Originally Posted by jducour
That sounds a lot like my flock, mine is just a bit smaller :) I got 5 straight run ducks from IFA, hatch date of March 2nd 2015. Turns out - they were all drakes! I wanted eggs, so an all drake flock wasn't an option. I found a home for three of my beauties, and welcomed four - year old ducks to my flock. They were already laying, and they have been wonderful birds. The two I raised myself are very attached to me, and one of them thinks he is a person. You have to watch where you walk because he is always underfoot.
I'm not near Kearns, I am in Riverton, but I have toyed with the idea of selling my surplus eggs. I was hoping to save up some eggs to get us through the winter, I understand a lot of ducks either stop laying when it is cold, or they slow way down on production. I will soon run out of room in my fridge though, so we will see. How do you plan on getting through the winter? Will you be providing heat in their coop? I have heard conflicting advise on both sides, and am not sure what I will do. Nice to meet you!
It is nice to meet you as well! I also have heard conflicting advise. Some say to go all natural, that is what they do in nature and some say thats poppy-cock the flocks we have today are not built for nature and this is not the South. I pretty much side with the latter. That said...
This is my first year with laying ducks in the winter. I don't exactly know what I'm going to do for them. Their own pen has not been built. I have not worked out the planning details that will make it the ultimate home, so all I have done is surveyed the area and roughed it in. Currently they are housed in a large dog run with a dog house at each end. I put a roof over it but I dont know how it will stand up to the snow. It only had to take two or three snow storms last winter/ spring before the weather broke. I do have power running to it and heat lamps out there. One heat lamp has an led light bulb in it. Not for heat obviously, but for light so I can see what they are up to in the middle of the night. I also live next to a commercial building that has security lights on all night, so I could not give them full dark if I wanted to. They can go into the dog houses for that i guess. but they don't hang out in them very often.
Last year I covered the whole kennel with thick opaque plastic and wood panels around the base to keep the wind out, but they were babies and I was worried about drafts, I dont think that will be as big of an issue now that they are grown, but I may do that still. I have always been a bit over protective. Its hard to balance air circulation with wind protection. Its also hard for me to wrap my head around the possibility that they like the cold and do fine with no heat or light. I have heard they like to play out in the snow, so I plan to do just as I am now and let them out all day but leave the door open if they want to snuggle down. Or.....I might just get offa me buttum, pry open the wallet and get to work on their own pen that would have more enclosed areas. Im loosing daylight so better make up my mind.
Im more worried about what to do with their rather large pond for the winter. This poses some new great problems. But thats another story.
My cousin lives down the street and has had ducks, geese & chickens off and on for years with mixed winter results. She never provided additional heat or light for them, but its a neighbourhood so light pollution is unavoidable. and houses provide some wind resistance. Evidently they have an on-going loose dog situation down that way so she kept loosing her flock. she was so jealous of my yummy duck eggs this summer. I was sharing, but not enough as mine were still babies and not all laying. Anyway, she went out and bought some mature ducks so she has eggs this year. In the past, some of hers quit laying till spring some kept laying but production was certainly down.
I have a great mixed flock. I got one of my Pekin from IFA The rest I ordered from Metzers out of California. Two of my layers are Golden 300 hybrid. They are bread to be awesome layers and I dont expect their production to drop much. Two are Rouen, also good layers so I expect their production to wane but not stop and Two more are pekin which are pretty good layers but I expect their production to be pretty spotty or cease completely till spring. But im only feeding two people. Well just me most of the time because DH does not have breakfast very often. So I think I will have plenty of eggs for my eating & baking needs and be able to share & sell the rest.
I guess we will have to go & learn through this winter thing together ;-)