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Monday, May 16, 2011

Grasshoppers... go ahead... I dare ya...

Last year those darn grasshoppers ate my whole box of beautiful burgundy beans then my pepper plants...  they hopped all over the place jumping out at me as I walked... ewwww!

I watched them grow from little buggers to big buggers all the while fighting with myself over how to control them....

One year they totally defoliated my raspberry bushes... no raspberries for us!

This year... I TAKE REVENGE and let the natural order of things prevail!  This year I'm getting critters that will eat those darn hoppers, oh... and flies too..  among other bugs.

Welcome to our little homestead Muscovy Ducks!!!!

Next week my little muscovy ducklings will arrive.

I'm actually a little nervous about this adventure, well, because I've never had poultry before!  The extent of animal experience ends at cats and a dog!  But hey, I'm up for the challenge!!!

So, I've been searching and reading tons of articles online...   If you have experience with these wonderful animals, please do share your wisdom!


  1. Muscovies are so fun, and they are great as pest control-- they don't just eat the flies and slugs and grasshoppers, they eat the larvae, which makes the biggest difference in pest control.

    They grow really quickly, so you will want to handle them a lot when they are babies if you want them, especially the males, to remain friendly as they get older. (Drakes can and will flog people out of aggression if they are no socialized early). Muscovies lay very well and the hens will hatch just about anything you put under them. Unlike other breeds of ducks, muscovies do not need water to mate. A hen can sit on about 30 eggs at a time. The meat of a muscovy is supposed to be really good (we never ate ours) and is less fatty than other types of duck.

    When bred to other breeds of ducks, muscovies will only produce sterile 'mules', so cross breeding is not really an option.

    There is a big market on ebay for fertile muscovy eggs, so that may be some good pocket money for you guys, if you end up with extra.

    You will need to clip their wings, as they can fly when they are younger, and they will need housing with perches, as they prefer to be up in trees when they are not nesting. Housing will need to be really secure from all predators, and you will probably have to chase them in every night, as ducks (unlike chickens) can have a pretty late bed time.

    They will eat everything and anything you give them. They are also messy (all ducks are) and will leave slimy offerings wherever they are allowed to go.

    We LOVED our muscovies and have some eggs in the incubator right now. They are so quiet, compared to other ducks, and that is really nice. Can't wait to see how you do with them! Post lots of pics!

  2. Oh, and you can feed them your leftovers and compost (all of it!) they will make it into meat and eggs for you :)

  3. Bonnie, thank you so much for your words of wisdom!!!

  4. Oh, I bet those ducks will have a field day with those grasshoppers this year!

  5. EG, I am so hoping!!!!
    Happy Spring to your my friend!

  6. Ducks! What a great idea to deal with your grasshopper problem, plus so much more. I am looking forward to reading about your adventures with ducklings :)

  7. Hi GrafixMuse! Thank you so much for stopping by! I will certainly be posting about my new adventure!!! Goodbye grasshoppers!

  8. I hope you take photos every day to chronicle their progress!

  9. Hi Peg! Yes, I will absolutely take photos and post about this adventure!

  10. That sounds like a fun thing. My mom had turkeys, ducks and geese fenced around the vegetable garden. It really helped to keep the grasshoppers down. I don't get many here in the east, but in the west, boy are they pests.


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