They were breed to lay eggs...they are egg laying machines....mine are real friendly but the breed isn't known for being pets. I just think mine are because in continually handling, spoiling them. Mine are very people orientated if we aren't home they go hang out with my neighbors. My little girl likes to be picked up and cuddled.
(Or maybe she just tolerates it).
My ducklings not so much...but they do settle down once picked up. And I think it's just a matter of time...it took a while for my big ducks to get settled to the idea.
You only need drakes if you want ducklings....other wise just hens....my hen gives me an egg most days.
I kinda think I want runners.
Oh I recommend not getting more than one drake. As because of the whole dog killing half my ducks this summer. I am having issues because I have two adult drake's and only one hen....hoping the four little girls I add in solves that or one drake will have to be dealt with.
And my wife said I can't kill it and eat it...so that means finding it a new home. Although I warned her any ducklings we hatch out next year are not to be pets and will be eligable for the freezer.
I ordered my ducklings from mcmurray hatchery they have an online catalog with lots of ducks in inventory.
Thanks for the info Phil, very helpful!
I have catalogs from McMurray, Cackle and Meyers (and have used MM for chicks), Meyers is known for their waterfowl too. Shipping cost and minimums will play a part in who I go with. The local feed store usually has a few ducks but you can't get particular about breed and they mainly seem to have meat ducks rather than layers. I want duck eggs, lol!
I like the Runners but wondered about their temperament, seems a lot of sites describe them as "flighty" and I want something calm, especially just starting out. I kind of like the sound of the Welsh Harlequin and the Khakis and the Blue Sweedish ducks... might just try a couple of each.
You're right on with your drake to hen ratio. The Learning Center says 1 drake to 4-6 hens. That's another thing I have to figure out, whether to go straight run or pay a bit extra for sexed ducks.
Guess I have some things to ponder this winter!