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managing mature(breeding) ducks

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

In anticipation of spring, when I've heard male ducks can become... overly amorous, I have several questions on what I should do.

Right now I have:
3 female welsh harlequins
2 male welsh harlequins
5 female runners
5 male runners
plus 2 female geese (african & toulouse)


What do I need to know about breeding ducks? I'm assuming that if I want purebred offspring, then I should separate the welsh harlequins and runners. Not 100% sure how I'll go about that, since they all share 1 big house right now.

Is my male:female ratio ok for the welsh harlequins, or should I only have 1 of the boys with the girls? I know I have too many male runners, but hopefully 3 or 4 will be finding new homes come spring.

What triggers an increase in breeding behavior? More daylight or warmer weather? Hoping its warmer weather, since its still VERY cold here (gonna be 5F tomorrow night!).

Do ducks breed year round or are they seasonal?

How do I find out if duck eggs are fertile or not? How do I choose an incubator (assuming I should go this route since I've heard ducks generally aren't broody)?

What do ducks need (as far as housing, nesting, feed, etc) to breed?

post #2 of 9

Sorry to say but you gotta get rid of one of the welsh harlequins and 4 runners.The way I tell if the eggs are fertile is if I see the male ducks doing there thing wink .I only have 2 male muscovy's at the moment but when I used to have pekins and other breeds they would breed all year long as long as they had enough light.So I think that its light and warmth that triggers the male to really go crazy in the spring,mine are still lazing around in the yard lol

post #3 of 9

Ducks usually start breeding in winter, at least mine do. Mine will take a month or so off from laying, usually December-January, but as for breeding I don't think they ever stop. I can find a duck egg any time of the year and put it in the bator and it will develop. Obviously, the males' fertility will go down when they are molting, but I don't think they ever truly stop.

Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I know I have too many males... but I haven't been able to find new homes for them. Don't know if I can put the boys together, away from the girls, and they'll be ok. Yet another one of the numerous questions I've asked here and haven't had answered. I can't even count the many times I've posted questions here, since I can't find the answers anywhere else, and I get NO answers! he

I'm so fed up with having questions that don't get answered, after performing my own research and coming up with nothing. Makes me want to give up completely on having ducks. hehit

post #5 of 9

I almost always have too many males. My ducks all flock together and I don't have any problems. Most of the time the boys are too busy fighting with each other to 'overwork' the ducks.

Right now I've got 5 pekin hens, 3 rouen hens, and 1 runner hen. I've also got 2 pekin drakes, 1 rouen drake, 1 runner drake, and 3 mixed drakes. So almost even numbers, and they do fine. Though 3 of the boys all hang out together, they've yet to be accepted by the rest of the group.

I think this is the first time since I've had ducks that I've not had more males than females. hmm

Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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post #6 of 9

sayyadina: to give you a straight answer, yes. You can separate the males from the females and they will learn to live with each other. I've done it before and it works-


Edited by KansasKid - 2/21/11 at 8:35pm
post #7 of 9

I wouldn't get rid of all your males, keep at least 2 of each......what happens if you lose one to a predator? Or one isn't very fertile?  Or  breed the offspring to  next year? Not  like they eat much... and  it  can be hard mid year to get replacements.... You could put excess males in their own pen....   I have 2 males and one female together for almost 2 years and they  don't  fight or  hurt female(but I am  going to  separate the one  male , don't want to  push my luck.....but there was another  breed on bantam duck with  them, they grew up with and they  beat him up last year, so he got moved with his girl.... I understand  about the info  thing, felt the same way, very little out there on ducks,because not many people have them I do  searches on  certain themes, like  "duck pens', "or  'breeding  ducks" etc on BYC and  come up with  some good  info.
  Bascially  ducks  have different  personalities and  also how you raise them seems to  make a difference. Some "lines" of  ducks  seem  more  aggressive  or  timid etc. some  are friendlier etc. I ' ve seen  sme  say Runners are mean. I have some of Dave Holderreads runners and they are not aggressive at all, have housed them all together for 2 years and my drakes don't  fight... they  come when  called,and literally get under my feet.They are only 'skiddish' is I move real fast. I have to be careful not to  step on them when I feed them or  put them in their  pen.....So  different ducks have different personalities and you can train them. If you have a really mean  or  bully duck, you may want to  cull him....


Edited by mominoz - 2/22/11 at 1:16pm
Slave to an Arabian, 2 half Arabians, a donkey,2 rat terriers, a jack Russel terrie ,a cat. Purebred Penciled, & Gray   Runner ducks, Dutch Hookbill Ducks, Saxony Ducks and Mini-Silkie Ducks: Mini Shetland Geese, Brown Super Africans. All from Holderread stock.In the foothills of the Georgia Mountains.
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Slave to an Arabian, 2 half Arabians, a donkey,2 rat terriers, a jack Russel terrie ,a cat. Purebred Penciled, & Gray   Runner ducks, Dutch Hookbill Ducks, Saxony Ducks and Mini-Silkie Ducks: Mini Shetland Geese, Brown Super Africans. All from Holderread stock.In the foothills of the Georgia Mountains.
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sayyadina 

I know I have too many males... but I haven't been able to find new homes for them. Don't know if I can put the boys together, away from the girls, and they'll be ok. Yet another one of the numerous questions I've asked here and haven't had answered. I can't even count the many times I've posted questions here, since I can't find the answers anywhere else, and I get NO answers! he

I'm so fed up with having questions that don't get answered, after performing my own research and coming up with nothing. Makes me want to give up completely on having ducks. hehit


Im sorry you feel that way. I just looked back thru all your posts and only 1 didnt get answered. Some of your posts were the same just worded differently but they still got answered.

~Nicky~
Mum to 5 Dogs, 2 Cats, 4 Mini Horses, 1 Mule, 1 QH, 5 Goats, 1 Goldfish. I have short fat white ducks and tall skinny coloured ducks, and a few geese And eggs in the bator.
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~Nicky~
Mum to 5 Dogs, 2 Cats, 4 Mini Horses, 1 Mule, 1 QH, 5 Goats, 1 Goldfish. I have short fat white ducks and tall skinny coloured ducks, and a few geese And eggs in the bator.
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post #9 of 9

Last year I had 3 boys and 6 girls.  I felt awful for the girls, they were constantly pursued bu the boys and had very few feathers on the backs of their heads sad

This year I have one boy and 5 girls.  I think they'll all be happier this year.

If I it were me, knowing what I know now, I would separate the drakes (or most of them) in a bachelor pen.  Ducks breed year round (I witnessed this just the other morning in 0 degree weather hmm ) but the males will go on a mating frenzy (at least mine did last year) come spring.   Not sure if it is the light or temps that trigger it...

Check out this thread for more info on determining an infertile vs fertile egg:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008

There are many good threads about which incubator to buy; use the search tool in the blue bar up top.  Personally, I have 3 incubators (Brinsea Octagon Eco 20, Genesis Hovabator, and LG still air), and I use the LG for my ducks because of all my eggs the duck eggs are easiest to hatch.

I don't change anything as far as housing/nesting/feeding goes for my breeding ducks.

Worst case scenario, if you can't separate/rehome, let them all be together and see what happens.  Ducks have individual personalities, just like people do; your ducks may all get along just fine.  Keep an eye on them with a back up plan to separate if you see trouble.

"Paradise lost is sometimes heaven found" - Arthur Yorinks
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"Paradise lost is sometimes heaven found" - Arthur Yorinks
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