This time the Muscovy Ducks needed nest boxes. All ducks, besides the Muscovy, are derived from Mallard ducks. They are water fowl, and upon domestication they lost their ability to fly. A Muscovy is a duck, but from a different origin. They can fly, and are considered a tree duck. They aren't super keen on water, and are often seen standing, perched, on a large rock, or stump, watching the Cayuga ducks who are swimming and playing in the water, nearby. Muscovy can go in the water, but unlike a Mallard derived duck, can become waterlogged. Being a tree duck, they also prefer to nest off the ground. My farmer friend, with whom I built the Rabbit nest boxes, and I got together to breed rabbits and build boxes for the Muscovies.
The boxes are 16" square with an 8" opening. This allows the mama space to get in and out, as in the wild they would use an abandoned woodpecker hole in a tree, for a nest. The 8" wall also serves to keep the babies in the nest until they are called by their mom to jump out. I'll be placing the nests tomorrow, then I'll start collecting eggs until it's clear they are regularly using the boxes and then I'll let them gather clutches, and wait for them to go broody.
Muscovy females are amazing mom's. Their being such good mom's is one of the many reasons that the Muscovy duck is a brilliant breed for the Homestead. They also make a far more impressive statement, than a similar sized Mallard derived duck, like the Cayuga, when served at the table. Great mom's, great meat, amusing personalities. Yes, a great homestead addition.