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Muscovy Duck keeping - advice wanted

So, one for people who keep Muscovy ducks.

We have created a small orchard with a mixed shrub hedge around it and a pond. All very nice (well, nice-ish, work in progress). The original idea was to keep our geese in there most of the time and they would graze the grass. However, we have of course discovered they will also peck the shrubs, debark the young trees by gnawing on them and so on.

So what about Muscovy ducks? I am vaguely aware they are nearer to geese than ducks in terms of genetics. So:

Do they do a neat job of grazing like geese?
Do they damage young trees?
Do they dig and delve with their beaks like ordinary ducks?
Am I right that they just hiss rather than quack?

We were just out admiring young leaves on our trees and had a conversation about getting fencing up to protect them from the geese and then it would be harder to walk round admiring things so we'd also want gates in the fence around the hedge and edge shrubs and how well the grass was growing and if we didn't get the geese in soon we'd need to mow. So then I said, well, is there something else we can have that will graze neatly like geese but not destroy everything else so we don't have to mow or have fences and do all that extra work.

What are the up and down sides of Muscovies?

All mine passed on with an illness of some kind that was rife here last year
They grazed quite happily; ate the chook food without complaint; saw one with a mouse in its beak !
As for hissing, mine squeaked rather than hissed

They are funny

They fly. When a bird the size of Uri (our drake) flies past at head height you don't just duck (sorry) you throw yourself flat.

The geese fly too - usual when least expected, like you round a corner to find out what the noise is and its a wildly honking gander flying out of control at face height over the gate.....

So the grazing - they leave a neat-ish turf like geese do?

Our drake was quite conversational...would join in when I had a cuppa, put his head on my knee and hiiss/talk away!
Yes...they do fly!!!!
Graham Hyde

Hi, We've had a pair for three years now...not destructive, hiss not quack, very friendly, not a bad layer.
The young are given away so I haven't tasted.
Mr O

Lovely birds, all individuals, you will never regret keeping them as long as you know how to laugh.

Thanks folks. Sounds like we will be trying Muscovies this year.

Any particular illness to look out for?

Our local supplier of all things "chook" told me that if they mix with chooks they can get a kind of botulism (sp), that chooks get from rats...sounds weird, but he said that if I saw droppings on the ground (that are usually white) & they had a green lumpy stain in the middle, then they should be isolated from the rest..saying that it's mostly chooks that get it, but it spreads to the ducks

He was referring to the fact that my chooks, Muscovies & Runners all lived together (happily) in the same enclosure

Can't be more specific, sorry
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