I'm thinking of getting ducks... - Page 2
Are you out in the garden at least half a day every day? If so, your setup will work great. If not, you can and probably shouldto build them an outdoor run, because they are outdoor animals. It doesn't have to be as big as 15 sqft/duck if they free range often, when you're outside, but they should be able to go outside. The coop will also smell less and be less messy! However a 160sqft coop is a lot for 4-6 ducks, so you might be fine if there's lots of ventilation.
I would also suggest using shavings for bedding, with sand around your watering areas. Shavings are absorbent, which is great for duck poop, and have an aroma that helps tone down their poop smell. However, you do not want them around the waterer, as they will be wasted. To reduce the waste, just put the waterer inside the bottom half of a dog kennel, and use sand inside the watering station.
I would suggest providing bathing water too. Use the kiddy pool, it would work well.
Some things I find very easy to use and little "hacks" are rubber feeding pans- the shallow kind. These can be used as duck steps, "water catchers", "feed catchers", to feed, for splashing water, to provide grit, etc. I always have four or five in the duck coop. They're easy to clean, durable, and very efficient.
If you're concerned about mess with water, use a chicken automatic waterer, and provide a partially covered bucket for nare/eye washing water. I have almost no spillage with this setup.
I only clean my coop twice a year. I use the deep litter method, and then in spring and fall I strip clean- scrape and clean everything off, hose down what I can, and do any fixing that needs to be done.
Good luck with your ducks.
The rouens look lovely!! I wouldn't be in the garden for half of the day unfortunately so yes I think I will have to attach some outside space to it, thank you for the advice. I was thinking of getting about 3 ducks to start with and seeing how it goes, would it be best to get all females or two females and a male? I've looked at the rubber matting to go on top of the concrete and the boyfriend, being a floor layer has asked if we could use vinyl instead?
As for the ducks, I would get two females and a male. I would say there's a 90% chance you'll end up with more, whether that means breeding your own ducklings, buying more, etc. That way if you want to get eggs, you have the females, but if you want more ducklings, you have the male.
My ducks were straight run, so I don't know exactly what is what, but a few are quacking. I knew if I ended up with extra males my family would appreciate duck meat. I would, however, have prefered to get one specific male so I knew what I was getting. I just didn't have that ability since I am located in remote Alberta
So we have decided to build the house to go inside the shed for them to sleep in and therefore hopefully will make it easier for us to locate the eggs! What would you say are good qualities/features to have for the house? I was thinking something that opens up to allow easy cleaning. Any advice would be greatly appreciated 😆
Thank you, the boyfriend is busy building as I type lol. We've just lifted a few of the slabs (if you can see the floor slabs from the previous pics) and there's soil underneath, would it be worth laying some turf so they have a grass area in there too rather than just all shavings?
Hello! So I'm pretty new to ducks, you can take my advice with a grain of salt
Personally I'd suggest all girls unless you do think you're going to want to hatch your own ducklings, just because a drake can cause issues. If they're overly rough they can harm your girls (even can kill, but I think that's usually with multiple drakes, not just one), in which case you may end up having to separate him during mating season at least until he got older and calmer, or if you were up for it, sell him, or eat him. One of our girls turned out to be a boy (that's why we got 2 more, instead of just the 3 Cayugas), and we couldn't bring ourselves to get rid of him because they're all extremely attached to each other. Most of what I've read suggests 3 to 6 female ducks per male, although it can be absolutely fine with less.
I've been scratched badly by my Muscovy once, but that was bad luck, I was holding her on her back and she just caught my hand while she was struggling. Her scratches don't seem significantly worse than my 3 Cayugas, my Ancona probably is the worst but that's just because she's the least friendly, she kicks the most. With all of them they only scratch me accidentally, they kick their legs when picked up, with the Muscovy as long as I put my arm under so her feet rest on it she stops.
I would recommend Muscovies if you don't mind clipping wings, ours is a total sweetheart, she comes up to us and greets us, wags her tail, her noises are adorable but she's very quiet. Our girl ducks can be really loud if they want to, almost always just because they're hungry or want treats or because it's morning and they need out of their house.
We only got her 3 weeks or so ago, we've had the Cayugas since they were 3 weeks old, but she's the friendliest by far. My mom said if we were to do it again she'd get all muscovies.
I think she definitely would sit on eggs if we let her, she spends 2-3 hours every morning sitting on her nest after she lays an egg, but as long as you collect them up it shouldn't be an issue.
Good luck! I think ducks are definitely worth the effort, and the eggs are great! Our muscovy is the only one laying at the moment but it's been daily for 13 days now, super creamy scrambled eggs, really good flavor in the yolk for things like soft boiled or fried.