a few questions about ducks/ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CrazyChookLady5, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi everyone, I would LOVE to get some ducklings to raise but I know nothing about them...so here are a few questions about them:

    - I have 17 hens and 3 roosters, would it be ok to have them in with my chooks? (if so would I need another coop for the ducks?)
    -here where I live, in winter it only get to about 2 degrees at the lowest and I has never snowed, so would it be ok weather for the ducks still or would I have to do something about that?
    -if I get more that one drake will they fight like roosters do?
    -I don't have a dam or anything like that close to my chook shed, so would I have to build one or have a little blow-up pool or something like that for them, or can they go without that sought of water source?
    -can you eat their eggs?
    -I'm not sure what type of breed to get (if I get some) what breeds do you recommend?

    I thinks that's all my questions
    thanks :D:D
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Welcome, Chloe Adler,

    If you have girl ducks, that might work. Each flock has its own personality, but many people keep both together. Ducks don't roost, so if they are roommates, the ducks need space that is not under the roosts.

    2C is probably just fine for most ducks (I have a few slightly less than hardy ducks myself), the key is protecting them from predators.

    It is possible two drakes will fight. Some get along, though. Again, it depends on the individuals and if they have enough space and enough girls. Three females per drake is a minimum ratio that is a starting point. Some drakes need more like six ducks (girls).

    I use what we call concrete mixing pans for swimmies. They are great - very tough, just the right size - will hold four or five runner ducks - easy to dump, rinse and refill.

    Their eggs are delicious, in my opinion. Every now and then I hear of people allergic to them.

    Of course, I am in love with my runners. And my adopted buffs are really great. If raised right, ducks are really sweet, friendly funny animals.

    Water management is key to your happiness and their health. It is not that hard but takes a little planning. Sometimes people write in to the forum about how awfully frustrated they are because of the way ducks are with water. They are waterfowl. Chickens generally find such behavior disgusting. [​IMG]

    I am a ducks-only person right now, so I hope we hear from some of the many people who have both.
     
  3. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the info,
    I'm thinking if I get duck's i'll just get or make another coop for the ducks, do they need nesting boxes?
    and with the concrete pan did you dig yours into the ground or is it just sitting on top of the ground??

    "2C is probably just fine for most ducks (I have a few slightly less than hardy ducks myself), the key is protecting them from predators."
    are you talking about the weather question here?

    thanks for you help again!
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, that was in response to the weather question.

    My ducks like little corners and make their own nests - so I put 2'x2' plywood sections perpendicular to the wall of the shelter.
     
  5. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, I have been looking at other peoples ponds for their ducks and some are just in big puddles or small streams and thing like that, would they need to clean them or would it be ok just to leave them with the water that's in it??
     
  6. kpborkowski

    kpborkowski Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi we are only fairly new to ducks too but we have had chickens for about 6 years now (no roosters though) but thought I would let you know how things are going with the mix. We got 2 muscovy ducklings when they were only a day old (so very cute) and they are now about 9 weeks old and we know that we have a duck and a drake.

    Currently our muscovys free range full time and the chickens part time at the moment only under supervision. So far so good and generally we have not had any issues only once has our drake and 1 chook had a tiff and it was over food but nothing that doesn't sometimes happen even with the chickens.

    They all currently sleep together at night, with no problems. We do have to put the ducks in the pen ourselves though and I choose to do this once the chickens are settled.

    As far as water goes they sure do drink a lot and are messier than chickens I even noticed this when they were in the brooder. We have a small kids pool (clam shell) which the ducks absolutely love so I would consider getting something similar - it's so fun to watch them. They continuously use it throughout the day.

    I really am in love with this breed they are such characters and wag their tails like a dog when you talk to them. They are very friendly and quiet too. Our drake honey (now big daddy) haha will sit on my 10 year old daughters lap still and snuggle in :) he is huge now too.

    I'm sorry I can't really help you with all your questions but whatever you do good luck - I love our ducks as much as the chickens but unfortunately we are only allowed 2 as we live in the suburbs :(
     
  7. bahamian raiser

    bahamian raiser Out Of The Brooder

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    I too used to have chickens when i was about 8 i kept them for about 2 years and only got about 6 chicks out of the 11 chickens i had . But ducks are more enjoyable in my opinion they respond different and some species are very vibrant in color
     
  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    You can, i choose not too... my main hens do free range which means by default they are around my main flock of ducks, they are neutral on one another. It should be mentioned drakes(male ducks) are known for mating hens, now not saying it always happens, mine for instance don't touch them but the risk is there and can be potentially fatal for the hen.

    Also the mess factor, ducks MUST have water to eat, plus bathe and clean the nares(nostrils) so that means a greater mess than chickens which is where housing together can be an issue, i also personally dislike how chickens peck at ducks.. i brooded a combo mix once for a short period of time and that was more than enough to turn me off.

    I am currently -25C so yes, they can handle cold. Some breeds better than others, really no different than chickens in that regard.

    More than one drake? yes, they can fight.. but so much is dependent on personalities, set-up etc.. i have several here they tussle but because i usually separate housing and free range things go alright, i generally would not recommend many drakes for a start out the gate however. Usually rule of thumb is 2-3 ducks per ...

    I use troughs and kiddy pools... those are perfectly acceptable options, easier to keep clean... they don't call them waterfowl for nothing! and to drain. Some do more elaborate set-ups depends on the individual.

    Yep, you sure can eat the eggs! often touted for baking actually.

    Breed wise? I have Muscovy, Buff and calls here. You need to sort why you want ducks, some are great layers(even better than chickens with some) some great foragers, some dual purpose etc. Storey's guide to ducks has good basic info on care and breeds, if your interested, also scan the forum plenty of breed talk here.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so do you guys reckon that ducks are more friendly than chickens
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I know of some very friendly chickens, so I am not sure the difference is between ducks and chickens as much as individual birds.
     

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