Any advice for a pet duck newbie?
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Welcome to the duck forum!
Ducks can be great to have - and there are some that seem to have personality disorders!
They are different than chickens, from what I have heard, in some significant ways.
You might look over the Breed pages - the Mallard page was just put up today. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1073858/duck-breed-focus-mallard#post_16394682
There is a sticky for raising ducklings, too.
The Duck Thread is full of everything duck, so you can poke around there and see what's what.
I don't have chickens, but I can tell you that ducks have a special relationship with water, and if you manage for that, things are pretty good.
Predators will come out of nowhere for ducks. In a few cases, people who have had chickens noticed more predators after they got ducks.
I enjoy my Runner girls, my Buffs, BEI and my Buff drake.