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How to catch a Muscovy

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Author Topic: How to catch a Muscovy  (Read 1185 times)
gussie
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« on: October 05, 2009, 05:02:36 pm »

As you can see from my message, I am so new to this type of duck. I was just thinking that if someone can take my duck (like the Popcorn Zoo), I will need to catch him and take him down. What is the best way to catch him and what should I look out for? He will not come closer to me than about a foot. I tried to touch him and he ran away. He sure can run. I am not sure that I could even catch him! I certainly do not want to hurt him but I also think that he could hurt me with those long nails. Do they ever use those nails for protection? Also what is the best way to hold him and what would you put him in to keep him calm during the transport?
Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Undecided
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Kats
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 11:31:47 am »

I would start by being able to get close enough to him so that you have a chance of catching him!! Mine used to be pretty wild, so I started holding out my hand with food in it. After about a week, the drakelets got daring and started eating out of my hand. Now they nibble my pants if I don't put their food down fast enough and I can catch them. (Harder to catch the ducklets, who are more timid.)

Once they are caught and bundled into a cage, they calm right down in my experience and are no trouble to transport.

When catching a duck, always wear motor cycle rig--gauntlets and tough long sleeves. Those are serious claws. They don't mean to hurt you, but you'll get bad scratches without protection.
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Cathy
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 10:07:59 pm »

I have a bit up about how I hold them HERE.  I catch birds by either using a leg-catcher (which can be harmful to the bird if not done with some finesse) or by cornering them.  It'd probably be wise to figure out some way to entice him into an enclosure of some sort because if you are not successful catching them they do learn quite quickly to avoid you.   I personally do not wear gloves but long sleeves and gloves definitely don't hurt because while they won't attack with their claws, you can get scratched really easily.
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The information I have provided in this message is based on my own personal experiences, the experiences of others who have shared their experiences and knowledge with me, and a dash of opinion thrown in for extra flavor.  Your mileage may vary! Shocked)
newchicken
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 09:18:32 am »

I have three drakes who would fight each other.  I keep them in separate cages, and let them out one at a time for a few hours a day.  Usually, the hens own the yard.  So, here's this one drake flapping around.  Taking a bath in the kiddie pool.  Catching grasshoppers.  Grabbing a hen to mate.  Then, taking another bath.  I let him dry himself off in the sun.  Then, it's time for him to go home. 

I learned right away not to chase him.  He can easily out run me!  I have my children's two plastic baseball bats.  No, we don't beat our ducks.  I use the baseball bats for "herding".  The bats are brightly colored.  I hold them out on each side of me, and "walk" the ducks home.  Works great with hens.  Muscovy don't heard very well.  They must be in a group of at least three.  They appear to look at each other and say, "Oh, if you'll go, I'll go too."

So, when I want to round up my drake, I first collect a few hens to herd.  Then walk them over to the drake.  He joins them, and they all walk home together.  I have a large cage that I can walk into, with caged off divisions for the drakes.  Once in the main cage, catching or guiding him to his own space is rather easy.  I try to never pick him up unless absolutely necessary.  The more he does on his own, the better.

Basically, it's all about routine.  If he's accustomed to dodging you, that's what he'll keep doing. 
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Kats
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 10:57:45 am »

I have a bit up about how I hold them HERE.  I catch birds by either using a leg-catcher (which can be harmful to the bird if not done with some finesse) or by cornering them. 

Thanks, Cathy. That's really useful. I must start doing it that way. I've been using 2 hands, which is awkward.
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fish2
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2009, 01:25:54 pm »

I use a landing net.  I move slowly until I get them in a corner and then put the net over them.  It works pretty well.
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 02:20:37 am »

A net can be a great tool, but it can also be a difficult thing to manage with those claws.  This is one of those cases where you probably can't be too choosy but the net that I liked best had very small openings and had a good V to it so that once the bird scooted itself to the bottom it was pretty much caught & all you had to do was get the legs & claws under control & pull the net off.  If the holes are too large wings & feathers & toes and feet can get tangled up easier.
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The information I have provided in this message is based on my own personal experiences, the experiences of others who have shared their experiences and knowledge with me, and a dash of opinion thrown in for extra flavor.  Your mileage may vary! Shocked)
fish2
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009, 01:22:29 pm »

Yesterday I had to catch the remaining drakes at the farm after I found Lover Boy had been killed by a fox.  After chasing them clear across 3 ponds I snagged them with the net.  The net must have been older than I thought because by the time I caught all 4 the net was ripped apart but I couldn't have caught them without it.

Now I've got to figure out a way to get 17 ducks and 9 geese from the lake into the pen so I can catch them.  I'm going to have to wait until the lake freezes and they come back up to the yard.  A stray dog has launched 2 attacks and they are too spooked to get far from the water.
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Kats
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 08:25:41 am »

Yesterday I had to catch the remaining drakes at the farm after I found Lover Boy had been killed by a fox.  After chasing them clear across 3 ponds I snagged them with the net.  The net must have been older than I thought because by the time I caught all 4 the net was ripped apart but I couldn't have caught them without it.

Now I've got to figure out a way to get 17 ducks and 9 geese from the lake into the pen so I can catch them.  I'm going to have to wait until the lake freezes and they come back up to the yard.  A stray dog has launched 2 attacks and they are too spooked to get far from the water.

Oh dear, oh dear. Much sympathy. I am still chickening out of catching my remaining ducks, until hub recovers from a horrible cold and can help me. Hearing of your troubles makes me feel less guilty about it. At least I haven't lost any to predators.

It is difficult to find a good landing net. I tried the fishing stores and found only flimsy nylon ones. I wish I had the hefty string ones that my dad used to make.
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2009, 02:08:07 pm »

 Cry very sorry to hear about your drake, lover boy! I loved reading about him in the other threads. The ducks will miss him, I am sure! I cannot bear to let mine loose for fear of them being a toy for local dogs and cats! It is not even as if they would eat them, just kill them if they had the chance.
 Good luck with the net hunt. We don't use one, as the dh hasn't thought of it yet! So far he braves the bills and claws and corners them and grabs them! He is loads braver than I am, but he doesn't know it; Those claws on the Drake freak me out! They are an inch long!
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