Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck  is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves .The male weighs about 3kg and the female weighs 1/3 kg. The Muscovy duck is known commercially as a Barbary duck. This breed of duck has a strong meat taste to it, more like roast beef. This duck is less greasy than most ducks you will eat. The carcass is much heavier than other ducks. These are the only ducks that are not from the mallard stock. Muscovy is the one of the most versatile ducks to prepare. The amount of white on the neck and head is variable, as well as the bill, which can be yellow, pink, black, or any mixture of these. They may have white patches or bars on the wings, which become more noticeable during flight. Both sexes have pink or red wattles around the bill, those of the male being larger and more brightly colored.
Since there are two varieties with clear phenotypic differences (a wild and a domestic) there are proposals to divide the species into two subspecies. The wild subspecies is known as "Pato Real" (Royal Duck) in most of its natural range and its scientific name is Cairina moschata sylvestris (Stephens 1824). Of the original wild species, due to the management by indigenous communities, was derived since pre-Columbian times the domestic subspecies known throughout Latin America as "Pato Criollo" (Creole Duck) (Cairina moschata domestica), which shows significant variations: due to the selection and domestication by man, this subspecies was made it heavier and less able to fly long distances to find their food, as does its wild ancestor. Its feathers are less bright and have a greater variety of colors, being very common specimens with belly, neck and face whitish. The colors are not uniform in all individuals: there are individuals completely white or only black, gray, brown and there are else with different combinations of these colors. This domestic subspecies is also known in Spanish as "Pato Casero" (backyard duck) or "Pato Mudo" (mute duck).

The most distinctive feature of the muscovy ducks is the featherless, bright "lumpy" red mask around their eyes and above the beak, which is larger in the male.
Muscovies have a "crest" on the top of their heads that they can raise at will.
Males will raise this crest to fend off other males or he raises his crest to impress the females.
The male is easily identified by his face mask alone - but also by his generally larger size - in fact, the adult male is usually twice the size of the female. The female's appearance is generally more slender than that of the male.

The adult males can weigh up to 10-15 lbs (4.5 6.8 kg). The male measures, on average, 31 inches or 79 cm. most of the females are 5-7 pounds (2.3 - 3.1 kg) but can, in rare instances, reach up to 10 lbs (4.5 kg). The female measures about 23.6 inches or 60 cm

The original color of the Muscovy is glossy blackish/brown and white, and most of them still are that color - with varying degrees of white, black or brown ("pieds"). Some of them are very light colored (mostly white), while others are mostly black/brown. The black / dark brown patches have an attractive iridescence to them that can only be seen in the right light conditions. many other quite exotic colors have occurred - mostly in domesticated breeds, such as blue, blue and white, chocolate, chocolate and white, lavender and calico. dark colored muscovies have brown eyes. Whites, lilacs and blues usually have grey eyes.

Legs / Feet / Wings:
They have webbed feet and strong sharp claws for grabbing tree branches and roosting.Their tail is fairly short, flat and wide.

"Muscovies are considered pests by some because of their droppings or constant begging for food. Children or bird-loving adults delight in feeding the adorable muscovy ducklings. This has conditioned them to associate humans with food."


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