Valley Permaculture Alliance

In addition to raising chickens for eggs at various homes in the Valley, is anyone raising ducks? Is it even possible...should it be possible with our hot summers? Is there a particular breed(s) of duck that do well in Arizona? Any recommended resources that have worked well for you? If they do well in the Valley, perhaps a class similar to the chickens class can be offered?

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i have 3 muscovys 1 male 2 hens and they have been very easy to raise i let them run free in the yard, i sell the eggs and eat a few. they are also great fly eaters
Dan, you say that you sell the eggs? Is it possible for me to buy 2-3 dozen to try them. I have to admit that I've never had a duck egg and if I do decide to raise them, I'd like to make sure that me and my family will actually eat them. If available for purchase from you or another source, please email me at rnaderjr@hotmail.com, with instructions. Thanks,
I had both Muscovy's and Khaki Campbells. Khaki Campbells and Indian Runner ducks will produce a LOT of eggs (way more than chickens) but they quack, and not just during the day, they can quack at all hours of the night too, so possibly not the best pet choice. My muscovies were awesome, but I wouldn't keep them with chickens unless they had a huge area, like the whole yard. Sometimes the males (which can easily weigh 15 lbs) will mount your hens and that ends up badly. Even with no males, the ducks are at the very top of the pecking order and can stress out your chickens. (There's one person on here who said her duck was bossing around the goats!!) They will also dirty up all the waterers as they like to bill mud into them.

240 eggs a year is a VERY high estimate for a muscovy in my opinion. They usually lay one egg a day for about 25 days straight and then try to hatch those. If they hatch, they won't lay again until the babies are a couple of months old. If they don't hatch anything (because you're eating the eggs) They still usually wait about a month before they begin laying again. I think you could expect 100-150 (giant) eggs per year per duck. They are great at catching flies and it's fun to watch.
Wow! You've all given me lots to think about and more research is in order. Thanks for the quick, thoughtful and generous response.
At what age do they begin laying eggs? I have a male and female muscovy and both are about 5 months old now.
From my experience, muscovies begin laying around 7 months.
I have 3 muscovies I got from Rachel. The mama duck quit laying about 6 weeks ago. She laid one a day.
There are 2 'babies'. Zorro and Half Dome [breakfast and lunch, Dinner aka Bandit, was killed at the meat workshop and smoked on Thursday, excellent smoke on the bird, but a bit dry]
Half Dome is the girl, and she's meaner than the male, Zorro. She bites at Zorro, who bites back, then she bites at the Mama, who cowers.

I think we've had them since the beginning of May. They are 6 months old [if I'm right on the date] and are not laying yet. Half Dome had laid 4 different eggs in the last 6 or so weeks.
1st was thin shell, all white, small, completely round
2nd was large, thin, white shell, all white
3rd was small, oval, almost the right color, all white
4th was small, perfectly egg shaped, right color, all white

I'm hoping for a yolk at SOME point.

Zorro would let us scratch his chest before and he would peck gently at our arms.
NOW he bites and it HURTS. So hopefully, he's becoming a MALE duck.

they are quiet. they love the swimming pool, they have their own little 'pools'. they are plastic tubs that you mix concrete in. the water from them, mud, poop and all, is used to fertilize the herbs I distill. So the food for them, plastic pools, everything, is a write off. To me, it's awesome [a cool feeling] having natural fertilizer, that won't burn the plants [chicken poop], doesn't smell bad when applied [steer poop] and is organic and natural.

They eat everything. We have to get another bale of hay to sit in the yard, cause we use it for the yard, but the stuff we don't use sits there, and bugs collect under it, so when I rake it, they go nuts having a harvest day.
Ducks are a natural form of pest control. And they LOVE crickets. and grubs, those huge white ones.

Duck eggs.
The whites are higher in albumen [the stuff that causes cakes and cookies to rise] than chicken eggs.
The whites have more protein than chicken
The yolks have more fat
The yolks have less cholesterol.
And NOT least, duck eggs are alkaline, chicken eggs are acidic. GREAT for those of us trying to balance our bodies.

Duck eggs are denser than chicken. It takes some getting used too, but once you do, it's great. Eat one straight for the first time, then add things to it for scrambled eggs. I don't think we've ever eaten a fried egg yet. Adding to the scrambled eggs makes it easier to eat.
As frog legs are richer than chicken, as lobster is richer than shrimp, as cardboard is thicker than paper, so is a duck egg richer and thicker than a chicken egg.

They will lay in the heat of summer and cover their eggs. [someone else probably knows why]
They are quiet. I have icky neighbors and no one knows about them.
They are fun to watch.
They are fun to swim with. [some people swim with dolphins, we swim with ducks. lol]
The poop they leave on the sidewalk will discolor it for a while, til it all comes off. And it is
EASILY washed off into the plants.

They stand in the rain, even when it's pouring. They go in the coop when it's cool during the day. With 3 sides open to the elements, who knows why!

Even with wings clipped, Zorro will get it into his skull sometimes that he wants out and he will flap and climb the 4 ft high fence, sit on the top wire, balance, til he gets enough nerve to fly down so he can get into the pool. It used to be wild and fun, but it's a headache now that he's a biter. he doesn't do it often lately.

That's all I know about these ducks. You are welcome to come see them anytime you like.
we are at 35th ave and peoria.

Janine

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