Relatively easy to raise and care for, Muscovy ducks are a wise pet of choice among anyone looking to exercise insect control in their yard, farm or ranch. Muscovy ducks are not the most popular breeds of ducks for domestication, but they are still capable of serving a purpose, making it well worthwhile to learn how to raise them.
- Skill level:
Keep Muscovy ducks below the age of three weeks old in a small indoor cage, giving them access to a heating pad or lamp (they are incapable of generating their own body heat at this age). The ducklings should not have access to swimming water, but only a shallow dish of water for drinking. The primary diet at this point should consist of one part Egg Maker Crumbles to one part water. Continuous access to drinking water should be provided.
Move the ducklings into a larger cage at the age of three to six weeks. You can introduce a paddling pool or baby pool at this time as long as the underbelly of each duckling is completely feather-lined. At this age, ducklings should be granted "rooting" time in a yard to learn how to find their own food. Additionally, scratch grains can be added to the diet.
House the Muscovy ducklings outdoors at about six to 12 weeks of age. Make sure that they are kept in a safe and locked cage to keep predators out. Small gauge wire should be used, but avoid chicken wire. Unlimited access to a baby pool should be provided at this time. Ducklings should continue on their current diet, including egg crumble mix, scratch grains and rooting in the yard.
Release the Muscovy ducklings after 12 weeks of age, as they can safely fly and lift off of water at this time. At this age, the ducklings will know how to seek out their own natural diet, and they may be much more wary around pets and humans. Ducklings should always be released in groups to boost their rate of survival.
Tips and warnings
- Ducklings should never be raised alone. If ducks do not learn to socialise in pairs or groups, they will not bond with one another but will attempt to bond with humans instead. Muscovy ducklings should not be allowed to bond with humans because humans are potential predators.
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