bantam ducks-breeds and pro/cons questions


11 Years
Dec 1, 2008
Long Prairie, MN
I've heard a few things about bantam ducks and wanted some more answers, so here goes:
Are there more breeds besides calls, Australian spotted and mini Appleyards? Are Wood ducks and Mandarines considered bantams?
I've heard that calls aren't as messy as full size ducks, is this true? And how about the other breeds listed?
Are any of them better than others for keeping with chickens?
Calls are hard to hatch, what about the other kinds?
Any preferences on one breed over another and reasons for this?
Is it possible to free range Woodies and Mandarines or do they have to be caged all the time? Will they go into a coop at night like chickens?

Any answers or other info anyone could add would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance to all who answer.
My call ducks did not hatch very well at first. I guess because of the lousy weather we had this year. Lately though, I have hatched over 60 calls under the adult calls. I put them in those 100 gallon water troughs with the mothers and don't have any problems with raising them. You need to change the wood chips about every other day because they make a mess of it quite quickly. I just clip the wings on the mothers to keep them in the tubs. I have found that the manderins are really hard to raise. Norman
I don't know much about Calls or wild ducks (like Mandarins and Wood ducks), but I raise most of the other bantams. They may be a little less messy than full size ducks, but not significantly so (at least mine don't seem to be).

I keep all of mine separate by breed so I am not sure how they do with chickens. Maybe someone that raises them together can give more information. As far as productivity, it all depends on so many factors. I think they are relatively easy to breed and to hatch. That said, their productivity pales in comparison to some of the full size domestic breeds that will lay 250+ eggs per year. My bantams seem to lay about a third of that.

As far as breeds, there are the Australian Spotteds and Mini Appleyard/Silver bantams. There are also domestic mallards, Black and Blue East Indies, and Silky ducks. There are a few others, like bantam Saxonies, that are not common at all in the states.
I have 2 calls that stay in the chicken coop and hang with the chickens all day. They think they are chickens and when I try to separate they freak out. It seems to be working good for me so far but everyone is just 7-9 weeks.

I got the 2 calls when they were a week old. They aren't too messy with the water in the coop. I keep the waterer in a container so the over spill doesn't get the shavings wet. In the run they are more messy but the chicks stay away when the ducks are going crazy with the water.

I bought the calls from a woman in winthrop, mn
Hi, I've done a lot of research on this and this is what I've decided....

We are in Northcentral WI, so similar in weather to MN. I wanted hardy ducks as well. I know a gal that's way at the top of the UP of MI that has Australian Spotteds and it gets COLD there and LOTS of snow. She has only hardy animals that can survive the weather on a bare minimum. For ducks, she has Aussie Spots. She had Silkies and had tons of problems with the weather. Her Aussies are great parents as well.

I also wanted broody ducks. Aussies are supposed to be really good layers (for bantams) and excellent moms.

And I wanted friendly ducks. Aussies are supposed to be very friendly.

I love calls, but tried them 2x and both times, from 2 different breeders, they had sinus infections and we put them down as they can carry it for life and it runs rampant thru the breed we found out.

My order of Australian Spotteds from Holderreads came June 3. I ordered 10 and got 11 healthy and robust little ducklings. I only will keep 6 so will have a few to sell when I can sex them and see what colors they are.
Do you know if they are easier to hatch than calls? And what is the size difference between them? My sister has calls so I know what size they can be but I've never seen Australian Spotteds.
Mandarins are bantam ducks. They are quiet and no where as loud as call ducks. They do fly, so make sure the coop is enclosed on all sides. Arent as friendly as call ducks. Calls can be hard to hatch, and so can Mandarin eggs. So far this year I have been getting great hatches with both my calls and mandarin eggs. Mandarin ducklings can be hard to brood if you dont have a domestic duckling to raise them with. The domestic duckling will teach the mandarins how to eat and drink. Without that, you probably wont get them to eat or drink.
I've ordered a pair of young adult blueheads from Holderreads. They are supposed to be coming in October. I can't wait! Please report back from time to time on the growth, personality etc. of these little beauties!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom