Best duck for me

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by John46, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. John46

    John46 Chirping

    Nov 2, 2011

    I am interested in getting a few ducks. Although they will be working ducks, I still have to look at and care for them, so I want something that matches the following traits as closely as possible.

    I like calm and quiet. I do not want nervous ducks. Several sites list the Welsh Harlequin as being very laid back. I am not interested in show stock, but they have nice colors, and I believe I would enjoy breeding them. What are their faults?

    Blue Swedish can be bought now from Ideal. That is a plus because I plan to drive near Cameron and can pick them up, so no shipping problems or fee. In temperament, are they about the same as the WH? They also have nice colors that I believe I would enjoy. What are their faults? The listing says that crested ducklings may be included. I do not want crested ducks at all.

    I know about the Muscovy, and that should be the perfect duck for me, but I just don't care for them.

    I am not knocking anyone else's preference in ducks. I know many people love crested ducks, and the Muscovy folks will almost fight for their breed. I just want a breed that suits me.

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    When you say working do you mean eggs and or meat?

    What colors do you prefer?

    Are you planning on breeding?
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I wasn't interested in the muscovy duck until I saw my girl. Remember that the girls don't get as large caruncles as the males do.

    Look at her? How can you not love that! [​IMG]

    She is very quiet. She peeps, and that's it.

    Any likings towards bantam ducks? Call ducks are so cute!
  4. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Songster

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    I've only ordered Khaki campbells from Ideal, but I can say that mine are "eggcelent" specimens [​IMG]
    I had an extremely high shipping mortality rate (75% [​IMG] ) but they handled my refund fine for being such a big company, and their poultry people seem to know what they are doing. I don't see any reason not to use them if you are close enough to avoid shipping, period.

    Some of my swedish are very laid back and a couple of them are raging brats to my other ducks (but those two are destined for the oven because of that.) None of my swedes have laid eggs for me so I can't judge their eggs, but I will be processing 5 of them this afternoon so I'll be able to comment on their meat quality in the next day or so.

    I have nothing but good things to say about my harlies, they are beautiful, sweet and smart. I haven't taken time to pick up and handle my ducks every day for a while now but my welshies have gone months without contact, then sit on my 3rd graders lap and watch TV for an hour calmly like its something they do every day. (This is what happens when I'm not home...)

    I've been keeping an eye on ideal's prices, and based on their sales on swedish, I don't see how you can go wrong with a batch of those for your first ducks. Especially if you're not hoping for an egg a day or show quality birds. Hatchery swedes are pretty much never show quality, as I understand it; they've been bred for colors and don't have the proper conformation to represent a standard of the breed, but they come in such amazing colors. After all, if you don't like them you can always sell or freezer them and try something else later on. That's the beauty of keeping ducks--- they make great pets, and great dinner as long as you're not squeamish.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  5. John46

    John46 Chirping

    Nov 2, 2011
    Kevin -
    I don't care for solid white. That is about the only color requirement. When I say working, I mean able to eat twice their weight in grasshoppers every day. I have promised myself that I will never go through another summer like the last. I believe it was the second worst year for grasshoppers in the past 25 years. On some plants (figs in particular), they not only ate every leaf, but also the soft wood at the leaf base. Eggs are okay, but I don't believe we would eat one of the ducks. I do want them to breed, because genetics is interesting to me. I have no interest in showing.

    Aoxa -
    Muscovies are pretty and I have had them several times in the past. I guess if you are careless, any duck can scratch you, but I think Muscovies really work at it. I am an elderly gentleman, and have never been handsome, but I look worse with the marks on my arms from the last bunch I owned. I like the picture of your duck very much. Bantam ducks are nice, but not for me.

    Thanks both,
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    It would help if you'd give some of your requirements beyond "calm natured".

    My experience with hatchery Swedish wasn't good. Poor quality, all of them mismarked, high strung temperaments, and poor feed conversion with a final size half of what the SOP calls for.
  7. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Songster

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    Again, while I haven't bought swedish from ideal before, I am very impressed with their campbells, so I would naturally assume that their swedes are probably ok too. Generally light weight class ducks are the best foragers, and will turn those hoppers into eggs very efficiently, and the culls are an improvement to table ducks from Indian runners; the original lightweight egg duck.
    I've been seeing ideal advertise swedes as low as $1.15 apiece this winter. I really don't see how you could go wrong at that if you wanted to start some ducks asap. Every duck I've ever had has been mad for grasshoppers, I don't think you'll get any complaints expecting them to gorge themselves all day long on the hoppers.
  8. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Runners are supposed to be the best foragers of all. On metzer's site it talks about that is why they were developed to stand upright; so they could cover more ground. They are also good layers, and IMHO, alot of how calm animals are is just how much time you spend with them when they are little. And duck eggs are great for eating, I don't think you can really tell a difference in the taste except that they make things fluffy and more moist when baking.

    DUCKGIRL89 Songster

    Apr 28, 2011
    Quote:I have never owned swedish, but my hatchery quality rouens eat A TON! Im not sure what hatchery they came from (guessing ideal hatchery) but the rouen hen I got from metzers is so cute, much better natured, OUTSTANDING temperment, and doesnt eat much either. I might be getting rid of the rouens, but I will keep her around no matter what...
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  10. Roxy1989

    Roxy1989 Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    Quote:Your girl is absolutley beutiful [​IMG]

    when i first saw a muscovy was like err whats on its face [​IMG] he's one at a local park, now i absolutly adore him,he's my fave there.he's so friendly and flys straight over to me when i get there..
    would love some muscovys when i build another pen [​IMG]

    here he is ..........



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