A defector from Chooks to Dukes

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pongoid, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. pongoid

    pongoid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New to the duck thing. New to the domestic fowl in general.

    I am a lab scientist and have been for 20 years so most of my animal experience has been in the lab. Also was a Vet tech at a big city emergency room for 3 yrs.

    Had chickens last summer.
    This summer 1 female black runner, 1 male black runner and 1 male mutt.

    I got ducks because I thought they'd be easier in terms of winter keeping and they make bigger eggs with less supplementation for Omega 3's.
    However, so far, the ducks are messier and way more panicky than my chickens were. Any advice on any of these issues?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could ask a few quetions first? Maybe it will draw more people then [​IMG] ill answer as many as you need but I need to know what you want to know?
     
  3. pongoid

    pongoid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I sort of asked some in the first post....winter hardiness....messiness....omega 3 fatty acid content in eggs.....food supplements.....and is it easy to incubate and hatch duck eggs?
     
  4. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

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    My duck pens are on a slight angle which makes the water/runoff go to the back of the property where a big ditch is located.
    You say you have Runners they are naturally a very flighty breed. (No clue why but they are.)
    I just got some call ducks today and I can get within 3 feet of them and I can't even get closer than 20 foot to the big ducks without them going crazy.
    You could sell the ducks you have now and replace them with ducks that are calmer?
    [​IMG]
     
  5. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

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    Ducks have a very thick down coat followed by their feather which makes them warm during snow storms, cold winds, and ice during winter.
    All I know that their eggs are great for bakeing.
    You can give them Oyster Shell or crushed up left over egg shells. Since we have a big garden we get a ton of weeds which means the chickens, ducks, and guineas are in heaven! The chickens and ducks give us rich dark orange yolks and strong shells when we give them a lot of grass, weeds, and etc. from the garden. The guineas are to young to lay yet but we will see next year though!
    This year was interesting for me with incubateing duck eggs, I bought and had eggs shipped to me through the mail. (The best ratio was 3/12 eggs.) I had incubated at least 100 duck eggs alone and had only 5-7 hatch because of damaged air cells, scrambled, racked eggs, and some were just infertile. Hatching them is the hardest part, you have to have the humidity at a certain point where they won't drown from to much humidity and then you have to worry about not haveing enough humidity which leads to shrink wrapped ducklings.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a good closed up, draft free shelter they should be fine.

    Ducks tend to only be messy with water otherwise they seem to be fine.

    I've never heard anything about fattieness in eggs, so cant help you there.

    I feed my ducks nonmedicated chicken layer pallets.

    I only have four khaki campbell eggs in my incubator, they dont seem to be getting anywhere either. I would say if you want to soak up some really good.info on iincubating check out the egg hatching forum, they will help.
     
  7. jm93030

    jm93030 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Runner ducks are Nervous by nature

    if you want calm ducks you should get some welsh harlequin
     
  8. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:X2 I have welsh harlequin ducklings, they are ssssoooooooo sweet!!!
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    I've had Runners. I wouldn't call them nervous, but they are high energy.

    My ducks aren't terribly messy. Their water is set over a drainage pit so there is no mud. Wooden frame, set down into the ground, filled with gravel and toped with rabbit cage floor wire, which is heavier guage and cheaper than hardware cloth. Mud is the only mess associated with ducks.

    My ducks aren't lap pets but they come around my feet for treats and they like to be talked to.

    If you want extra high omegas in your eggs, add a small amount of flax seed to their feed. Duck eggs are naturally much richer and have a larger yolk than chicken eggs do.
     
  10. pongoid

    pongoid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Runners are fine...it was the muscovy/runner cross that is really hyper.
    Anyone know if one muscovy cross has more chance of being fertile than another? I read only about 5% of Muscovy/Pekin crosses are fertile.
     

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