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Big girl duck poo! Give it to me straight, I can take it!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My sister and I both have just recently fallen down the feathery rabbit hole of chicken ownership this past spring. Loving our chooks, we decided to get some WH ducks. We both settled on three each. Even though we both felt that we had adequately researched what we were in for we have both still been surprised at just how much more messy these adorable ducklings are compared to chicks.
My sister discovered she was expecting after we had already ordered the ducks. She is having a very difficult time with the smells and sights associated with maintaing the brooder. Her hubby really did not want the ducks to begin with and cannot be depended on to help her out even if he were so inclined due to his job schedule. She now feels she has bitten off more than she can chew.

DH and I are debating on whether or not to assume ownership of her three to add to ours. All six were shipped together from Meyer. They are currently two and a half weeks old. I'm not really worried about brooding time. I'm really more concerned with what to expect as free ranging adults.

We already have 15 chickens free ranging an area of approximately 3/4-1acre, the ducks will have the same area to free range with a separate, but adjoining run and house.

Would six ducks be pushing it for a new duck owner, or would the wise choice be to stick with my three? DH is already planning on building a pond for the ducks come spring (recirculating). Is six really a lot more than three when you already have 15 chickens?

I'm not looking for anyone to tell me what to do, I know that's ultimately up to DH and me. I guess I'm looking for the opinions from others whom have ducks and what they would do and why. Thanks so much in advance and sorry so long!
post #2 of 7

Well I can't really comment on the space and if 6 would be too many as I don't know. But I will give my experience on the brooding. I have 4 WH ducks that are 9 weeks. I could not wait to get them out of my house and out of the brooder. I used puppy piddle pads and was changing them out 3-5 times a day towards the end and the smell was horrible. :sick But they are outside in their coop/run now and it is much easier to clean up after them. The only time I really smell them now is when I am cleaning out their pool and the water is being stirred up. That's to be expected and even that is no where near as bad as the smell when they were in the house. So I guess I would suggest to your sister to just hang in there a little longer. It will be better when they are outside. 

post #3 of 7

If you think you can handle it, go ahead! If you're uncomfortable with the idea, you could wait a while. I started with five ducks. Now I have twenty. I don't really think six is “too many” if you are already acquainted with poultry and have chickens, but it really depends on your comfort level. It's up to you.

 

I don't know much about chickens, but I've read something about duck males trying to mate with the chickens and harming them...will you keep any drakes if you have any? If so, will they be with the chickens? If they are all females, it's fine to let them run with the chickens. If you will have a male duck, it would be best to keep it separate.

My happy, beloved little Muscovy flock: Captain, King, BB (Big Boy), Creamy, Daphne, Lilac, Moon, Meg, Ivy, Gracie, Whisper, Star, Hope, Lucky, Sweet Pea, Joy, Snow, Skylar, Misty, Kiwi Jr., Coffee, Peaches, Amiga, Chippy, and Cola.

 

My website: www.raising-ducks.com

My Instagram: www.instagram.com/backyardjungle04/

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My happy, beloved little Muscovy flock: Captain, King, BB (Big Boy), Creamy, Daphne, Lilac, Moon, Meg, Ivy, Gracie, Whisper, Star, Hope, Lucky, Sweet Pea, Joy, Snow, Skylar, Misty, Kiwi Jr., Coffee, Peaches, Amiga, Chippy, and Cola.

 

My website: www.raising-ducks.com

My Instagram: www.instagram.com/backyardjungle04/

Reply
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for responding. They are all ducks, no drakes, for the very reason you mentioned Hannah. I don't need my chickens accosted by an overly amorous, species confused, drake!

Approximately how much space do you think I would need for six WHs? Since they are a small breed, the minimum is slightly less correct? I don't plan to build to minimums but I would like to know for a frame of reference. I was thinking of having a door that would open between the chicken run and the duck run (they will share a wall of fencing), so they could go mingle if they want, but they could be separated but see each other to help socialize them. Does this seem like a good idea? I'm thinking they will have a kiddie pool in their run with the actual pond in the free range area of the back yard. We are also very interested in Aquaponics/Duckponix but are still educating ourselves on the subject.
post #5 of 7

For inside space, the minimum is 3 square feet per duck. I would go with 5 square feet though. For outside space, I think the minimum is 10 square feet. However, ducks will make a run muddy in no time, so the bigger, the better. If they are free-range some of the time, it will help. Personally, I would use 5 square feet inside, and 20 in the outside run. That would be 30 square feet for the six ducks, and 120 outside.

 

Your idea of the door between the duck and chicken pen sounds fine!

My happy, beloved little Muscovy flock: Captain, King, BB (Big Boy), Creamy, Daphne, Lilac, Moon, Meg, Ivy, Gracie, Whisper, Star, Hope, Lucky, Sweet Pea, Joy, Snow, Skylar, Misty, Kiwi Jr., Coffee, Peaches, Amiga, Chippy, and Cola.

 

My website: www.raising-ducks.com

My Instagram: www.instagram.com/backyardjungle04/

Reply

My happy, beloved little Muscovy flock: Captain, King, BB (Big Boy), Creamy, Daphne, Lilac, Moon, Meg, Ivy, Gracie, Whisper, Star, Hope, Lucky, Sweet Pea, Joy, Snow, Skylar, Misty, Kiwi Jr., Coffee, Peaches, Amiga, Chippy, and Cola.

 

My website: www.raising-ducks.com

My Instagram: www.instagram.com/backyardjungle04/

Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok, so it's pretty much similar to chicken guidelines. The run probably won't be quite the 20ft/bird, but they will free range from morning to dark almost daily, only exceptions will be when I'm not home for the day, which is rare. I'm pretty much a homebody. smile.png Still vascillating on taking her ducks as that does double the space required. The original plan for the chicken run was 20'x10' but then hubby decided to claim approx. 5-6' in length from the 20' to park his mower under. It turned out to not really be enough for what he had in mind. So there is already about 6'x10' under roof, just not fenced in. We were thinking it would be perfect for three ducks, but six...I guess it's time to take some more measurements after DH gets home tonight. I think there is some metal roofing left over too, so I need to check that out also!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I did it! Introducing Elinor, Gwendolen, and Lili to add to my Margo, Edith, and Agnes. Here are all six in the tub this morning. They had a blast. smile.png
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