Best duck breed for 6-year-old for 4-H?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lceh, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Central Virginia
    My 8-year-old DD had a wonderful first year of 4-H with her bantam chickens. Now her 6-year-old brother has joined 4-H and wants to do ducks next year. That's fine with me, because we're getting ready to establish a little home orchard and I want to get some runner ducks anyway for pest control. I'm guessing runners might be too big for him to handle easily though. Getting bantam chickens for DD was a great decision, since she can handle them easily for showmanship and it really built up her confidence. Should we consider a couple of bantam ducks for him? Can they co-exist with runners and forage in the orchard, or do they have to be housed separately? Is there a bantam duck breed with a really friendly and calm temperament that would be a good choice for him? Calls maybe, or is there another breed that's more suitable? Are drakes or hens more docile? I've learned a ton about chickens, but am a complete novice where ducks are concerned. I'm thinking a small flock of 2-3 runners and a couple of bantams would be plenty.
     
  2. kawonu

    kawonu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Western North Carolina
    I keep my "overstock" calls with our black indian runners just fine. We even have four very large geese in with the calls and no problems. As to drake or hen...every one has its own personality. My daughter has a snowy hen call for her showmanship and does great. My son has used a couple different drakes with now problems.
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Don't mix duck sizes. The drakes of the larger size will mate the smaller ducks and can injure them while at it.
     
  4. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Central Virginia
    Hmm, Katharinad, can I prevent that problem by only keeping female runners?

    Also, I know bantam ducks can fly well -- if I want to have them foraging in the orchard, do I risk having them fly away? I can't clip wings if DS wants to show them.
     
  5. kawonu

    kawonu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Western North Carolina
    Our calls don't fly very far even when they do fly, which is rare. The only time they do is when we go out to feed them and the ones farthest away try to fly over the closer ones to get to the feed first. The only birds we clip the wings on are the guineas.

    We don't have problems with the breeding issue. We don't keep eggs from that pen since there are different breeds in there. The runners are NOT very aggressive breeders. In fact I had more of a problem with a call drake trying a runner hen. I never had to separate any of them. The geese were a little territorial with their nest and would keep the ducks away, but never any problems with call duck/indian runner ducks.

    The only time I had to pull a hen away was a gray call hen in a trio where the drake had pulled the feathers out of her head. They grew back just fine.
     

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