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Tropical Egg-Laying Ducks

Posts: 315
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
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In every Latin American country where I have traveled, people mostly keep Muscovy ducks. This is to be expected, because the species is originally native to South America, and hence is adapted to the climatic conditions there. However, everything I read about Muscovy is that they are mainly a meat duck, and only secondarily produce eggs. I'm a lacto-ovo-vegetarian; I eat dairy products and eggs, but not meat. So a meat duck is of no use to me. (Raising meat animals for sale would violate my reasons for being vegetarian.)

I have heard of Indian runners as a high egg producing breed. And this breed got its name because the Dutch engineered it for their East Indies colonies (that's Indonesia today). This suggests it would be adapted to tropical conditions also, perhaps better than other mallard-derived breeds.

The problem is, I don't see them around here; the village ducks are almost all Muscovy, except for one household who have a Pekin or two mixing with their Muscovies. Now, it may be possible, if I work with the Ministry of Agriculture, to find a source of Indian runners -- if there are any in the country. It might also be possible to get the right permits to bring some in. But before doing this, I want to see if there are simpler options. How is Muscovy egg production, really? Can they be encouraged to lay more using the techniques people use with laying breeds? Has anyone done any selective breeding with Muscovy and gotten results suggesting that egg-producing lines can be created? That's a lot of questions, but brainstorming tends to do that. So how 'bout some other folk's brainstorms?
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I was researchin Egg laying strains of muscovies. It seems like there is a high variability in the species, with animals laying anything from 50 to 190 (one source said even more than 200) eggs a year.

Knowing which duck layed which egg may be the biggest challenge if you want to start selectively breeding them. This would be a work of a few years, and you would need to cull (sell if you don't wanna eat) a lot of not so productive ducks to keep the genetics of the best.

Otherwise, importing a dozen runner eggs and put them under a muscovy may start your line of egg producers. You still have to deal with the males.

Good luck
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