I suppose Muscovy Ducks are not the most beautiful ducks in the world. However, once I began to really know their personalities, the old adage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" took over.
As with most wildlife, the girls are rather petite while the males are at least one-third to one-half heavier. Some of our boys seem to weigh about fifteen or more pounds. Our oldest ducks were born in the summer of 1993.
During mating season, the males get very territorial, engaging in lots of fights with each other. Generally, aside from some cuts and bruises, the worst things hurt are their egos and my plants and flowers. However, at times a fight can get fierce, particularly, when the males are well-matched. It was then that we would send out our best mediator, Gypsy Blue, our collie, who because of her herding instincts knew just how to separate them. Since Gypsy is no longer with us, we will chronicle the antics of Misty Blue, our collie-puppy-in-training, as she develops her herding instincts.
While the girls do argue, primarily for nesting sites, they very rarely get physical. They are wonderful mothers and the sight of them parading their babies, no matter how often I see it, always fills me with wonder. I especially enjoy watching them teach their babies what to eat, how to catch bugs, who to be afraid of and how to preen. The mothers "talk" to their babies constantly and most of the time, the babies listen. I wish I knew how they accomplished this - I could certainly have used this information when I raised my three boys!
My Special Friends ... The Muscovies
Peeper - The $227.00 Duckling
Jack - As in "Jumping Jack"
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