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White Muscovy ducks were domesticated in Europe and discovered in Brazil. As such, they are the only domesticated duck not to have descended from the mallard. Muscovy ducks prefer watery habitats surrounded by trees, especially rivers, coastal wetlands, ponds, and swamps. They like trees because they are the only duck breed that perches in trees and has claws for that purpose.
Muscovies aren't particular when it comes to diet. They'll eat small fish, termites, millipedes, small reptiles, grass, slugs, bugs, flies, mosquitos, grain, and items that grow in your garden! Best of all, if you aren't a big fan of flies, White Muscovy ducks are voracious fly and mosquito eaters. In an experiment, they reduced the fly population in a cow pen by 80 to 90 percent.
Muscovy ducklings can grow to 12 pounds in just 12 weeks. A large, domesticated male adult can reach 15 pounds, almost twice that of a female Muscovy.
Muscovy ducks are great for properties of at least a quarter acre. They deliver a combination punch of insect control (did we mention the flies), companionship, and great meat. White Muscovy ducks comprise 90 percent of commercially produced duck meat. Their meat is less greasy and contains less fat than other ducks. In fact, their meat is 98% fat-free.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a better homesteading breed. They make great pets because of their peaceful temperament, though they don't necessarily like to be handled. The more time you spend with them as a baby Muscovy duck, the more attached they will become.
Egg production is not their forte when compared to their meat production. They can lay up to 195 eggs annually over a 40-week season beginning in spring. Production can potentially be increased by introducing artificial light during winter months to extend the length of the day. Eggs have a harder shell than most ducks and weigh nearly three ounces, considered jumbo-sized.
Time to Maturity
Muscovy ducklings start laying eggs when about six months old, or 25 weeks, and continue to do so for three years, sometimes more if they receive a protein-rich diet. Mating season typically extends from August to May.
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