Duck Breeding Review: Muscovy Duck Breed
Some people think the Muscovy Duck domestic duck breed is rather ugly, with its grey-white feathers and a pink/red crest covering their head. Regardless, this Brazilian duck breed comes in a startling array of duck color varieties, including purple and blue! Interestingly enough, the Muscovy duck breed doesn't usually swim. The Muscovy duck breed can also reach a heavy weight compared to other duck breeds—male Muscovy ducks can get as heavy as 15 pounds, while female Muscovy ducks can grow to 10 pounds. For this reason, it is quite popular to raise Muscovies.
The Muscovy duck's scientific name is Cairina moschata. The Muscovy duck breed is native to South America, as well as Mexico and Central America. There are also wild Muscovy ducks in the lower regions of the United States.
The wild Muscovy duck breed is protected by both Canadian and U.S. government programs. In the U.S., the federal government governs breeding programs to keep the wild Muscovy duck populations growing.
Both the wild Muscovy and the domestic Muscovy are hardy waterfowl. For example, the Muscovy duck is able to live in temperatures as low as ten degrees Fahrenheit. This is despite the fact that the Muscovy is naturally a warm-weather, tropical waterbird.
Raising Muscovy Ducks: The Muscovy breed's recognition was carried out by the American Poultry Association (APA).
Muscovy ducks can reach a relatively large size. Male Muscovy ducks can weigh as much as 15 pounds, while female Muscovy ducks can weight up to eight pounds. The appearance of the Muscovy breed varies, but they generally look like their wild counterparts: Dark black or brown with white feather patches centered on their wings.
Muscovy ducks can eat regular duck feed and also enjoy foraging for grass and insects in pasture land.
When foraging, the Muscovy duck breed also likes to eat bugs and snails.
Raising Muscovy ducklings is fun. Muscovy ducklings are yellow and brown and grow rapidly. It takes 35 days for a Muscovy egg to hatch. Each clutch of Muscovy eggs laid by the Muscovy hen range in number of eggs from 5 to 15.
Lewis Wright (The Practical Poultry Keeper: Public Domain) says:
The Muscovy ', or Musk Duck, appears to be a totally distinct breed, the cross between it and other ducks being, at least usually, unfertile. The drake is very large, often weighing ten pounds, and looking far more on account of the loose feathering ; but the female is less than the Aylesbury, not exceeding about six pounds. The plumage of this variety varies greatly from all white to a deep blue-black, but usually contains both. The face is naked, and the base of the bill is greatly carunculated. The drake is very quarrelsome, and we well remember the injuries inflicted by an old villain of this breed belonging to a relative, upon a fine Dorking cock in the same yard. When excited, the bird alternately depresses and raises its head, uttering most harsh and guttural sounds, and with the red skin round the face presenting an appearance which has been justly described as " infernal."
The flesh of the Musk Duck is very good eating ; but it i* far inferior as a layer to either the Rouen or the Aylesbury, and cannot be considered a very useful variety.
Other information about hatching Muscovy duck eggs can be gathered in our hatching duck eggs article.