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Best eggs ever

 
Emil Spoerri
pollinator
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This spring, I had 2 muscovy hens that had overwintered on cow feed mixed with hay and  pumpkins. They were laying pale yellow eggs. In late march stuff had started growing and the muscovies went out, they received cow feed for a couple more days then went totally free range. By  April the egg yolks were so orange that they were the most orange of anything I have ever seen, almost dark getting closer to red.
This took place at a swampy 55 cow dairy farm, which may be one of the most ideal habitats for a muscovy!
Regular duck eggs have 4 times the vitamin D of chicken eggs. Since vitamin D is destroyed by heat, naturally it is best to eat these special and relatively rare eggs raw or at least with a very runny yolk.

One muscovy hen managed to hide a clutch of eggs in the back of the pile of sawdust in the sawdust shed. The other managed to drown in the cow's watering tank. Go figure.

10 little muscovy duckling hens running around now!
 
Ken Peavey
steward
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Free ranged birds have access to the grasses and weeds.  It's the beta carotene which makes the yellow/orange color.  While my hens were still too young to lay I had to BUY eggs from the supermarket.  Flat, pale things they were with a flavor not far from licking an old tire.  There is no going back to that crap.
 
Tim Canton
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^^ pastured eggs are also much higher in omegas and lower in saturated fat.  someone told me the yellow eggs are nothing but hog food
 
                                    
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How are Muscovies as layers?  I think I've read that they have a low production capacity, something like only 50-60 eggs a year per hen? 

Not like a chicken or some of the breeds developed from Mallards that can lay close to 300 eggs per year under ideal conditions.
 
Tim Canton
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Denninmi wrote:
How are Muscovies as layers?  I think I've read that they have a low production capacity, something like only 50-60 eggs a year per hen? 

Not like a chicken or some of the breeds developed from Mallards that can lay close to 300 eggs per year under ideal conditions.

I have muscovy I just started raising this year.  From what I have read they do have lower production than other ducks.  Part of the reason being they really want to hatch eggs so they will hide nests etc and they want to sit on all the eggs they lay.  If you can get them to always lay in the same place and collect all the eggs they will lay more.  I have also read they will lay 80-90 a year even if allowed to sit which is a lot since incubation is 35 days so sitting 3 x's a year is over 100 days.

It also depend if you supplement food or not.  Muscovy can feed themselves with enough room but production will go down.  I think overall they are much more a meat bird (ready in 12 weeks)  and baby makers than an egg breed.  But they def lay enough for a family if you keep several.

I have heard khaki campbells can outlay chickens.
 
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