Muscovy Ducks

Did you know they are the only duck not derived from the Mallard Duck?

Muscovies are not related to any other duck, in fact some believe they are descended from geese rather than ducks. They originate from South America where their ! They also have a penchant for flies, small slugs, snails and even frogs & newts.

The most obvious difference between them and ‘other’ ducks are the carruncles (the red stuff) on their faces which is more predominant in the males. Interestingly, in females the bright red dulls to a deep orange when they’re broody, right through to raising their ducklings. A blatant visual warning to the males to stay away!

Another difference is they have long, sharp claws which are used to attach to tree branches at night when they roost. Due to these claws there’s a right and wrong way to pick up a muscovy and the wrong way will end in bloodshed – yours that is. Put your carrying arm over and around its body, pinning both wings in place and taking hold of one or both legs (depending on the size of the bird and the size of you) gently but firmly. This needs to be done pretty quickly and if they start to struggle with you they’ll lash out trying to find their feet, and you’ll have first hand experience of those claws.

Muscovy Duck Eggs

Ducks eggs are the richest, creamiest, smoothest eggs going. Actually, I feel so passionate about them that I’ve written an entire post on why duck eggs rock. However, as wonderful as the Muscovy duck is, this isn’t the breed to get if you after an egg laying machine. You may want to consider a Khaki Campbell or an Indian Runner as they lay far more per year.

Muscovies as Meat Birds

This is where the Muscovy excels, the meat is dark and very lean. If you’ve ever bought a supermarket duck (in the UK Aylesbury’s are the most common meat bird sold) to roast at home you can almost watch the bird shrink in the oven, as the inch or more of fat under the skin melts. This is all very well if you want to roast a gazillion potatoes to accompany the meal, but if you are striving for a healthier diet then the lean meat of the muscovy is definitely the duck of choice.

It’s worth knowing that the boys weigh in much heavier than the girls, and if you’re not sure of the age of the bird I would recommend a very slow roast to tenderize the meat as it can be tough on an older bird, and baste frequently as it is so lean.

Feeding a Muscovy Duck

In the summer months our birds will require very little extra food as they forage plenty, but in the colder months they’ll need feeding a duck or unmedicated chicken feed twice a day. If you are growing them to eat, put them on a growers ration, but if they are just for laying or for looking pretty a layers ration will be fine. Make sure they have plenty of clean water close at hand as the dry food alone will make them poorly.

Muscovy Ducklings

Muscovies make fantastic mothers and the most eggs we’ve had hatch is 15, which is pretty amazing as the girls aren’t all that big. We have had them hatch chicken eggs too, although that can lead to problems when the mamma duck wants to teach her chicks to swim!

The Quiet Breed

One of the many reasons I am so smitten with my flock, is that they are very quiet. They don’t ‘quack’ which if you’ve had the misfortune to meet a Call duck or an Aylesbury duck you’ll appreciate (I’m sorry for offending all you Call & Aylsebury fans but seriously – HOW do you live that noise???!) Instead these guys nod their heads and have a gentle kind of hiss as a greeting. Oh, and they wag their tails. Seriously they are really cute to watch.

Left to their own devices, they would be far happier sleeping on a tree branch safely out of harms way than on a pond or in a hut, and they are the one duck breed not so in need of a large area of water. We’ve raised birds here with just a 4 inch deep tray of water, a cat litter tray is good and pretty hard wearing. So long as the water is deep enough to get their nostrils and eyes under then it’s fine. It will need changing twice daily as they will drink, clean, and probably poop in it, and everything around this area will get very, very muddy.

Interested in hatching some of your own?

Testing Poultry in Arkansas


I have been receiving a lot of questions about private testers and NPIP, so I decided to do a quick rundown on the difference. ( I am a licensed tester for Arkansas).

Private Tester …..The NPIP Division licenses individuals to blood test birds for Salmonella pullorum, which also allows them to fill out 90 Day certificates for tested birds. Two schools are held per year for private individuals wanting to do this testing for county fairs, shows, flea markets, sales, etc. The schools are held in Fayetteville and in Little Rock. This licensing enables persons to blood test their own birds, as well as other individuals’ birds.

Flock Certification Program: NPIP

Flock Certification is available for waterfowl, exhibition poultry, and game bird flocks. This involves an annual inspection by a Livestock & Poultry official and farm testing of eligible poultry. If the farm is approved by NPIP, a certification is granted. The Flock Certificate is valid for one year and enables free movement regarding Salmonella pullorum requirements within the United States, as well as other countries.

For more information or just ask me.



What we do..

We are a small family farm that has a variety of critters. We also take in rescues from time to time and just about every critter that ends up on the farm has a unique story.

I realize some people may be confused because we do eat SOME of the animals. Here is our take on things. We try to raise as much meat on the farm as we can for our own personal use and yes we also hunt. Every animal is well cared for and is humanely terminated and processed. We are not vegetarians nor will be pretend to be and by us raising our own meat we know exactly what was put in it. We also have a small garden that we freeze and can so that we can enjoy all winter long.

We have a horses and donkeys which are free to run and graze on more grass then they could ever eat. Several of them have rescuing or owner surrender.  When it fits our schedule we will take them to carnivals and we also give riding lessons.

We normally butcher a couple of meat pigs each year and then we have pet potbelly pigs. The potbelly pigs are huge pets but are also allowed to breed so that we can put the money back into feed, fence, etc.

Rabbits are raised for show, pets and meat. Currently the farm raises Californians, Mini Lops, English Lops, and Dwarf Hotots. We are also currently working on a project meat rabbit.

Chickens, Turkeys, Quail, and Ducks are also raised for show, pets, meat and eggs. We are NPIP and can also test Poultry. The farm also does it own hatching and sells eggs or chicks.

The farm uses Chows to guard and protect our farm and they do an awesome job! Occasionally we do have pups for sale – We are not a puppy mill – we will not allow a dog to have more than one litter a year.

For oddball critters we have an African Spurred Tortoise and a crazy into everything racoon called Jazzy. Yes we have lots of variety and lots of stories to tell. You will never know what you will come across on our place. It’s hectic and we do work full time jobs along with kids in 4-H and school activities but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

SIDE NOTE: I will not tolerate bashing or negativity! You don’t like the way we run things then move along, we are not trying to force anything on you. This is just us and our way of life.

I also have a lot of people that contact me about animal or farm questions and advice – I AM NOT A VET but I do have lots of information on all kinds of wild and domesticated animals in which I don’t mind sharing. It does take up more time and I don’t require any kind of payments but donations are welcome.

We now have set up Paypal donations and yahoo messenger to make things easier. You can find out more information on both at