Domestic Waterfowl Club.

Muscovy Ducks.

Muscovy Ducks

Muscovies are the only domestic ducks that is NOT derived from mallard stock.( by behavious probably a passing Pterodactyl !) Wild muscovies coloration is black and white, but domestication has produced many different colors. They come in most colours and have a variable eye colour with the lighter shades having blue eyes and the predominantly black having brown ... a blue eyed black and white bird will throw a variety of colours from white to blues and lavenders.Their feet are equiped with strong sharp claws for grabbing tree branches and roosting. Muscovys are unique because of their bright red crest around their eyes and above the beak. They do not swim as much as others as their oil glands are under developed compared to most ducks.their wings and tails thus 'fray' easier. The only real illnesses they get as a breed other than those suffered by all breeds is a tendency to anaemia if not allowed sufficient foraging or supplementary feeding with scraps. This is very obvious as they lose colour around the eye and become listless and is easily overcome by supplements of and meat or tinned pet food..... the alternative being a large drake racing the dogs or cats for their breakfast and a pet with a complex. Perhaps their only drawback (other than their escaping/flying attributes) is their habit of finding and eating small vermin with mice or baby rats a menu supplement MEMO do not allow near guinea pig, hamster  or breeding rabbit hutches.** The supreme bird with character ; males wag their tails and raise crests when talked to; all have a sick sense of humour a breed worth the time as VERY individual
The nicest character of any of the breeds with a pronounced sense of humour/ very intelligent and head of any escape committee !
**They are the 'sentinel' bird for D.V.E and forAvian Influenza as they succumb before any other breed......if a lot keel over suddenly call the vet as they are bombproof otherwise**
Although relatively silent, the male produces a low hissing sound, and the female has a short, weak "quack." but "chirps" and talks to the eggs as they hatch making the babies very independant as they recognize their mothers alarm call
COLOURS include black, white, lavender, blue and chocolate. Muscovys have a unique red lumpy crest around their eyes and above thebeak.(called carruncling) This feature seems to be more prominent in the drakes especially the American breeding line who have heavy'caruncling'
Food habits in the wild Muscovy ducks feed on the roots, stems, leaves, and seeds of aquatic and terrestrial plants, including agricultural crops. They also eat small fishes, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, millipedes, and termites.... taken from a US site... they are food"hoovers"
BROODY: Can sit 3 times per year many will sit repeatedly and are the supreme mothers and broodies.They will protect the young from predatorseven if it means their own death in order for the young to escape. They also adore sitting inside and odd places ... follow the feather  trail to locate

Muscovy  Ducks. . .the base breed for barbary meat x

Names . .Le carnard de Barbarie inFrance/Belgium; Moscovie;de Turqie;de'Inde; de Guine'e are also used The cross meat bird known in Sainsbury as barbary here is le Mulard in France being kept for foie gras
Country Of Origin;.........An originally wild duck, Cairina Moschata,.... Anseriformes, native to Central and South America, where it nests in the trees of forest swamps. Brazil, South America
Carriage; Horizontal
Purpose;..........Meat Production: Foie Gras and laying by clutch Also excellent on Village ponds or lakes

Egg Colour; .....................The eggs weigh 75 g and are cream Ranging from 8 to 21 eggs per clutch, a good general layer
Incubation:............ 35/36 days Maturity: NOT the 28 of most ducks

Breed Hints.... Kept as trio orpair .. will go broody and hatch constantly ie aim to repoulate the planet with ducklings
Weights;/size 4.5 to 6.5 kg Ducks, 2.2 to 4.5 kg Av 6 pound weight onthe table ....Average weight: M 7.72 lbs., F 3.86 lbs.Average length: M 31", F 23.6" record is 20 pound male

Breed Tip**They are the 'sentinel' bird for D.V.E and for Avian Influenza as they succumb before any other breed......if a lot keel over suddenly call the vet as they are bomb proof otherwise** They are like Marmite you adore them or hatethem... they have a sick sense of humour, escape loads, learn re cat flaps etc quickly
Flying . flys like an albatross . . does good formation displays in the morning especially if people are watching whilst you try to catch them see  comment above. Buy before full winged or clip before putting outside does help

Needs: Muscovys being  the only domestic duck not derived from Mallard stock. They don't like to swim as much as other breeds because their oil glands are not as active so are often scruffy ducks .When they do wash they are incredibly thorough as most of the water is dispersed over a wide area ie like to splash and play so pallets or decking save time and mess

**NOTE**Muscovies have the most character of any duck or goose and avery pronounced sense of humour dog or cat baiting is a speciality. I rehomed one bird that discovered that if you walk or fly up to a supermarket automatic door people feed you to remove you from the area. This particular female was getting so stuffed by Tesco that she waddled very very slowly... they learn very quickly!

** When a Muscovy is crossed with other breeds, it produces a sterile off spring called 'mules' which are good meat ducks **As a breed the Muscovy has successfully colonised most of the world and are the basis of the Barbary meat hybrid. They were discovered in South America and originally called the musk duck and were sold in Britain in past centuries as a patent medicine cure for men ( a phony aphrodisiac !)....... this coming from the fact that a horizontally built animal needs to be well endowed to breed and many drakes are extremely long with an aversion to nettles in their breeding pen !
**The ideal back yard meat breed lays /breeds well / tastes good/ lives well with dogs and other animals / will roost in trees if allowed( no locking away at night)
Flying .  females occasionally fly when young a good back garden all rounder;

 Pear Birch's black female Hants & Berks Show 2015

Magpie Muscovy female

Open tail feathering from hatch in both sexes, very efficient claws can climb from 24 hours old

Breed History; . . .
The Muscovy Duck, Cairina moschata, is a large duckwhich is native to Mexico, Central and South America. A small wild population reaches intothe US in the lower Rio Grande River basin in Texas. There also are feral breeding populations in North America in and around public parksin nearly every state of the USA and in the Canadian provinces; feral populations also exist in Europe. Although the Muscovy Duck is a tropical bird, it adapts to icy and snowy conditions down to –12°C (10°F) and below without ill effects

HISTORY mentioned L'Hist nat des Oyseaux p 176 fol.Paris published 1545  They were then described as being introduced into France from Giana in 1540 by Count Bouffon  then being mainly black variegated with other colours ie wild colouration.  They were also referred to as the Brazil Wood Duck or Brazil Musk duck and are described as common in Paraguay, Brazil and Giana. As such one of the earliest pure breeds . Confirmation source 'The Poultry Yard' byPeter Boswell, Buffon, Maregrave etc

  by Melchoir D'Hondecoeter (c. 1636 – 3 April 1695), Dutch animalier painter,

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