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Advice needed

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GVChickenMan, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. GVChickenMan

    GVChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    UK
    Hi All,

    I'm completely new to ducks but am thinking of getting some. Reasons would be for eggs and to put a dent in the slug population here which is monstrous.

    We have been doing some research online and are thinking about getting Khaki Campbells. (Probably just a trio or a trio+ at this stage).

    Would this be the right choice for a beginner? We have chickens and a couple of acres of meadow but have never kept waterfowl before.

    Grateful for any advice.
     
  2. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 3, 2010
    Norfolk, England
    Our Ducks are so simple to look after, we found that cooping them up around their house for a few weeks works best, after that they will instinctivly go to bed at night if they are allowed to free range. A childrens shell for paddling in makes a fantastic bath for them and is easy to keep clean. As for food we feed ours on mixed corn and layers pellets. We did try the waterfowl food but they were not keen on it all. Oh and as an afternoon treat they absolutely adore pasta! Sadly with all the bad weather here in Norfolk they have turned our garden into a bog [​IMG]
     
  3. GVChickenMan

    GVChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    Thanks for the info Ferdinand. What sort of ducks do you have? I'm over in Herefordshire so I guess I'll end up with a bog too.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
  5. GVChickenMan

    GVChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    Thanks Amiga.

    It was really advice on breed I was after as a beginner. All of those stickies have some really good info but I wanted someone who has experience to let me know if Khaki Campbells would be a good fit for me or if they had another recommendation. Sorry if I wasn't clear enough (I tend just to let my thoughts spill onto my post).
     
  6. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Port Orchard, Wa
    I have khaki campbells and they are fantastic forages and slug eaters. One even managed to snag a salamander the other day. Mine are also calm and friendly so I think they would be great for a semi-beginner, like you OP.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Okay now I understand [​IMG]

    From the reports of friends and BYC, yes, KCs would be a good choice. They have Runner in their background, and I can vouch for runners' abilities to snag slugs.

    The unofficial slug population drop at our home (a.k.a. Mildew-on-the-Fog) in New England has been at least 80% to 90% in the nearly three years since bringing in our runners. I can tell you that when they were ducklings, in the spring of 2010, there were slugs all over the compost pile, several on the walkways, just everywhere I looked. I could go out and snag a dozen of them in less than five minutes, any evening or early morning.

    I now have to go turn over rocks, and even then, I rarely find a slug. After a rain there may be one slug hiding under a piece of bark near the compost.
     
  8. GVChickenMan

    GVChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    Thank you both for the input. Khaki Campbells appear to be what I'm after. Now I just need to source a supplier and decide whether to get them now or wait until Spring.
     
  9. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    OldGal and I just started with ducks last March, and are extremely pleased with our Khaki Campbells. The flock of ten is giving us, on average, 8 eggs PER DAY! They are very social and get along well with the chickens (Red Sex Links), and aren't particularly noisy.

    If one of your goals is eggs, OldGal and I cannot suggest letting them run free. You'll never find the eggs. At least ours are very inconsistent as to where they lay.

    As for when to get them; that depends on what age birds you plan on acquiring. If adults or adolescents are your plan now would be as good a time as any. If, on the other hand you are going to start out with ducklings I'd wait until spring. Between having to keep them out of drafts, warm and the smell I think you'll be glad that you put it off until warmer weather..

    One more suggestion; If you are going with ducklings, if at all possible go and pick them up yourself. We did, and even though the ride home was only about two hours they were extremely thirsty by the time we got them to the ranch. You can imagine how dehydrated they would get if they spent a couple of days in a shipping container.

    Warning: just hatched ducklings require a lot of care, but they are worth it. Since I'm retired and home all day this wasn't a problem, but if you are trying to work away from home I don't feel it will go well.

    Hope this helps,
    Mike
     
  10. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Out Of The Brooder

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    We keep Aylsbury's, Silver Appleyards, Rouens and Runners oh and a pair of Cayugas. All the ones we hatched off as Ducklings are the tamest. If we were starting over i'd go for the youngest birds i could get hold of. That said adult birds now could very well breed early spring for you and provide some fun for you over the early summer with Ducklings. As for sourcing them have a good look around on the net and find your local poultry auction. Ducks at the moment are the cheapest birds to buy in the UK! We have seen Ducks go for as little as £1 each!!!
     

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