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A few duck questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Chickfever, May 1, 2008.

  1. Chickfever

    Chickfever Songster

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    I've heard that ducks will eat fish from a pond. Is this true? I have a small pond with goldfish and I don't want them to eat the goldfish. Do ducks HAVE to have a water source? If so, how much is enough for a couple of ducks? Also, is there a breed that won't fly away? I'd hate to get some, get attached and then have them leave. Will they go in with my chickens at night? What type of food do they eat? Do they winter well? How would I keep my cat and the neighbors cats & dogs from getting them?

    TIA!
     

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

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    Quote:Yes, ducks will eat fish. They will also eat plants. If you don't want them in your goldfish pond fence them in or fence your little pond.

    Quote:Ducks do need a source of water. they may not need a pond but they should have a bucket of water deep enough to at least be able to wash their nostrils out several times a day. A small child's wading pool would be wonderful for them.

    Quote:Once they learn where home is they will stick around to be fed. Domestic ducks need your care. As long as you take care of them they won't wander far from home. They are not like their wild counterparts that can provide and forage for themselves.

    Quote:I never keep different fowl in the same pen. Some people do but eventually there may be some problems with that arrangement. Ducks like water to splash and play in, chickens do not. You don't want your chicken coop a wet soppy mess. Duck poop is not like chicken poop. Believe me it is far messier.

    Quote:They need game bird starter. Many people ffed chick starter to their ducks but chick starter lacks the protein they need as well as extra niacin. If you are going to keep ducks be responsible and start them out good in life with the proper feed. After a few weeks you can switch them over to regular game bird feed.

    DO NOT FEED MEDICATED CHICK STARTER. The meds in this type of food build up in their body and will end up being fatal.


    Quote:They are not wild ducks. They won't be able to survive in the extremes. They will need the same care in winter as they need in summer. They need at least a 3 sided shelter, good feed and fresh water.

    Quote:Cats and dogs will kill your ducks. If you cannot fence out the predators in your neighborhood then fence your ducks in their special place where nothing can penitrate and get to them.


    Please remember that raising any animal is a huge responsibility. A responsibility that is not tobe taken lightly. If you are going to take on the care of ducks or any other fowl make sure you are able to provide for their needs properly and not have to make due with something lesser. They require care more than just food and shelter. Their living area will have to be policed and the poop kept clean to keep down disease, flies and smells in the summer.

    I would suggest you get a book or two from the library on the care and needs of ducks and other poultry and read, read, read. Then you will be better able to decide if ducks are for you.

    TerrieLacy is a moderator here on BYC. She is on the board of directors for the duck rescue network. She has much information on how to care for ducks and would be wise council on what happens to ducks that are not properly tended.
     
  3. My cats love my ducks, they are so gentle with my baby call ducks. My ducks have a kiddie pool to swim in. Now, since it is breeding season, I have them in their breeding pens. I am collecting their eggs now, so that I can have my broody silkies sit on them./
     
  4. Chickfever

    Chickfever Songster

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    I forgot to mention that my cat is blind in one eye and is terrified of mice [​IMG] The neighbor's critters are a whole different story. Check here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=523306#p523306
    for
    other problems I'm having with them.

    We have had some wild ducks in our pond the past week or two when I go out EARLY in the mornings. They don't stay around long.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

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    The wild ducks might be trying to feed.
     
  6. Chickfever

    Chickfever Songster

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    I'm guessing that's why they are here too. Is there anything I could put out there for them so they won't eat all the goldfish? The fish are an overrun from a small backyard pond and my neighbor didn't know what else to do with them so he dumped about 3 in my pond last spring. There are now close to 100 in there [​IMG].
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

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    With that many they probably do need thinning out. Perhaps you could advertise some for sale and thin them that way.

    You don't want wild ducks taking up in your little pond. They do cary diseases that any domestic fowl you raise won't be immune to. You could put a bird net over your little pond until the ducks decide to move on.

    I know some people do think it is needed to feed wild birds and it may be where you live but you don't want to encourage them to hang around if you plan to raise your own fowl for the reasons cited above.
     

  8. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

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    Quote:They are not wild ducks. They won't be able to survive in the extremes. They will need the same care in winter as they need in summer. They need at least a 3 sided shelter, good feed and fresh water.

    I can second this, I live in northern MI where it gets very cold in winter and after my first winter with ducks I can say that mine didn't seem to mind the cold until it dropped below 15-20f.

    Mine would lay on the snow in the sun, snoozing but once it dropped below 15f, they snuck back into the garage to get out of the cold. (I have a head lamp in the garage and leave the big door up at duck height.) Below 15 f, they actually looked "droopy".

    I also had a half of a 55 gallon plastic drum buried in the ground with heated water for them all winter. I can't imagine bathing in 20 degree weather, but they loved it.
     
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

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    I will answer further later, but I am running out the door.

    Before you get ducks, you need fencing to keep your neighbors dogs away. Ducks are prime "squeaky toys" for dogs because they are fun to chase and play with. And what will happen is that once the "toy" stops squeaking, the dog will go on to the next one and the next one and the next one until all the squeaking stops. [​IMG]
     
  10. Chickfever

    Chickfever Songster

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    I'm having trouble with the dogs eating my eggs and they possibly killed my 20 - 5 month old chicks last year. Seems to me, my problems would be solved if the dogs weren't here.....except they would only get more if these left. They REFUSE to tie them up or fence them in. Said there was no sense in having a pet if you had to keep them fenced in. I don't know what they think about me having to keep my chickens up all the time.....
     

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