My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Muscovy Ducks

Drake #1
Remember back  a couple months ago, I bought some Muscovy ducks? Well here are a few of them, the ones I am probably going to keep. It looks like I may have 5 ducks (girls) and 6 drakes (boys). Muscovy ducks are from South America and the drakes get very large. They are fast growing and good for meat. I'm not sure what these different colors and patterns are called yet, I'm still figuring that out.

The drakes are still growing in their wing feathers. Some of them look a bit ratty because some of the ducks were pulling the drakes feathers, even to the point of blood. (I thought they were small mean drakes doing it, but they look more like ducks...go figure)

Drake #2
 From some of my research, this pattern of dark black/blue/green with white on the wings resembles the wild coloring.

Drake #2 is actually the biggest of all. I have no idea how much he weighs, my little kitchen scale is of no use here!

Drake #3

I don't know what they call this color, fawn, buff, something else.

Duck #1
Duck #2

These first two ducks are very similar. There are a couple of drakes with the same coloring, but they have what is called 'angel wing', a condition I don't know much about, which might be hereditary or environmental. Since I have plenty of drakes to choose from, the angel wingers are destined to become dinner.

Duck #2

Duck #3

Ducks #2 & 3 match Drake #3

Duck #5
Duck #5 has the same patterning on her breast as drake #1.

Next spring I will probably breed ducks 2&3 to drake #3, breed duck #5 to drake #1 and ducks 1&2 to drake #2, at least on the first go round. (Muscovy hens may hatch as many as 3 broods a year). I think I would like to keep all of the first hatches for awhile, at least until I can see the sex and color they will be. Then I'll probably sell some and eat some. Later hatches I'll probably sell them all, unless I switch the drakes around; then I'll have to keep some more ;-)

Muscovy ducks are very quiet, they do not quack like other ducks. These make a soft whirring sound that I can't imitate or describe.  They are also not as excitable as the other ducks I have. When I come in the gate they just waddle over and stand in front of me, wagging their tails and waiting for treats.

When I figure out the names of the colors/patterns I'll come back and add them into this post.


  1. Will it be easy to sell the ducks for meat?

  2. Most people will probably buy them as pets or as breeders to raise their own meat. Sad thing is there is no USDA meat processor anywhere near me so I wouldn't be able to have them dressed out and sell the meat myself. I am thinking about making the offer to folks that I will help them butcher their birds if they want; just those legalities, I can't sell dressed meat.

  3. Same here, Mary, we are not allowed to sell dressed meat. So I help people to slaughter and they take the meat home.

    I don't have Muscovy ducks yet, but they are on the list! I've read that they are the best fly and other insect catchers. Please let me know if that is correct!

    Love from Spain - Antje

  4. Antje, For the most part the drakes appear to be a bit lazy! They are mostly looking for the feed bucket, but I think that is conditioning from the way they were raised. They are large, heavy guys. The smaller ducks are more agile and active; they do catch flies, but so far not in any great numbers.