I’ve done my share of learning about Muscovy ducks over the past two years, and have finally come to a point where I’m ready to make a qualified decision on them, at least as far as my personal circumstances are concerned.
I originally wanted a low input, self reliant form of bird for eggs and meat. Muscovies fit that description perfectly. They free range my 1/4 acre, rarely beg for food, and are very prolific. I understand now why some communities are in such an uproar over them overpopulating an area. I’ve had 4 hatches, three of them each had about a dozen ducklings hatch out, and the forth would have as well, but something (I believe it was our dog) ate a bunch of the eggs.
But I don’t want to raise them anymore.
Why would I stop raising a bird that is prolific and requires very little input?
Harvesting ducks is a pain. Without a working plucking device, I opt to skin the birds instead. Plucking took me almost an hour, and skinning a bird take me 20 or more minutes. And while the meat tastes great, its simply not good enough to warrant the grief in dressing them out, when I can dress out a quail in a minute or two, and a rabbit in about 7 minutes.
I understand each animal that I’ve tried has its pros and cons. Muscovies are almost the perfect homestead animal – quiet, self reliant, prolific, and tasty. But the overwhelming con for me was the amount of time it takes for processing. When compared to other options I have, I’ll stick with the rabbits and quail.
Add in the fact that my gardens need to be fenced off to prevent the ducks from grazing on my veggies. Also, while my wife loves to watch them, the wandering birds have no sense of decorum, pooping wherever they feel the urge. My wife is not a country girl, and this offends her.
I’m also considering getting rid of the chickens for space, garden protection, and random poop pile reasons. I figure that if I streamline my rabbit and quail production, I can open up my garden beds, and regain some of my back yard. This will keep my wife happy, and one of my driving rules is “Happy Wife, Happy Life“.
We’ll see how that goes….
As always, please “like” FloridaHillbilly on Facebook, subscribe to my feed, follow me on Twitter, add it to Google+, Pinterest, Linkdn, Digg, and/or tell your friends! The more folks that start raising their own food, the fewer folks to tell you, “I’ll just come to your house if it gets bad“.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and your price is the same, no matter what.