they are delicious and very lean with a taste similar to sirloin or pot roast.

I'm hoping that we'll have ducklings in the spring, wouldn't that be fun?

Related posts:
Bringing Home the Bacon
Raising Livestock: Freezer Bound
Raising Livestock: Webbed Feet
Raising Livestock: Just Because

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. Beautiful ducks! I look forward to reading about your experiences with Muscovies because they sound like the ideal breed.

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead11:44 AM

    Thank you, April. They do sound ideal, don't they? They are supposed to be wonderful at keeping ticks, grasshoppers and fleas under control, and are often raised for their meat too.

  3. Have fun with your new ducks. We had ducks- I made the mistake of letting the girls tag along to the farm store with their father. They came home with duckling. They enjoyed raising them.

  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead5:03 PM

    Sandra, letting the children go to the feed store without you sounds like a no-no! ;-)

  5. I've been dreaming of ducks of my own. Until that time, I'll enjoy yours, and hope for a few ducklings in the spring. Best, Kim

  6. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:11 AM

    Kim, ducks are such fun, I enjoy them more than chickens. I hope you'll be able to have some someday.

  7. Let me know how you like the Muscovies, Kathi. I've been wanting to try them, but I have too many Pekins right now!

  8. Linda S5:45 PM

    I've had Pekins & Rouens in the past and boy are they noisy (and messy). We bought 3 Muscovy hens and 2 drakes last year. The 3 hens hatched 27 ducklings this spring. I only penned them when the hens were sitting on eggs and for 2 weeks after to let the babies have a good start before we released them to free range w/mama. We provided corn/wheat but they eat very little - prefer to find bugs. We also had very few mosquitoes or flies on the farm this year (thanks to the Muscovies). Now are taking the largest (males)of the young ones for processing tomorrow and they look to be about l0 to 12lbs. Hope they are as tasty as folks say. I read too they are leaner than turkey and have the flavor of grass fed beef.

  9. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:41 PM

    Linda, that sounds wonderful! 27 ducklings is exciting. Thank you for sharing your experience; please let me know what you think about the taste.

  10. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:42 PM

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  11. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:42 PM

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  12. How fun! Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; we hope to see you again this week.

  13. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:14 AM

    Thank you, Angi, I plan to be there.

  14. Congrats on your new charges! I have to laugh, because down south, folks do not like these particular ducks. They are overpopulated and I guess folks think of them as a nuisance. If they help with the bug population, I'd say that's a plus!

  15. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:53 AM

    Daisy, that's funny that they are considered a nuisance there. I don't know many people who have them here, but those that do really like them.

  16. Congrats on getting your ducks, they look great. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings


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