Be afraid! Be very afraid! I'm burning up the blog world with two posts in a month! Ha, ha!
We've introduced Muscovy ducks to the homestead. I first learned about this breed of duck at a friend's farm a month or so ago, and then crossed paths with them again at another friend's farm. Both of these experiences put a nugget of interest in my brain, and as luck would have it, I came across some for sale this weekend at a local livestock event in the colorings I wanted.
Here and here are a few articles on the breed that touch on all the reasons I find them suitable for my backyard homestead.
They are considered quackless. They do make a chirp-type noise that is very quiet. Sometimes it sounds to me like water dripping into a pool. My chickens are loud enough, so I didn't want to add more noise coming from my backyard.
They don't need a pond to flourish. I have some ideas to incorporate some type of landscaping pond in the glorified ditch/creek bed that runs at the back of my lot. In the meantime I'm going to rustle up a kiddie pool to keep them happy.
They tend to be very broody and are good at hatching their own eggs. I like for nature to takes its own course, and less involvement required of me is just peachy!
Their meat is said to be very much like beef, very lean and non-greasy. They are not the breed to have for rendering duck fat, but I have read you can render a small amount of fat from them. I love adding another meat dimension to the homestead.
They are good foragers and excellent at bug control, particularly mosquitoes, which is also hunky dory by me. We have a terrible time with mosquitoes, so I hope they can help control our mosquito population next year.
They don't require care much different than a chicken, so I feel like I can incorporate them into the flow of things without too many changes to our routine. Though in my observations this weekend they are unlike chickens in that I notice they move as one. Whenever I would approach the run they would move away from me in one unit, very unlike chickens who would have scattered, every chicken for itself.
One of the features that attracted me to these particular ducks at the event was the coloring. I love the fawn and chocolate colors!
Anyone out there have experiences with this breed that you would like to share?