Basic duck care

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by holachicka, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. holachicka

    holachicka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone! [​IMG] I was hoping you might be able to provide some insight... I was considering getting some welsh harlequin duck eggs for hatching (just not soon or DH will have a heart attack after chickens, coturnix, chuckar and now bobwhites in the bator) [​IMG] What I wanted to know is what are their basic requirements? Do you free range all day and lock them in at night? do you just let them fend for themselves all day and night? do they need to be in an enclosed pen at all times? I know you have to provide food and water of course, but am looking for the cheapest way to raise them, they will be for meat and egg production. Thanks a bunch and I hope I'm not asking terribly stupid questions, but hey, we all have to learn somewhere right? [​IMG] I'd love to hear anyones thoughts and how you do it! [​IMG]
     
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Just be prepared for one major thing with Duck's............................... They make a very very very big mess, so just get ready for that if you can and whatever you do don't even think for a minute after others tell you they are clean birds, because they are not. good luck.

    AL
     
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got two baby muscovies - they get treated just like the chickens, free range, etc. and they go in at night with them, even though they have their own pen. They are quite messy!!!
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I have Welsh Harlequins. They like to forage. Mine can't because of hawks though, but I do give them greens and they are always digging for bugs and worms in the straw. They now have a really big run with a kiddie pool and at night I lock them in a secure pen. If you don't, raccoons, foxes, etc... can easily get them.

    As you already know, the more they forage the less you have to feed them. They love dandelions, celery tops, lettuce that has started to turn, pea hulls, radish tops (the ones that aren't fuzzy), grape leaves, etc... and that helps cut down on the feed bill.

    Best reason to get WH?
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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  5. holachicka

    holachicka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Your ducks are beautiful!! Actually, you are the one who inspired me to try out this breed, I saw your post on feeding tomato worms, and LOVED your pics of you pretty girls! Also, you mentioned they can't fly, and I think that was one of my worries... How do you keep them around? I'm guessing they are a lot like chickens when you let them out to free range?
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Well, I have a fenced yard and I am in suburbia so my situation is a bit unique. What I do when I get adult birds is keep them in the pen for a full 2 weeks so they see that as a safe home. Once they know where home is, the odds of them wandering too far is slim. If they are raised from babies at your place, things are even easier. I had a break out once (son left the gate open) and the ducks went to the neighbor's yard, at all their dandelions and came home [​IMG]
     
  7. rockyspringsfarm

    rockyspringsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Wifezilla, that duck and babies is beautiful !! Can't wait until some of mine get to the 'momma" stage...The 11 WH that arrived last week from Holderread are absolutely thriving...they are such funny things ! I'm afraid mine are going to be extremely spoiled :>) Right now they are being completely little ducks. I have them in a wading pool with shavings. They tunnel under the clean bedding when I put it down as if they're certain they will find all kind of good things to eat.....They do love their lettuce clippings every day.

    I have been looking for a solution to the "nasty" thing with the water and after looking at several duck sites I think I am going to build a pool platform about 10 or 12 inches off the ground.....about 4 foot by 8 foot in size. Inset a fairly heavy rubber tub within the frame with a "tub" drain in the bottom of the "pool" attached to a clean out pvc pipe with a cut off valve on the end of the pipe. I can just open the valve, drain the tub, rinse out with muck with the hose and then refill. The drain pipe can go wherever I might need some water...garden, flowers etc. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes to clean and should be really easy on the clean out person. I intend to cover the top of the platform with 1/2 inch by 1 inch welded wire and build a ramp for them to go up to the pool. I have "visions" of surrounding three sides with lattice, putting something on top and planting an ever green type running vine to cover for shade in the summer....kinda like a garden gazebo pond ! Of course, this is all for when they go outside to be real ducks !

    Have a great day everyone.
     
  8. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Wifezilla, that is hilarious. Hope your neighbors didn't mind too much =)
     

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