yes 1 inch wire will be fine, welded wire is best. It will last longer than chicken wire, netting is a bad idea on sides, like you said, way too easy for a critter to go threw and, bare in mind an adult hottentot is smaller than the palm of your hand (smallest duck in the world), so keep it all nice and tight. And dogs, possums, cats, it just takes one to ruin your morning, electric fence is recommended if you suspect you may have any trouble. And no, they are not fire hazzards, they dont really work like that. But just check it daily to be sure, remove any trash or grass from it, and you'll be fine. As tiny as these guys are, tell your old lady even 4 of them dont make 1 mallard!
Edited by Boggy Bottom Bantams - 4/20/10 at 4:32am
These all will tame down well, but will never really make pets, so dont be disapointed there.. I've had about 20 teal species, they are all very tame but none are handelable really.
as for your ponds, concrete ones are best and most durable, and yes the stones and sand around them are for decoration, but mainly to help keep trash and mud from being tracking and lowering cleaning . NEVER EVER EVER, make a solid concrete pen, it will eat their feet up like nobodys business, they must be kept on the ground. Logs, large stones, tuff plants, things like that go a long was to making it natural looking and keeping them happy and sequre feeling. The more the better.
No teal species is noisey either. you're also right, most all ducks are very cold tollerant, BUT For your hottentots, they are one of the cold weather exceptions. They are from Madagscar and dont really like subfreezing temps, so bare that in mind if you get long cold snaps they'll need a heat lamp. You can plan on $150- $200 just for a pair of them plus your pen exspense which you can make cheap or spend a fortune on, and grand is very easily reachable.
Cool thing with the hottentot and the rings, they stay in color year round, they dont have an eclipse version of male plumage.
The Biakals, which I just love, do unfortunately and they run around $300-$400 for the one asking about them. They also fall under the USDI permit class, hottentots and rings dont as they are forgein. Biakals really are too, (Russian) but some have been found in Alaska, so they added them to the waterfowl requiring a permit.
All teal species do get along well in comfinment with each other, they are one of the gentlest species out there, and most wont interbreed, cinnamon and blue wings are the only problems with that that I have had, and that's still rare.
Teal come in both ground and cavity nesters too. your rings will neeed nest boxes, the hottentots dont they are ground nesters, as are th biakals, but I have had the use boxes too.
Well could talk for hours about all this, as many species as I have kept, I just love to talk about them, but it's late here and I have to get to work early.
I'll check in tomorrow and see if there's any thing I can add
Good luck with them