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Buff Ducks

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Are buff ducks a good first duck.  Anything I need to know about them before I get some.  Any tips for first time duck raisers.

Just general information from some people with experience would be great.

post #2 of 15

Hi there.

I think, any heavy weight / medium breed duck would be a good first duck.

I started out with Anconas and never really looked into Buffs, but ran into some problems with a drake & ended up trading him for a Buff duck a few months ago.

She is VERY mellow.  Her "quack" seems to be more quiet than my Anconas, unless she wants to be heard.

She is pretty shy, but she has begun to warm up to me & is slowly becoming my most inquisitive duck.  She is always hanging around me when I am out doing chores lately.  I turn around & she is just standing there behind me, watching me.  She came from a large duck farm and I think she is becoming more friendly with fewer ducks around and a little more individual attention.

(Though I have been getting funny looks from all the ducks since I cut off almost all of my hair - 2.5 # of it!)

She is a good forager, and a great garden duck.  Not to mention being awfully pretty.

She also is a great layer, hasn't missed a day that I have noticed since we got her.

 

There is a good thread building for first time duck owners here in the forum, but here are a few key things for you to mull over:

 

1.  Make your brooder as enormous as you can.  Really, not big - enormous.  They look little when you bring them home, but they grow fast, and all that fast growing messes the brooder up quickly.  They also make their brooder very wet, and that makes the smell even less pleasant.

 

2.  If you can put the water dishes over a plastic container or some kind, with hardware cloth over the plastic container it will minimize splashing messes.

 

3.  They will need to be in the brooder longer than you will want them there.  Plan a space where you won't be forced to post "Can I put them outside YET?". 

 

4.  Having a small run / outside exercise area built for them for nice days will help you like ducklings better.

 

5.  Make their coop & run big enough for at least 3 times the ducks you think you'll ever want.  Even if you never add to your duck population you will be glad they have the space.  My duck house is supposed to be able to house 10 ducks, if you do the square foot math.  I think I could add 1, maybe 2, before I reached maximum capacity.

 

6.  Research, research, research, then when all your research gives you a nervous breakdown just remember, it is a lot easier than it sounds.  :)

 

7.  Prepare for your worst possible winter scenario when you design & build your coop.  If you build for winter conditions & make it Fort Knox against predators you will enjoy the experience a lot more.

 

8.  Save money where you can, but don't cut corners where predator protection is concerned.  I have read some horrible stories here, and I know that no set up is infallible, but the more sure you are of your enclosure, the better you'll sleep. 

 

Have a blast with your ducks.  My sweetheart had never heard of garden ducks / backyard ducks before.  He was interested in chickens for the yard (as long as he didn't have to do any of the work) so he let me get ducks as long as I would raise some chickens for him to have eggs.  (I have come to enjoy the chickens a lot more than I expected.)  Now, he loves the ducks.  He even asked me to get some Cayugas for this year. 

He is glad we have the chickens, but even he favors the ducks - especially the Buff.  He loves her & named her "Heather".  He is on a 6 month hike now, but as the build up to the trip & stress of getting ready peaked I found him out with the ducks more & more often watching them in the yard.  He says I should charge money for people to come watch them, and wants to build a duck pond when he gets back so they can be out back & we can watch them swimming from our kitchen windows.

 

Well, that's probably more than you bargained for in one post, sorry.  hide.gif

Oh, and welcome-byc.gif.

 

I have 2 wonderful sons, 3 ducks (2 Anconas & 1 Buff), 4 laying hens, a Holland Lop bunny, and a big scaredy cat.  I am a Chef, Baker, Bluegrass "Musician" (I know, you can't do both) and artisan. 

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I have 2 wonderful sons, 3 ducks (2 Anconas & 1 Buff), 4 laying hens, a Holland Lop bunny, and a big scaredy cat.  I am a Chef, Baker, Bluegrass "Musician" (I know, you can't do both) and artisan. 

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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok, that good to know so they seem nice, has she ever gone broody.

Are they renowned as good or poor mothers.

post #4 of 15

She is just a year old and has not gone broody yet, but I have a feeling she will.  Possibly soon.

She has built quite a large nest in a corner of the duck house (far away from the nest boxes) and covers her eggs very well.  She caught me in there a few days ago and started a new nest in another corner. 

She also acts very protective of the other ducks in a mother duck way when she s startled by something.  (The Anconas are a good deal smaller than she is.)

It is just a gut feeling, but I half expect to see her hissing at me from her nest some morning this summer.

I'll let you know if/when it happens.

I think I'll let her brood something if she does.  I would be happy to be able to add to my flock without an incubator in my bedroom.

I have 2 wonderful sons, 3 ducks (2 Anconas & 1 Buff), 4 laying hens, a Holland Lop bunny, and a big scaredy cat.  I am a Chef, Baker, Bluegrass "Musician" (I know, you can't do both) and artisan. 

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I have 2 wonderful sons, 3 ducks (2 Anconas & 1 Buff), 4 laying hens, a Holland Lop bunny, and a big scaredy cat.  I am a Chef, Baker, Bluegrass "Musician" (I know, you can't do both) and artisan. 

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post #5 of 15

DSCN0594.jpg

 

yes they can go broody

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Beautiful looking buff you've got there!  Was she an independent mother?

 

Sound like hopefully your duck will go broody as well.

post #7 of 15

idk she had to share a shed with the rest of the flock at night 4 males and 10 other females. she raise that baby for like 2 weeks then i think she dumped it.   But becuase there was a flock the duckling just intergraded with the flock. the buff ducks sister was the flock loudspeaker though she was always talking and loud.

 

she was the friendliest duck to would come check new things out and follow you around the yard


Edited by Mike Winters - 4/14/12 at 8:18am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Winters View Post

DSCN0594.jpg

 

yes they can go broody



What a wonderful picture!

 

 

 

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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mum View Post



What a wonderful picture!

 



I love it.. love.gif

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

 

http://www.godvine.com/Kari-Jobe-Powerfully-Sings-I-Am-Not-Alone--6360.html?utm_source=...

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Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 15 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

 

http://www.godvine.com/Kari-Jobe-Powerfully-Sings-I-Am-Not-Alone--6360.html?utm_source=...

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post #10 of 15

We adopted two buffs, and they tend toward the broody.  With no drake, we won't know, at least till living arrangements change.

 

But they are good foragers, thrifty (don't eat much to maintain healthy weight), great layers, and did I mention both my DH and I love them to pieces??love.gif

 

 

They are friendly, not lap ducks, but the were dumped and rescued so I don't blame them for being circumspect.  They are loyal to each other, blended well right away with our flock of runners.

 

Love them Buffs!

 

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.
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