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6 ducklings due to ship out on Nov 7th. Help please ??'s *pic added*

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by r4eboxer, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Lets see if this worked. I found a pic of my pond and thought I would share. I hope it worked right![​IMG]
    yea! it worked [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/img]

    I have the fever! I have been getting set up for ducks for the past three years. I have a half acre 2 year old pond with a thriving ecosystem now finally. I wasn't planning on putting ducks in until next spring but I was on Ideal poultry's site looking for chicks and they had ducks for sale as straight run.

    I couldn't help myself and I bought 6. I have no idea what breed or sex they will be. Well I sort of have an idea because ideal is sold out of all but about 6 breeds so I figure my ducks will be a mix of those 6.

    I have available my basement for raising them until they can go to the pond in the spring. I have a heat lamp and plan on putting them in a rubbermaid container for the first few weeks and then into a larger brooder in the garage when they feather out.

    Questions: I have 16 baby chicks coming too. Can I brood the chicks and ducks together?
    When should I begin to show them the pond? I am prepared to take them to the pond for swimming on mild winter days but how young is too young to begin them?
    I am putting dh up to building a floating duck house with a pulley so I can pull the house in to gather eggs (hopefully I get some females) Should I have a duck house on land as well as one in the water? Do you think I need the one on the water? I am hoping the floating house will keep them safer.
    I plan on letting them free range, I am working on adding guardian dogs (who will be enclosed in their own yard) to deter predators from entering the ducks range. What types of things will I be up against as far as free ranging goes? I planned on clipping wings but decided against it. I want them to have that defense mechanisim but don't want to lose my ducks to the wild either.

    Ok I know that is a lot of questions. I will stop there. I have not been able to find a whole lot of info on ducks like I have on chickens.

    Thanks to all who took the time to read this mess.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  2. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Sounds like you got the bird fever. Congrats!
    I have tried to put them together. It really doesn't work.
    Ducks are little piggies, and make a mess out of everything.
    They tend to overeat, so it is not recommended to use medicated chick starter with them, as they can overdose on the meds.
    If you can separate them, do it early, the first few days you could keep them together, until you get another setup for them.
    Good luck with them!
     
  3. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Quote:Thanks for the quick reply and the reminder. I forgot how messy ducks are. I was 7 the last time I had them. I did buy a duck starter without medication. I am waiting on my meal worms to come in and I have my aquariums ready and the wheat bran is in the garage for the mealies too so I will have natural food for them as well.

    I do have the set up to put the ducks seperate. I was trying to keep one bin that needed cleaned but I don't want that mess all over 16 chickens.

    Ah I can't wait to see my little waddling babies. I am so excited. It's like I am a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for santa.

    Anyone have ideas on when to introduce them to the pond?
     
  4. featherfinder

    featherfinder Runner Lover

    You will probably want to wait till they are fully feathered before you introduce them to the pond in winter. Ducklings can drown and get chills very easy. Even more so in winter.


    Also there is a member that just built a floating duck house. Let me go find the thread because it could give your DH some good ideas to get started.


    He made some changes later in the thread so look over all of it if your interested! Good luck!!!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=527707
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  5. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I could make a suggestion, it would be to be ready for them to outgrow their Rubbermaid container in 2 - 3 weeks and that they will be large enough and tough enough to start spending time outside at about 4 weeks, even in the winter. In your place, I would plan to have out door shelter (perhaps with a heat lamp) that will keep them out of the wind and that they can be closed up in when it's cold, by the time they are 4 weeks old and certainly by 6 weeks. They will be adult size (almost) and have their first full set of feathers at 8 weeks. There is NO way I'd want 6 baby ducks in my house all winter! Nor is it either necessary or good for them to do that. They will need some heat and protection from wind and cold - tight housing and good bedding - but they will do better being outside.

    Not sure where you live, or how cold it gets there. It's already cold (in the 20's) at night here, I wouldn't get fall ducklings, but I do have a place where I could brood them outside after about 4 weeks old. I have them in the spring and I have them out in my insulated duck house with a heat lamp at age 2 weeks. In the summer at a few days old... and they are fine!

    Good luck with your ducklings!
     
  6. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Quote:Thanks grannycarol,
    It is about 40-45 here at night now. Today it is upper 60's but it will get down to the 20's in the winter with some years we get some harsh weather of the teens or even lower in extreme cases. Usually the harsh weather doesn't show up until mid Jan to early Feb.

    I figured they would outgrow that rubbermaid in a few weeks and do have two large brooders in the detached garage that I can seperate the chicks and ducks in. I am going to start browsing craigs list and our bulletin board here for small buildings that are reasonably priced or for giveaway. I don't think I can spring another building on DH after the 45 sq foot chicken coop, the duck house and the barn I want ready for the spring.

    So am I understanding correctly that I could introduce them to the pond at 6-8 weeks? That will be mid December to around Christmas. It is nice to have a project for the winter. I usually just hibernate and dream of spring, but I think this year it will be exciting being a new ducky momma.
     
  7. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Quote:Wow featherfinder that is simply AMAZING. I am going to print that off and see if hubby is game. Love it. Thanks for taking time to dig it up for me.[​IMG]
     
  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was under the impression that it was mainly wild type ducks that utilized floating duck houses. I could be wrong. [​IMG] As others have said, wait until they are fully feathered to let them access the pond. They need to know where home is before they have access to wander too far or you may lose them.

    Something that has not been addressed yet, you said you had decided against wing clipping. But unless you get only mallards, most domestic species can't fly. I am not completely familiar with Ideal but will assume that they have the typical hatchery ducks. With that in mind, you may end up with heavy breeds (rouens, pekin) that cannot fly or even smaller domestics (runners) that don't fly and will need a secure house at night as they lack the ability to avoid predators. I would not plan on them being self sufficient as far as predators go.
     
  9. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Quote:Good point about the breeds. I am not sure what I am getting. I will post pics when they come in and maybe some of you good folks can help me identify them. That will go a long way in how I go about securing the housing etc.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:There is a farm around here that has a small pond and they have a floating house, they have pekin, rouen and a runner ... i see them all the time all cozied up, he never brings them in.
     

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