We have a large, healthy and happy flock of coloured and white Muscovy Ducks at Bramble Heights. Muscovy Ducks are native to South America and are a little different from "old world" Ducks in a number of interesting ways. For example, they hardly ever "quack", preferring to hiss at one another when there's a point to make. Also, their meat is not as greasy, it's more similar to beef.
The flock stays inside "Duck Bunkers" at night so that they are safe from predators but during the day they are free to roam in our swamp and forest where the forage for natural food. Every evening around Sunset the Ducks fly back almost to the bunkers and we herd them in with sticks.
Each of our Muscovy Hens sits on and hatches between 1 and 2 clutches of a dozen Ducklings each year.
Since our Ducks are so prolific, the trick to raising them is to carefully select which Hens we keep and limit their numbers in the Spring. Still, we have plenty of Ducks to feed ourselves and plenty extra in the Fall (when we take freezer orders).
We make sure that the Ducks always have a good supply of clean water and whole grains (barley, oats, corn & wheat) available but they prefer to be out foraging where they can find sprouts, grasses, plants, bark, Frogs, leaves and other, more natural food. Muscovy Ducks are particularly good at snatching insects out of the air. Sitting in a group of Ducks during Black Fly season is great. Some of the Ducks even have flourescent colours in their feathers that attract flying insects. They just sit and wait for dinner to come to them.