Living in the city can be a pain in the hind quarters when one is trying to homestead a property. If you’re familiar with the Hostile Hare, then you know we do like rabbits as an urban livestock. They are quiet, clean, and efficient… But they don’t lay eggs! For that we suggest quail and/or Muscovy ducks!
- They are adaptive: Muscovy ducks are native to Mexico and parts of Central America so heat isn’t much of an issue. Some feral colonies have popped up in Florida and Louisiana as well, but they may have had human help getting there. Though they are considered a tropical bird, they can still thrive in lower temperatures, even below freezing!
- Size: The males are a hearty 15 lbs and 30 inches long, females are much more petite, weighing in around 6-7 pounds but are still a sizable bird.
- Critter patrol: Unlike their cluckin’ cousins(chickens), Muscovy ducks don’t always sleep at night. In my own back yard I would frequently see them sitting at the edge of the pond snatching bugs out of the air. They would also sit on the porch under the light and catch moths and flies. They cleared out my scorpions and cockroaches too!
- Grazing animals: These ducks are happy to chow on grass and leaves and fodder. My desert landscaped back yard doesn’t need weeding when the ducks are around. They make short work of thistle and even tumbleweeds. This also means they are fine without a large pond, they’d be happy with an old bath tub occasionally. While ducks are grazing animals, it’s important to keep in mind that if your land doesn’t have a whole lot of area for grazing, there are a variety of different things you can feed your ducks. To learn more about how to raise ducks and what to feed them, check out this article.
- Volume on mute: You would never guessed I had ducks in my backyard… no one could hear them!! They don’t quack! They loudest they ever get is when two males square off, then they hiss and squeak at each other… very masculine display(slow clap). Females will his and squeak too if they are broody enough.
- Family oriented. Drakes and hens are good parents, both will tend the nest, taking turns sitting on the eggs. They will even combine efforts and multiple hens will use the same nest.
- Taste: Some people that have had duck will claim it is greasy or gamy… and they might be right. Especially if they ate someone’s hunted duck or another duck that isn’t a Muscovy. Muscovy ducks are similar to beef in taste while still maintaining the chicken/turkey like texture.
So if you have the need for eggs and meat but find yourself needing an incognito source, I suggest the Muscovy duck!