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Muscovy Ducks

Muscovy ducks had been domesticated by various Native American cultures in the New World when Columbus arrived. The first few were brought to Europe by the European explorers at least by the 1500s.

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The carcass of a Muscovy duck is also much heavier than most other domestic ducks, which makes it ideal for the dinner table. Muscovy breeds are popular because the meat is lean when compared to the fatty meat of mallard-derived ducks, its leanness and tenderness being often compared to veal.

All Muscovy Ducks have strong sharp claws for grabbing tree branches and roosting. Muscovies are unique because of their bright red crest around their eyes and above the beak. They do not swim as much as other ducks as their oil glands are under developed compared to most aquatic poultry. Sometimes this lack of oil leads to their wings and tails 'fraying'. Muscovies have a habit of finding and eating small vermin with mice or baby rats a menu supplement –MEMO TO SELF- do not allow near guinea pig or breeding rabbit hutches- and they can have a tendency to anaemia if not allowed sufficient foraging or supplementary feeding with scraps.

This is very obvious as they lose colour around the eye and become listless and is easily overcome by supplements of meat or tinned pet food..... the alternative being a large drake racing the dogs or cats for their breakfast and a pet with a complex. Muscovy ducks are also less noisy, and sometimes marketed as a "quackless" duck; even though they are not completely silent. It is true that Muscovy does not quack-the drake has a low breathy call and wag their tails and raise crests when talked to. The hen a quiet trilling coo.

This species does not form stable pairs. They will mate in the water or on land, unusual for ducks, which normally mate on the water only. Domesticated Muscovy Ducks can breed up to three times each year.

The hen lays a clutch of 8-16 white eggs, which are incubated for 35 days. The sitting hen will leave the nest once a day from 20 minutes to one and one half hours, and will then defecate, drink water, eat and sometimes bathe. Once the eggs begin to hatch it may take 24 hours for all the chicks to break through their shell and chicks usually stay with their mother for about 10–12 weeks. Their bodies cannot produce all the heat they need, especially in temperate regions, so they will stay close to the mother especially at night.
Often, the drake will stay in close contact with the brood for several weeks. The male will walk with the young during their normal travels in search for food, providing protection. Other adults assist in protecting chicks and providing warmth at night. For the first few weeks of their lives, Muscovy ducklings feed on grains, corn, grass, insects, and happily trawl through kitchen scraps.  Their mother instructs them at an early age how to feed.