Muscovy are excellent ducks for the average backyard flock. There is no breed of duck that does a better job of hatching and raising their young. They can also fly quite well which enables them to better escape predators. In addition, they are excellent foragers, eating larger amounts of grass than other types of domestic ducks. They are also calmer and quieter (no loud Quack like other female ducks) than other ducks.
Muscovy ducks are native to the swamps and rivers of Brazil. As they are a flying duck, they will often perch in trees though their nests are always on the ground. They are genetically different from all other breeds of domestic duck (which all originate from the wild Mallard duck). If you cross a Muscovy and any other domestic breed of duck, the progeny are infertile and cannot reproduce. See our article on these Mule ducks .
Male Muscovy are almost twice the size of females as adults. By three weeks the two sexes are beginning to differentiate by size. We only offer straight run, unsexed Muscovy ducklings but it will be very easy to tell the males apart from the females as they grow. Muscovy, especially the males, are very strong and it is best to use gloves when handling them because of their sharp nails. They do not try to attack you as a rooster might, but you can be accidentally scratched.
Muscovy have been bred for excellent meat production. In France over 90% of the duck consumed is Muscovy. You will also find it in many of the nicer restaurants throughout the United States. It is leaner than Pekin meat and the male Muscovy will produce a very large breast that is almost beefy in taste and texture. The male Muscovy breast is often served rare.
Muscovy eggs take 35 days to hatch (versus 28 days for all other breeds of domestic ducks). Oftentimes they are difficult to hatch in an incubator but a broody Muscovy will do an excellent job of hatching and raising her young. If you remove the ducklings by 3-5 weeks, she will probably produce one or two more broods during the season. Muscovy normally start laying later in the spring than other ducks.
Muscovy ducklings require extra care in shipping. We will only be shipping the most recently hatched ducklings and will provide them with double the GroGel we normally include.