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How many hens will I need?

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Author Topic: How many hens will I need?  (Read 163 times)
angelover
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« on: January 30, 2016, 03:12:31 pm »

Hi,  I am very new to this.  We have not yet gotten our Muscovys.  We want to know how many hens we should get if we want to have 60 babies in a year? We are figuring half would be female and half male--is that an accurate estimate of the division of gender for the hatching?  We are thinking that 60 ducklings in a year would produce about 180 lbs of actual meat.  Is this an accurate assessment?  We are thinking of building an insulated house for them with heat lamps available, so if they hatched in the winter they would still be OK.  I planned to separate a 5x5 section for each mama and to keep each mama separate for both the laying and hatching--unless of course they lay during the day when I let them out to roam the yard. Should I keep them in separated runs until they have finished laying and hatching, and just take the drake to the mama's pen to mate for a day or two every couple of days?  Would that be enough room for her and her babies if they hatched in the winter?  We live in North/Central Utah about 50 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, and don't know how many hatches we will get in a year here.  It is zone 5 for planting. We would also love to know about how many hatches we should get. We would appreciate any information to help.  Thank you! 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 04:19:30 pm by angelover » Report Spam   Logged

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angelover
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 04:31:30 pm »

This is an addendum.  We were looking at the Muscovy's on-line for sale, dressed, the hens were 4 1/2 lbs and the drakes were 7 1/2-8 lbs, so we are thinking of allowing 2 1/2 lbs for bone?  That would leave us about 7 lbs for 1 drake and one hen.  Does that sound about right?  We think at that rate, we would need about 50 ducklings, assuming we get a 50/50 split to get our 180 lbs of meat.  We now think that 2 mamas with 2 sets of babies should probably do it.  What do you think?  Any suggestions on how much room we would need for the coup/house for the mama and babies in the event she sets in the winter?  We looked on-line and it said 3 square feet per duck.  With 2 mamas, how many ducklings should we plan for at a time?
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angelover
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 12:21:26 pm »

We are considering having 4 mama's and having them sit on 10 eggs each, for 2 clutches.  That would give us a maximum of 80 ducklings, which is the most we can afford to feed.  Would that likely average out to our obtaining 50 ducklings, which is our goal?  Is this a good idea? 
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VIMduck
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 01:13:25 am »

We have one male and 8 females as our basic flock. We always keep a spare male over winter then put him in the pot once mating starts in the New Year - they fight if there are not enough females around, and 8 ain't enough!
Last year we got 42 llbs meat from 20 birds. We only used the breast meat and legs. The rest gets fed to the dogs or occasionally roasted, then stock made and canned for winter soups & stews.
Over the last 5 years we have had at least one or 2 hatchlings per year. We notice more male birds than female on average.
Hope you found some birds.
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