Muscovy Duck Forum

Muscovy Central => Fencing & Shelters => Topic started by: Jimmy27 on August 07, 2009, 09:42:29 am



Title: question
Post by: Jimmy27 on August 07, 2009, 09:42:29 am
I have been planing on getting a duck. I have some questions about their saftey.

I plan on using chicken wire to keep them in, now we don't have many cats around here but i have a feeling that wont be enough to keep them out. Would the ducks be smart enough to run in their house? Also my backyard is covered with trees, would hawks still be able to see them? and again would the ducks be able to notice them and run in their house?

I want to make sure their safe before I get them.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Cathy on August 09, 2009, 01:36:33 am
Chicken wire might be able to keep cats out but it wouldn't be able to keep a raccoon or something a bit more vicious out.  As far as birds of prey, ducks are usually pretty good at noticing such things but there is always a possibility of one being taken.  Hard to say whether the ducks would try to seek shelter - I have not personally ever seen it happen; usually they're just very alert when they see something they see as dangerous.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Jimmy27 on August 09, 2009, 10:04:24 am
Okay, I was thinking of putting some wire or something over the 8 ft fence to at least slow the birds down. Also I was thinking, racoons are nocturnal, so i'd stick the ducks in their house for the night. In their house is food and water also if they'd need it.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Kats on August 09, 2009, 10:54:33 am
Muscovies fly quite well. Here are 2 12-week old ducklings on the roof of our 2-story house. I rely on locking them up at night to keep them safe. To do this, you have to get them accustomed to coming when you announce some bribe. I use dog food, which I shake in a can at about the same time every night. At this time of year, when there is lots of food around, it doesn't work with 100% of the birds, but it gets most of them in. We've lost one chicken to predators this year and one guinea, but no ducks. We live in the middle of woodland full of coyotes, bear, foxes, etc.
(http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww242/kats_05/roof.jpg)


Title: Re: question
Post by: Jimmy27 on August 09, 2009, 04:18:56 pm
The ducks I plan on getting don't fly. So what your basically saying, locking them up at night seems to be the best bet? Thanks, I figured that'd work.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Kats on August 10, 2009, 02:36:59 pm
The ducks I plan on getting don't fly. So what your basically saying, locking them up at night seems to be the best bet? Thanks, I figured that'd work.

Yes, that seems to be the key to keeping them safe.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Cathy on August 15, 2009, 11:51:55 pm
One thing you have to consider with Muscovy is that they're extremely territorial so locking them up at night, while theoretically a good idea, can also lead to some severe squabbles.  If this is your plan make sure there is enough room or you might end up with some beat up birds.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Kats on August 16, 2009, 10:07:46 am
Hmm. I didn't know about the territoriality. No problems so far. One sexist thing I am noticing recently is that the drakelets are a lot easier to deal with than the ducklets (3 months old). The drakelets will eat out of my hand, which is convenient, and come when I call. Last night, we were out fairly late and ended up going to lock them up for the night after dark. All the drakelets and 2 of the ducklets were already in the barn. The other (16) ducklets were all over the place and wouldn't come in.


Title: Re: question
Post by: Cathy on August 17, 2009, 02:17:10 am
Drakelets certainly can be much bolder than the ducklets.  When I used to sit out at dusk & feed cucumbers to my ducklings it was always the drakelets that would come up and literally snatch them from our hands and could catch them in midair.  I'd call my Mom and she'd come out and sit with me and she always hated when she dropped her knife because she was afraid to reach down and pick it up afraid that they'd attack her! lol 

At this point if your birds are all around the same age there might not be very many fights going on or it might be a case where everyone is pretty much on even territory.  As they mature, and if they ever get to the point where they're in too small of an area you will see increasing behavior.  A lot of times the first sign can be picking; when they start pulling blood feathers.  This can be related to too small quarters or it can be a sign of inadequate nutrition, protein, in my experience.  If they're able to maintain their personal space in the shelter you have provided then you probably won't have any or many fights occur until breeding season or the birds reach sexual maturity, whichever occurs first.  Once the testosterone begins to flow I don't think you'll ever be able to get away from fighting unless you only have a single drake!