Monday, November 11, 2013

Chirp Chirp, not Quack Quack

Be afraid!  Be very afraid!  I'm burning up the blog world with two posts in a month!  Ha, ha!

We've introduced Muscovy ducks to the homestead.  I first learned about this breed of duck at a friend's farm a month or so ago, and then crossed paths with them again at another friend's farm.  Both of these experiences put a nugget of interest in my brain, and as luck would have it, I came across some for sale this weekend at a local livestock event in the colorings I wanted.

Here and here are a few articles on the breed that touch on all the reasons I find them suitable for my backyard homestead.

They are considered quackless.  They do make a chirp-type noise that is very quiet.  Sometimes it sounds to me like water dripping into a pool.  My chickens are loud enough, so I didn't want to add more noise coming from my backyard.

They don't need a pond to flourish.  I have some ideas to incorporate some type of landscaping pond in the glorified ditch/creek bed that runs at the back of my lot.  In the meantime I'm going to rustle up a kiddie pool to keep them happy. 

They tend to be very broody and are good at hatching their own eggs.  I like for nature to takes its own course, and less involvement required of me is just peachy!

Their meat is said to be very much like beef, very lean and non-greasy.  They are not the breed to have for rendering duck fat, but I have read you can render a small amount of fat from them.  I love adding another meat dimension to the homestead. 

They are good foragers and excellent at bug control, particularly mosquitoes, which is also hunky dory by me.  We have a terrible time with mosquitoes, so I hope they can help control our mosquito population next year.          

They don't require care much different than a chicken, so I feel like I can incorporate them into the flow of things without too many changes to our routine.  Though in my observations this weekend they are unlike chickens in that I notice they move as one.  Whenever I would approach the run they would move away from me in one unit, very unlike chickens who would have scattered, every chicken for itself.

One of the features that attracted me to these particular ducks at the event was the coloring.  I love the fawn and chocolate colors!


Anyone out there have experiences with this breed that you would like to share?

Happy homesteading,



  1. I had them once and liked them very much. The drakes, however, can grow VERY large, so be sure to win them over if you can. I have a friend with a large and not-so-nice Muscovy drake and it can get pretty hairy when she tries to feed them.

    1. Thanks for the advice, Susan. I'll try to win them over with treats, but a not-so-nice drake may end up in the stew pot.

  2. We have muscovys and like them. They do have wonderful tasting meat. They are prolific (which is why we're up to 33 ducks!). We are going to butcher yet this fall. They haven't been very good moms. They're inability to count their offspring tends to be a problem. They leave them here and there, with foxes and muskrats, until they haven't any left. I now keep moms and ducklings in a separate room in the barn until the little ones can manage on their own. They also lay an abundance of eggs in the spring and early summer which we make use of in baking. We haven't had any problems with them being aggressive. Enjoy them. (We think the males sound like they have asthma.)

    1. This is some great stuff to know, Odiie! Thanks for sharing. I have a chicken who is not a very good mother. She only had one chick to care for this year and half the time she would be on one side of the yard and her chick would be off by itself cheeping away.

  3. We had Muscovys years ago and really liked them for their meat and ease of care. We didn't have any trouble with aggressive males, but I don't doubt that could happen. Our big problem was that ours liked to fly. As in fly away! We got a little tired of having to go across the road and round them up out of the woods. Hubby has been talking about getting them again soon . . . so I might have more to say about them after this coming spring!

    1. Thanks, Mama Pea. I'll make sure I clip their wings. We already do that for the chickens. We can't have ducks and chickens running all over our neighborhood!