A lot of duck farmers will tell you that keeping Muscovy ducks is easier than keeping other breeds of ducks. Muscovy ducks are kept for a variety of reasons including to be used as pets, to make your farm look good, to produce eggs, and for their meat. Keeping Muscovy ducks can reduce the insect population in your yard. The Muscovy duck is not one of the popular domesticated breeds of ducks but it can perform domestic purposes, which is why a lot of farmers choose to raise these ducks.
Muscovy ducks are a lot like Mallard ducks. They will not mate with only one male as some breeds of ducks do. They mate both in water or on land while most ducks only mate in the water. Muscovy ducks kept for domestic purposes mate as many as three times a year.
Female Muscovy ducks lay between 9 and 17 white ducks and will do so in a tree burrow or tunnel. The eggs incubate for 35 days, a week longer than other duck eggs. While incubating her eggs, the female only leaves her nest one time a day for between 30 and 90 minutes in order to eliminate waste, eat and drink, and groom itself. After the eggs begin to hatch, the process can take up to 24 hours as the chicks break through. Ducklings hatched in the wild generally remain near their mother for about 10 or 12 weeks. They are not able to produce enough heat themselves so they need to be near their mother in order to stay warm, especially at night. The male duck also stays near the ducklings for a few weeks and escort the ducklings while they migrate to look for a place to live, food, and security.
Muscovy ducks need to be kept in a small confined area when they are younger than 3 weeks old and they need a heat source. These young ducklings cannot produce enough body heat to keep themselves warm so this is important. You should not let baby Muscovy ducks swim in anything bigger than their shallow water container. The young ducklings should be eating food high in protein. The amount of protein and type of food they need depends on how old they are.
Between three and six weeks, young Muscovy ducks can be moved to a bigger pen. They can also be provided a baby pool to swim in once they have their full plumage on the bottom. It is important to let the baby ducks out into the yard to look for food on their own every so often so they learn how to do so. The baby ducks will scratch to find grains that enhance their diet.
Muscovy ducks can be kept out in the open between 6 and 12 weeks. It is important to give them a pen to keep them safe from predators that may want to eat them. You can do this with a small fence made of wire but do not use chicken wire. At this age, the ducks need to have a baby pool to swim in. As the ducklings grow, their nutrition needs to include plenty of egg mixes, grains, and green feed.