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Setting up area for housing and breeding Muscovy Ducks

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Author Topic: Setting up area for housing and breeding Muscovy Ducks  (Read 19018 times)
newchicken
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« on: June 23, 2009, 11:51:47 am »

Will the two drakes fight?  Do you need to separate them?  Is it ok to just let them roam with the females?  I can make a division in their night pen for the drakes, with solid dividers on the bottom two feet so they don't see each other.  But, what happens when I let everyone out to play in the garden?

We haven't finished building our larger perimeter fence yet.  Right now, I watch them play in our chemical free "lawn" for about an hour, a few times a day.  I lock them up then go back inside to work.  I accidentally trained them!  When I let them out in the morning, they run about looking for their favorite bugs and greens.  While they're out, I dump and refill the kiddie pool, tend the straw, and add giant handfuls of greens to a separate dishpan of fresh water.  An hour later, as if on some invisible clue, they all look up from chomping whatever goodies live in the grass roots, get a drink from more dishpans of water in the yard, and head home.  They like to stay out longer in the evenings, after 6pm, when it's cooler.  Even so, at 8pm every night, they go home to their pen.  By the time it's completely dark, they've snuggled down and gone to sleep.  They don't move much at night.  Their mornings start way earlier than mine does.  I leave extra food, water, and greens in their cage for breakfast the next day.

Sometimes, they're far hungrier than anticipated.  One time, I was really late getting home.  They chowed their food fast.  Soon everyone was throwing up all over the place.  It was awful.  I worried they might be choking.  Lesson learned:  Scatter pellets in the grass, so they have to look for it.  Don't scatter too far, or they won't find it right away, and food could be wasted.  I like scattering pellets in the grass.  It keeps them busy, instead of chewing up my shoes, and they don't throw up.  When they stop begging for more food "sprinkles" in the lawn, and start foraging, I can sit down to watch them play.
(This doesn't work as well for crumbles.  They just don't see it all.)

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