Advice about breeds...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dunnmom, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    I would like to know what breeds would be recommended for someone in my particular circumstance. Here's the details.

    I broke 2 broody Buff Orpington hens last year (chickens). They were very difficult and it was awful. I would like to avoid having to do that anymore. However, I do not have space in my chicken pen for more chickens.

    I do have a nice big lot with a backyard pond, though, so I have considered letting my chickens hatch some duck eggs. I'm leaning toward the more wild type of duck, because I want them to be able to handle themselves with daytime predators, and over-eager children. I would build them a shelter for sleeping in and possibly lay eggs in, but they would otherwise be free to move about.

    Egg laying proficiency would not be important, nor would it be important for them to stay put on my lot, although those would be nice. A quiet breed would be desirable. I'm simply looking for something for my broodies to do, rather than be miserable for nothing.

    We have wild mallards in our pond every year, so I know it's a decent environment for that breed. But, what others might fit the bill, so to speak?

    Also to note, it would probably be best if the eggs weren't very small as my chickens weigh a minimum of 8lbs., and I would not want the eggs crushed.
     
  2. blayt90

    blayt90 Crowing

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    If you are looking for Quiet breed that can handle its self i would say to try Muscovy's. I have heard that they are a quieter duck and often do well raising ducklings.
     
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  3. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    I appreciate your reply. My sister had a couple of Muscovys, but they did not handle themselves with predators. Both were killed in broad daylight. Her Muscovy drake was also very nasty and aggressive to humans once he came into puberty. From what I've gathered, they are supposed to be great pets, but I was looking to go a little less domesticated.
     
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  4. blayt90

    blayt90 Crowing

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    I know they would not be cheap if you could find them but have you thought about a pair of wood ducks? especially if you build them a nesting box on a metal pole on the shore of the pond.
     
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  5. Chelsa'sChicks

    Chelsa'sChicks Songster

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    We had Pekin ducks twice and both times they all were eaten by either fox or opossums. It was terrible. I will never buy them again .. I'll let someone who has a safer area with less predators buy them. The ducks themselves were very sweet and never aggressive. Kinda loud when they saw us or if they saw a quick movement. They had a house we built on the pond island for them and they loved it. The problem was they loved it so much, they wouldn't come back into the barn for safety and just stayed on the pond in their little house.
     
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  6. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    Hmm... Wood ducks sure are pretty. I actually found a local guy that has some on his farm. That could be a good possibility...
     
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  7. Emmaxx

    Emmaxx Songster

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    I like my black east indies! They are classed as a bantam breed but that only means they are about the size of a mallard, and you already know your pond suits their size well! The eggs aren't excessively small either, about the size of a medium chicken egg (UK store bought), but I think duck egg shells/membranes are a bit tougher than chickens' anyway so might not be as much of an issue as a smaller chicken egg?
    I have not discovered how true it is for myself yet but all the things I read say they are good flyers but tend to stay close to where they're raised, so would be able to evade the predators but would still return if they flew off.
    Mine can be a little noisy, at least for where I live, although they are the only kind I've had so can't say how they compare to others/chickens. I wouldn't say they are excessive though as they only seem to make a ruckus when they are trying to get my attention or tell me something like one of the rabbits has got out into the garden :lol: I would think that a set up like yours would keep them happy and therefore quiet!
    They would certainly be some eye-candy for your pond!
     
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  8. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    Interesting. I have a list of what this guy says he has besides wood ducks. Maybe that would help us narrow it down. I want to buy local, I'm paranoid about shipping living things, even eggs.

    Ancona
    Call duck eggs
    Rouens
    Black/ blue swedish
    Welsh harlequin
    Khaki campbell
    Cayuga
    Pekin
    Flying mallard
    Silver mallard
    Buffs
    Runners
    Saxony
    Muscovy

    He says he knows he's forgetting some other varieties he has. They are all free range on his land.
     
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  9. Emmaxx

    Emmaxx Songster

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    I love the idea of wood ducks (and the other beautiful ornamental ducks too) but personally they would be a bit expensive for me to want to pay if I wasn't overly bothered about them flying away :/ also there seems to be laws regarding wood (type) ducks in the US so you might need to have a chat with him about that! (oh and migratory ducks too, so would that rule out the mallards?)

    What sort of predators may these ducks need to contend with? I would say avoid the heavier breeds, again no experience but hear they are less able to fly out of harms way, and I would rather not have a large duck around my children that is aggressive enough to chase off say a raccoon (as mentioned I'm in the UK where we don't have them so have no idea how easily that could be done haha) but if his free range and is local then maybe you wouldn't really need to worry about them so much either?
     
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  10. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    The common predators in my area are stray dogs and cats, foxes, opossums, and hawks. I think it would be helpful for the ducks to be able to fly and make a quick getaway. I also have a son who is mentally disabled. He loves animals, but is still too rough on the small ones. He likes to try to catch the wild mallards, and thankfully they are faster than him.
     

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