Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Duck Nest

I wasn't able to find too much information about how to build a Muscovy nest, seems they pretty much just pick a spot somewhere, anywhere, and away they go. But we've got turkey and roosters and lots of other chickens & ducks in the coop so I was worried if they did start laying that the eggs all might be crushed if they did try to rear some young.

So, I came up with this design & my wonderful hand-hubby got straight to work for me. Each box is 12"x12"x18", with the bottom piece being 22". The holes in the front are 8". The top is hinged & I grabbed whatever exterior paint was in the shop to give it a quick coat to protect the plywood. There are stabilizing bars in the corners and on one side and bottom of each divider piece.

So far, the ducks are terrified of the new box...

We went with 4 nests for 3 ducks in case one was being aggressive the other two could move a nest away from her. 

Hopefully they'll move in soon, they are edging on 6-7 months old, with the coop light on 16 hours/day for the chickens, they should start laying soon. So we'll have lots & lots & lots of duck eggs. Apparently they taste just like chicken eggs only bigger, but I've never had one before so should be interesting!

We're also going to let the ducks rears up some babies, but not too many. Muscovy are prolific breeders and it's very easy to find chicks for $5 each (or less) especially during the summer. I've read that muscovy meat also taste fantastic, but our local processor want $13 a bird, and that's just not reasonable (it has to do with the increased difficulty with de-feathering the ducks, obviously they just don't want the work). We were hoping to raise some ducks for meat, but until we find a better price for processing or it's not feasible.

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