I've been raising chickens for about 5 years now and love it. I am intrigued with raising ducks but have some reservations. I have about 1 acre, fenced in, with a small pond (~0.2 acres) which wild ducks occasionally will visit, and I have had many people say "you should raise ducks". I want to raise them for meat, eggs, and just plain fun, but am a little hesitant.
The chickens free range during the day, then go into their coop religiously every night and all I have to do is shut the door behind them. They are protected from predators, etc. I'm worried that with ducks I will have to chase them around or herd them or lure them into the coop at night and I don't really want to have to do that. We have young children and I have enough bedtime routines without chasing around a bunch of ducks every evening.
I was wondering if I should just get some ducklings, raise them inside until they have feathers, then just put them outside and let them fend for themselves. They could eat the chicken feed, swim in the pond, and just sleep outside. If I lost one or two to raccoons, it wouldn't be the end of the world, especially if they were relatively low maintenance.
Would that work?