A large duck, with the males about 30 inches in length and weighing up to15 lbs. females weighing up to 6.6 lbs., Muscovy ducks are native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Most domesticated ducks originate from the Mallard except the Muscovy which originated in South America. Populations of these ducks are found in lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Florida as well as in many other parts of North America. It is essentially considered to be a tropical bird.
It is a predominantly black and white bird and the drake is easily identified by the fleshy red caruncles on the face over the eyes and at the base of the bill. Females are smaller in size and duller in color. The eyes are yellowish-brown and the legs and webbed feet are black. The ten distinctive colors include chocolate, lavender, pied-colored, and blue. Laced, rippled, and lacy are the three feather patterns seen in domestic muscovies. Unlike other ducks, they have long, flattened tails, sharp talon-like claws on their feet used for fighting, perching and climbing.
It is very important to keep rats and wild birds away from the duck feed to prevent the onset of diseases such as Bird Flu or Avian Flu. This can be avoided with the PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Duck Feeder as the feed is eaten straight away. If feeding pellets, cracked corn or wheat the 5/8-inch regulator disc can be used. The ¼ inch regulator disc from the PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Turkey Feeder can be used to give millet or mash.
Muscovies prefer wetlands near forested areas and nest in tree cavities or nest boxes. The clutch size is an average of 8 eggs. As opposed to 28 days for eggs to hatch, eggs of muscovy ducks take 35 days to hatch. Muscovy ducks feed on the roots, stems, leaves and seeds of aquatic and terrestrial plants, including agricultural crops. They also eat small fish, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, millipedes and termites. Because they eat many mosquitos, they are often referred to as "Musco ducks".