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Not again!!! Another duck gone broody.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My Khaki female hatched out six ducklings a month ago. It must be catching, because now my Cayuga has a clutch somewhere on my acre. Probably under the giant juniper bush. 

 

More ducklings! Man, they sure are prolific. One good thing, my Khaki babies I think (not positive yet) are three females and one male. (I sold two earlier this month). 

 

Here's the Khaki mom with the babies a month ago. And the Cayuga female who's broody. 

 

post #2 of 6
We have lots of hens on nests this year since I am not hatching in the incubators like we usually do. I love letting the hens be mamas but the crows are a very real danger so we have been taking the ducklings, plus we sell the ducklings since we can't keep too many ducks. I have one mama that we let keep 2 of her babies because she is such a good mother so she is in a chicken tractor with them until they are bigger. I think she has a hen and a drake so we will probably let her keep her hen and sell her drake but for now they get to stay with her.

I would love to see lines of ducklings with their mamas so we are working towards more cover to keep the crows out but for now we have to grab ducklings after they come off the nest to keep them safe. I still hate taking ducklings away from mamas but we can't keep them so it would happen anyway at some point.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

At least you let her keep two! Yeah, unfortunately crows weren't around here much until this past year. They have a nest somewhere and are always present.

 

My Khaki, probably due to a lot of large tree cover, did manage to raise all that she hatched this spring. 

 

Good luck with your plans. 

 

I see you're in WA, too. I'm on the east side. Very hot today. :)

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccaWA View Post

At least you let her keep two! Yeah, unfortunately crows weren't around here much until this past year. They have a nest somewhere and are always present.

My Khaki, probably due to a lot of large tree cover, did manage to raise all that she hatched this spring. 

Good luck with your plans. 

I see you're in WA, too. I'm on the east side. Very hot today. smile.png

I lived in Ellensburg for many years so I remember heat and snow, lol. I actually grew up in Colorado so it was the same there.

We have seen a reduction in the crows the past few years so I am hoping that as the lilacs and the fruit trees grow and give us a fuller canopy it will allow more ducklings to have protected areas and stay with the hens. We have done more incubator hatching in the past because we sell ducklings and breeding pairs to start as many flocks as possible but with my injury needing surgical repair before I can walk again we are not putting as much effort into our breed conservation efforts this year. We have breeding pairs available so people can have their own ducklings and let the hens do the work.

I just got all our ducklings sold as breeding groups and now we have more hatching but at least we have two nests hatching together (three actually with two hens sharing a combined nest). The two remaining with the hen will be used to make breeding pairs later.

I would like to let the hens hatch and raise all our ducklings and then band each family group for identification to make pairs but alot of people want the ducks to be socialized so we want to offer ducklings too. If we sell the ducklings off the hens instead of out of the brooder it will take more effort to socialize them but it is not hard while they are still young.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Sounds like you have quite the business going. I only have a few ducks; two ducks, two drakes right now. As soon as all the four remaining ducklings grow to butcher size the males along with the adult drakes will go to processing. The drakes are aggressive toward the chickens (grabbing neck, mating behavior) so they gotta go! I do sell eggs and at least two of the four ducklings are female so I'll keep only females next year. 

 

I think the mature blue spruce is about the best cover as the boughs go all the way to the ground on the outside, and underneath is a weather-proof, hawk-proof shelter. I'm sure there are other bushes and trees that would provide good cover, but that's what is on my property and they've been great for the birds. Now that it's very hot, I have the mister hoses running under those trees and it's 20 degrees cooler under there. 

 

Hope your surgery goes well, and good luck with your business. Sounds ducky! :-) 


Edited by beccaWA - 6/6/16 at 5:51pm
post #6 of 6
I do want more evergreen bushes, especially along our property line. I have cotoneaster and emerald gaity growing up areas of our chain link fence and I like the way they make hedges. We also have privacy slats in the fence to keep babies from getting out of the yard. I transplanted some mungo pines during a drought last summer so I am not sure they survived but we do have a nest under one of them. I have lost some azaleas in my front yard, possibly due to snails, so I wish I had planted them in the back yard instead because the ducks eat up the snails.

I did not realize how dedicated we would become in preserving this breed. We started with a trio and in 2 years we had a breeding flock of over 50. We also started many other flocks since we have hatched hundreds of ducklings. Now I just want a maintenance flock so we are not keeping 50 ducks. That was just the project goal. They also had to be self-supporting since it was a community service project for my daughter's Girl Scout Silver Award. We have even started flocks with other Girl Scouts so they can do the same. We have an ideal climate for ducks so we want more people to realize the benefits of going green and keeping ducks.
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