Our farm is wet. Really, really wet. Don’t be fooled by this photo of happy ducks in the short-lived sunshine this spring. It was like that for a day, and then back to overcast skies and drizzle, and the babies back under the heat lamp.
The only reason they were under the heat lap in the first place was that mamma duck was scared off her nest by some creature in the night that stole half her eggs… and we decided not to take any chances and put the eggs in the incubator, to finish the hatch.
That trauma aside, Muscovy ducks have been one of the best additions to our farm yet. They are prolific layers, will happily sit on a nest where all the muscovy ducks have laid, then one deciding to be a momma to the entire clutch. And if easy reproduction isn’t your thing, they are excellent foragers, are confident without being troublesome, are quack-less (choosing instead to make a lot of breathy and head bobbing communication), and produce great meat that isn’t greasy (although we haven’t eaten any of ours yet!). Best of all… drum roll please… they eat those disgusting slugs that are the size of small cats that are rampant in our area. They delightfully polish off huge Banana slugs, which frankly are more a tripping hazard then anything else (never mind totally disgusting), and at least three other types of slugs that infest our area. This foraging is great as it seriously seems to cut down on the amount of feed. We also have Pekin ducks and Appleyards, which seem to be far more demanding in feed needs in comparison.
So if your area is wet, give muscovy ducks a try. If not for all the great benefits to your farm, for the sheer joy they bring on one of those gloomy wet days. Seeing them happily splashing through puddles and enjoying the rain is guaranteed to bring you a smile!