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Muscovy hybrids?

 
Burra Maluca
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Our pair of Toulouse geese, who have never succeeded in hatching any of their eggs, have both been laying eggs this year. This probably explains why the eggs never hatched. But our young muscovies are now all grown up, and the drakes are rather 'demanding'.

The geese have just gone broody and are currently sitting on a few eggs. We already have some muscovy/pekin crosses, which are sterile and don't even lay any eggs, but we can't eat them because they belong to my son. Can muscovies cross with geese? And will any offspring turn out to be as ugly as a muscovy, as self important as a goose, and yet another sterile hybrid? Maybe I should exchange their eggs for muscovy eggs...
 
tel jetson
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I don't believe that muscovies can cross with geese, but I could easily be wrong about that. I think they can only cross within the goose tribe (Anserini).

muscovy/pekin crosses are frequently used for foie gras and meat, though. I think they're sometimes called moulard. you don't have to eat your son's (or your son), but it might not be a bad idea to breed some more. I'm led to believe that the fertility of the resulting eggs isn't terribly reliable, though.

and you never know: there are many documented examples of parthenogenesis in birds. it's weird, and maybe a little bit creepy, but one of those Toulouse eggs just might hatch.
 
Burra Maluca
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The muscovy/pekin hybrids we have are the standard 'meat ducks' that are available in Portugal. They call them 'French ducks'. I can't remember which way the cross is now, but one way produces totally sterile birds that won't even lay eggs, and the other way will produce birds that will lay eggs that never hatch. We have the 'never even lay eggs' type and they are a bit of a waste of space as far as I am concerned. I don't really want any more of them as I'm aiming at producing only poultry that can be a bit more self-sustaining.

It took us ages to get hold of pure muscovies and I'd like to be able to supply them to anyone else in the area that wants them. The first female has just gone broody a few days ago

I didn't know about the parthenogenesis - I think I'm going to let the geese sit on those eggs just to see what happens!
 
tel jetson
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Burra Maluca wrote:I didn't know about the parthenogenesis - I think I'm going to let the geese sit on those eggs just to see what happens!


do you know how many they're on? keep in mind that it's pretty unlikely to work. it will be very cool if it does, though.
 
Burra Maluca
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The boys say 'Lots!'

I think that means that there's no way they are sticking their head into the goose-house with the two Geestapo sitting there on full guard duty. I suspect they haven't been collected for a couple of weeks, so there could indeed be 'lots!' We're swimming with eggs at the moment so no great loss even if nothing hatches.
 
Kelly Smitherson
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ducks will have sex with just about anything, our nasty old drake will mate with chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, shoes, cats, whatever he can catch, but but but it will not do the goose any good

geese and ducks can not inter-breed- no matter how often they do the deed
 
Alison Thomas
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So Burra, what happened?

My little Muscovy, Marita the Lolita, just hatched out 6 yesterday. Now I believe they'll be Muscovies BUT we have one Muscovy drake and two Indian Runners, all of which 'took their turn'.

I read recently that female ducks can eject the sperm of those males that they're not interested in
AND that the drakes willie-bits wither away in the Autumn and drop off, and another new one grows the following Spring. Now if humans could do that.....
 
Burra Maluca
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Nothing hatched from under the geese, so maybe muscovy/goose hybrids really aren't possible.

We are absolutely swimming in pure-bred muscovy ducklings though! I'm completely sold on these critters. Great foragers, great at raising their own babies, adorable creatures to own, and they taste great too!

Here's a few of the 'babies'







 
Alison Thomas
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Burra, did you incubate them or were they hatched under a broody?
 
Burra Maluca
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Under a broody muscovy!

That's one of the things I love about them - every single one of the female muscovies managed to raise their own babies, albeit with varying rates of success. They don't lay a huge number of eggs, but if you as interested in meat production as you are in eggs, and like an animal that does the work for you, then muscovies seem to be the way to go.

I have great complicated breeding schedules planned for my chickens, adding a dash of this and that and selecting hard to try to produce something that is attractive, friendly, lays a reasonable number of pretty eggs, raises its own young and produces a nice meaty carcass. I figure it's going to take me several years to produce the chickens I want. But it seems that with the muscovies, they're already perfect!
 
LaLena MaeRee
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I have always loved ducks, probably because where I am from we got taken down by the river to feed the ducks ALL the time as kids and it was so much fun. Now you guys just made me fall in love with geese. Which one is more beneficial, duck or goose? I think as far as adorableness they are definitely tied.
 
Alison Thomas
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LaLena MaeRee wrote: Now you guys just made me fall in love with geese. Which one is more beneficial, duck or goose? I think as far as adorableness they are definitely tied.


I think you're right LaLena. It's hard not to fall in love with geese once you have some. I was very cautious of getting some as everything I'd heard was that they were aggressive and we had 3 children under 5 at the time. But we got 3 and that was almost 4 years ago and now we have 6 but no gander. I have been humbled SO many times by them and their wonderful attitude to life - SO elegant. They are brilliant 'lawn-mowers' and do fantastic eggs.

Ducks - I hung back on getting them as folk said that they'd eat everything green and I just love my plants so I thought they were incompatible. However, I gave in last October and we got some Indian Runners. Now we also have Muscovies and Pekins as well. happily the 'eat everything green' story has proved to be false for us. Unlike Burra, my Muscovies are damn lazy! But the Runners do a fine slug patrol, if a bit nervie. The Pekins have probably been the best value for money for us - they have proved easy to train (they wait at the gate of my veg garden to go in and do slug patrol in the morning, then wait at the gate at lunchtime to come out into the wider garden, like clockwork).

Neither our geese nor ducks are on the meat menu. Mind you, there are 6 new lil Muscovies and if there are too many males in that batch things may change but we're not raising them specifically for the meat.

So, which is more beneficial - guess it depends on what you want them to do. But one things for sure, they certainly do enrich one's life!
 
LaLena MaeRee
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I guess I haven't thought about all we would want them to do. Anytime we see them mentioned as part of a permaculture setup it just always made sense to me, I agree they seem to enrich life. I have seen a lot of videos of ducks on youtube because I have a nephew who figured out one day my computer could show him animals, from that day on we spent every morning watching farm animals on youtube. His favorites were "moo cows," ducks, chickens, and octopus, in that order lol. And I have wanted ducks ever since. I also want goats after being around our aunts goats, even though one bit me once. NEVER try to make a goat share kale stems with his siblings, they will show you how they feel about that. Didn't hurt though, and I forgive the lil bugger.
 
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