I’m excited about two new additions to our flock – a pair of young muscovy ducks, Homer, a handsome male (called a drake) and Louise, a sweet little tan female (or hen)! Here they are meeting all of the other birds:
They didn’t waste any time getting to know everyone and our little female call duck was sure quick to give them a tour around the farm. They were barely here 5 minutes before they followed her waddling across the driveway:
Muscovy ducks are an interesting breed because they do not quack like other ducks. They make a hissing sound instead. On the contrary, our adorable little call duck is especially vocal, as that bantam breed is used as a hunter’s decoy to lour other ducks.. she is one loud little bird. All ducks can be used for slug control which is one of their main jobs here, especially in our nursery. Muscovys are reliable in producing eggs, feathers and meat (if you go that route) and are pretty self sufficient little birds. They are great at raising their own young, and in fact, in some parts of the country (mostly the SE) there are large established feral populations and some people consider them a pest.
Raising ducks is not the same as raising chickens, although similar, they do have different needs. Primarily the biggest difference is they need water, and lots of it! They are also messier than chickens, seem to have more sensitive personalities and can be stressed easier. There are many different breeds of ducks out there: See a list here We’ve also had Pekin ducks, but being white makes them a prime target and easy to spot for predators which is not ideal for free ranging.
Homer and Louise are a welcome addition to the ongoing poultry party on our farm and we hope to see them raising babies in the near future!