« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 10:10:00 AM »
Doak, oh so many of us have experiences we can tell you with the ducks. Yes, we raise Muscovy ducks coming out our ears. At one point a couple of months ago, we had three mothers brooding with approximately 12 babies each. The two clutches have long since gone to the slaughterhouse and are in our freezers. Our Muscovy ducks range in eviscerated weight (the drakes,(males) the ducks are smaller, (females).
When we bring the ducks home from the slaughterhouse, I immediately wrap with freezer wrap and weigh each one, putting the weight and date on each package, they are pretty nearly identical in weight. They are approximately 7-8 pounds each. That makes for a heafty meal (or two). The soup is fantastic from the Muscovy.
Now, the Muscovy duck is known well for its lack of grease/fat, it is a low fat bird, and that is nice. I have tried duck before and was so turned off because of the amount of grease that came when it was cooked. No so with the Muscovy breed. When I bake a Muscovy duck (hope this is making ya' mouth water, it is mine, at 7:00 in the early Sunday morning), the drippings that remain have such a tiny little bit of grease, like maybe a couple of tablespoons, I just leave them in the sauce to make gravy. And oh what a fine gravy it makes. If you like gravy and mashed potatoes, this duck breed is for you. Eeeks, I am ramblin', but hey you asked, so my comments forthcome.
The Muscovy ducks love to mother and lay eggs. They lay lots of eggs, big ones, I mean, really big eggs, mostly yolk. The eggs are about 1-1/2 times the size of an extra large chicken egg. Wonderful. They seem to lay most of the year, and shut down for a couple of months in the fall. They are not laying right now and haven't for the past month. So I don't consider them the best for all year round laying.
You can tell I am a fan of the Muscovy duck breed.
As Jody was saying, they are a quiet breed of duck. The drakes hiss and the ducks make kind of peeping, cooing sounds, very quiet, and very friendly. They are not afraid of the human being, as I have found other duck breeds to be.
We have had Khaki Campbells. They have the coolest sounds, and yes, they love to lay eggs. A much much smaller egg than the Muscovy. We run out ducks and chickens free range in really big yards.
The Muscovy ducks like to lay their eggs in the chicken egg-laying-boxes. The Khaki Campbells were horrible, as they were always laying their bleeping eggs in the trees, grasses, everywhere that I didn't want them to. They attracted the crows to find their eggs and I got tired of having to find their hiding spots every day. We no longer have the Khaki Campbells. They would be good for people that have the birds in confined pens, in my opinion.
We have had the Indian Runner ducks too. They were not friendly (mine weren't anyways). They were actually freaks. And the drakes of this breed were messing around trying to spread their genes with every other bird in the chickenyard, including the chickens. Too horny for my liking, but they were a very pretty and interesting bird, small eggs, I needed bigger eggs, so opted to keep Muscovys. I do love the different sounds the different duck breeds make. The Runners crossed with some of the Muscovys, now that made for an interesting breed. There are pictures of these that I have put on the forum quite some time ago too.
So those Doak, are my comments. I have only had experience with these three breeds. You may hear more comments, but I am stuck on that Muscovy breed.
If you wanted to read more stuff about the Muscovy breeds, go into my profile and do an advanced search on "Muscovy" ducks. I have made a mountain of posts about this breed, it may be interesting to some people, or it may be just too much junk for some people to bother with. That is in the eyes of the beholder, hee, hee.
Whatever type of duck breed you get, you will find wonderful qualities. Each breed has some characteristics that are beautiful. In my opinion, all birds are beautiful anyways, it is just depending on what part of their beauty you want in your own back yard. Good luck, enjoy those birds when you do get them, I know that you will. Have a most wonderful and awesome day, Cindi