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Best Breed Type

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Shellscom, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Shellscom

    Shellscom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2014
    I'm looking for the best breed of duck for my circumstance. I live in a location where we can get -30 up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and as low as -50 wind chill with lots of snow. I would like a consistent layer, through the winter, and I would want one that lays until an older age/for a longer overall time, over one that lays in bursts and dies down at an early age. A good tempered duck, that's easily trained would be preferred, and it must live in a free range residential backyard. Looks aren't all that important, but one that isn't an eye sore would be nice. Let me know if there are any other characteristics that I should look out for. Thanks!
     
  2. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mallards come to mind. They are said to be good layers and do well in weather that goes from very cold to very hot. My parents had mallards and they were outside with a small house year-round in Iowa. Their pen was no larger than a dog run. Only problems was the duck occasionally sat in their water dish long enough to get frozen in and snow can fill the pen area. If the area is sheltered, that would not be a problem. They were very quiet and easily trained.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    Another breed to consider are Buffs, I would still provide them with shelter against the extreme heat and cold.
     
  4. Shellscom

    Shellscom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2014
    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look into mallard ducks right now!
     
  5. littlefrog

    littlefrog Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2013
    Lansing, MI
    My mixed flock (Swedish, Rouens, Buffs, a Welsh Harlequin, and a Cayuga) all did just fine through our rather harsh Michigan winter last year... I'd recommend any of those. Perhaps not the Rouens for optimal egg production (mine lay an egg virtually every day, but not all would be that productive).

    If you want egg production through the winter you'd need some sort of shelter (I had a little 'barn' that burned down halfway through the winter, long story). And you'll need supplemental light (just make sure the timer doesn't catch on fire and burn your little barn down). But I did not provide any additional heat.
     
  6. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Khaki Campbells are hardy things and decent layers. Unfortunately that's about all I know as far as what to recommend, but I can tell you what to avoid though: Calls, Runners and Muscovies. None of them do that great in cold climates. :/
     
  7. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would disagree that Muscovies do not do well in cold. The breed is commonly kept in Wyoming and we had one in Iowa, also. They do not appear to be very consistent laying ducks, however, and mine keep wanting to sit on whatever eggs they do produce.
     
  8. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    They are a tropical duck that comes from South America, and the ones I've seen simply hate cold weather. Plus they become very prone to frostbite. :/ Just ask this guy:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just relating my personal experience. We actually had more trouble with the mallard hen sitting in her water dish and freezing in to the point we had to pour hot water in to melt her out. I'm sure individual outcomes vary. The person I got my Muscovies from has them free-ranging all winter. Some previous threads here indicate that muscovies can winter over in cold climates.

    As for Mr. Oven duck above, if I don't winter mine over, that's their fate. I think they'd rather take their chances in the cold.
     
  10. Richb353

    Richb353 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can't comment on the other breeds, but I have Cayugas and Welsh Harlequin. The Cayugas are said to be very hardy birds. I don't have to worry about the cold here in Florida, but in the 95 degree summer days, they just sit in the shade and relax. I notice both breeds will pant like a canine to keep cool. I keep a small pool on hand, but after a few hours it becomes uncomfortably warm as well.

    There are 10 females in my flock and I think 2 Welsh and 2 Cayuga females have started laying judging by the size and color of the eggs. They have graciously been providing me with 3 eggs a day. I expect more once the rest of the females pick up on the trend.

    [​IMG]

    Enjoy,
    Rich
     

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