A bunch of questions about Call Ducks?

cthrash1

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
3,046
5
221
Somerset, KY
Do they only lay eggs in the Spring? The guy we got them from said they'll need to be separated in the Spring into pairs...After that they could run together. And do they freerange like chickens? Will they go back into their pen at night if they freerange? Their pen is way large enough if they shouldn't freerange. And should their house have a door this winter or will they be okay with just the rubber flaps on the door and shavings...Their house is a big plastic doghouse with the rubber flaps on the door and is sitting directly on the ground so it doesn't have a cold floor under the shavings. I may move one of the wooden coops over to their pen after I get the rest of the chickens in the big coop for the Winter so I'll be able to lock them in at night.

Which speaking of Winter brings up another question...Do they go outside in the Winter and get in their pools?
 

Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
69
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
Hi...my call ducks start laying usually in early March and quit by July sometime. I don't let mine free range. I use dog houses for shelters and they very rarely use them. They prefer to stay outside even when the snow and wind are blowing. They would gladly swim all winter, but once it's cold enough for the hoses to be frozen I take the pools out because I'm not willing to carry all that water from the house!! I use rubber feed pans for their water in the winter.
 

feathersgalore

Songster
11 Years
Sep 4, 2008
339
3
119
Central Ohio
Calls are seasonal layers so eggs spring and summer. The drakes will do better if you separate them during the breeding season (so into pairs). I don't let my calls freerange (1) they fly and don't aways come home (2) they are the perfect snack size for many animals. My have thier own runs with a house. Their house is just like a dog house without a door. I'm not sure if they would go in with flaps. I have a tarp that I keep on the run for a sun shade and wind block. I keep the house filled with straw but they usually sleep in the run (yes even in the winter). My swim as long as their water isn't frozen. There was many times last year, they would be waiting in the morning for me to dump their "ponds" and refill them.
 

DuckyBoys

Songster
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
1,465
6
171
Colorado
I have mine in an aviary. This is my first winter though so it's all trial and error. Mine also have an indoor coop they can go into if they feel like it. I have never seen any of the calls in there, only the mandarins and woodies, so not sure about that. Maybe if it gets too cold they will.

I am struggling with the idea of seperating them all into pens for breeding for so many months. I don't like the idea at all. I will definatly have my show quality calls seperated for my own hatching eggs, but after I get what I want I am hoping to put them all back in the aviary and cross my fingers that they will still lay enough to make some cash. I have 3 white drakes and 4 white hens, but one hen has angle wing and a club foot so I am not including her. She might get to pair with the snowy drake just for fun and give him something to do all spring.

I am also struggling with swimming water this winter. I was Ok wth taking it away until I got the wild ducks, now I can't imagine forcing them to sit through the winter with no water to swim in. So I will probably disconnect the hose every day and take it inside and then reconnect every morning to fill up the pools.

We'll see how long that lasts. Typically Colorado doesn't have weeks of below zero weather (believe it or not most of the time the sun is out and it is beautiful) but the last two winters have been off. Two years ago we had several huge blizzards that dropped over 30 feet of snow and last year it was freezin *** cold almost every single day.

So I dunno. We'll have to wait and see just how much I feel like draggin that hose outside every morning...


My aviary





 

cthrash1

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
3,046
5
221
Somerset, KY
Thank you all for such awesome replies...It looks like I need to put some netting over the pen also...Didn't know that either. One of my girls got out yesterday but stayed close and was trying to figure out how to get back in so I put her over the fence...I am finding these very easy to catch in the pen and out as compared to when they were in the 30"x30" cage during quaranteen. I left up the brick structure that their doghouse used to be on because they like to go under it and rest often(it is 10-12 inches high) and it is fully enclosed except a small door like opening in the front and a pallet on top. I have a feeling that is what they'll use for the winter protection. Will remove the flaps and leave the doghous for them anyway, just in case because I really don't feel comfortable putting shavings in the brick thing on the bare ground, it may get moldy...

Thanks again, Cindy

ETA: DuckyBoys what are those nest boxes on the posts for? The ducks? Mine will just be in an almost 6'x8'x20" size crate I am going to make into 4-6 sections and put up on legs. The guy I got them from said they need very little room to breed so the smaller the space the easier for the drake to get the girl. Will have more breeding questions in the Spring.
 
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DuckyBoys

Songster
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
1,465
6
171
Colorado
Quote:For the mandarins and wood ducks. The calls will lay anywhere! Typically on the ground in the weeds or tucked under a fallen tree.
 

bossynbella

Songster
12 Years
Aug 11, 2007
945
3
163
Iowa
Last winter we just had one call drake and one runner duck. They did come in when it got cold out but that might have been Daisy the runner's idea. She is kind of the leader usually. We just made there inside area alot bigger. Took it from only 6'by 6' to 24'by 15' of course they share this with the chickens but we put up a ramp and DH says the other day they where in there when he went out to open the door and they all just waddled right up the ramp!

So does the pair breeding thing mean that I should give one duck to each drake? I have a White drake and a grey drake and two snowy ducks, plus daisy.

We have found a runner duck egg in the pool even! Don't know what she was thinking about that. Our Call ducks havn't started laying yet I don't think.
 

KingsCalls

Songster
12 Years
Oct 22, 2007
1,035
6
181
New Market,Tn.
I have about 16 eggs in 2 seperate nests right now! Mine will lay in spring and again starting in late Sept. or early Oct. Last year I had 11 ducklings hatch before Halloween.
As far as needing shelter for winter, mine have a 8 ft. x 8 ft. building that they have 24 hour access to and will very rarly use it. They play outside in the heat, rain, snow, wind, ice.......it don't seem to matter! I use a cattle watering troft that holds 100 gal of water that I keep full for them year 'round. I drain it every 3-4 days to keep it clean, I've connected a stainless pipe to the drain with a ball valve on the end that extends outside the pen so I can drain without having to enter the pen.
 

TheNewMrsEvans

Songster
11 Years
Sep 15, 2008
933
13
176
Big Sur, CA
The lady i got mine from clipped their wings for me so they won't fly out the top of the run...thats also an option
they already seem to run back into the house everytime i make a big noise, so i hope they'll sleep in there even if i don't catch them and shut them in there for the night.
 

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