Breed Info - Metzer vs Storey?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by antirice, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. antirice

    antirice Out Of The Brooder

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    We're looking at getting our first ducks sometime in the coming weeks. After searching the forum quite a bit it seems like most folks recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks for info. Many folks also seem to point people to Metzer Farm's website for info.

    My quandary is that these two resources disagree highly with annual egg yield per breed. For instance, Runners produce 150-300/year per Storey, but only 100-180 per Metzer. Metzer claims that the breed used to produce much better than their figures indicate, but that the breed has been diluted a bit since then. Storey makes no mention of this. Also, Storey says that the Campbell's produce 250-340/year while Metzer claims 165-210. That's quite a difference!

    We were looking at Runner, Campbell, Harlequin and Metzer's Golden 300 breeds since we're primarily looking for eggs.

    My question for the group is: what's your real-life experience been with these breeds as compared to what these two sources say they'd produce? I know each duck will be different even within a breed. I'm just looking for generalized info. We're only getting 3 or 4 ducks and I don't wanna dork this up right off the bat by getting the wrong breed.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  2. Happy Quack

    Happy Quack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My experience has been that MOST hatcheries ducks follow storey's guidelines. It does state in Story's that the runners have declined in egg production. I have read the book several times. The depends on which strain of ducks within a breed that you end up with.
    Example: I have gotten welsh harlequins from holerreads, Cackle, and Metzers. I ordered from Cackle and Holdderreads one year and had wonderfull results with egg production. Both over 300 hundred a year. The next year I ordered Harlquins from Metzers . The egg production was down at least a hundered eggs a year. I did treat the birds exactly the same. Your management of the birds will affect production. I do provide light in the winter and a insulated, heated (45 degrees) duck house when it is really cold. I also am very picky about how clean their house is. My gals are Animal welfare Approved. The standards are very high for their living environment.

    I have had good luck with Mcmurray's Khaki Campbells. They did about 320 their pullet year. Same with Holderreads and Cackles Cambells.
    Other good breeds for laying are Appleyards (Holderreads), Anconas (Cackle) and Magpies (Purley Poultry). I personally have not had a runner that met the egg production of a Campbell.
    I might add that the show stains are more geared toward looks instead of egg production. So look for production breed birds unless you plan on showing them.
    Good luck with you adventure in ducks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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  3. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I agree with @Happy Quack. (Great post, btw!) I think it really depends on whether the Runners are from a line focused on maintaining high egg production for individual ducks or on just mass-producing ducklings to sell. If you want lots of eggs from Runners, try to find a good breeder who selects for that trait.

    My girls are from Meyers (I would have preferred to get ducklings from a breeder, but at the time, I wanted only females and most breeders don't sell sexed ducklings) and my Welsh Harlequin was the first to start laying with the two Buffs starting right after and all three have been laying very consistently. (The two Cayugas on the other hand, well, it's a good thing that they are gorgeous. ;) )

    From what I've heard, Khaki Campbells are supposedly the best layers (but flighty) with the Welsh Harlequins after that.
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My runners from Metzer the first year produced over 300 eggs.
     
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  5. antirice

    antirice Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    Just to clarify - I wasn't meaning to compare a Runner's production to a Campbell's. I was only using those two as examples of breeds I'm interested in that had varying info when comparing Metzer's numbers to Storey's. I don't think I've read many places where someone thought that the runner would outdo a campbell. Just that both were good laying breeds.



    @Happy Quack - my apologies. I didn't recall seeing it in the Storey book, but then again I only skimmed it a few times.

    I understood that living conditions will have an effect on the egg production. I didn't realize that different breeders would be producing different strains within the same breed that might have egg production varying in the triple digits like that. That's good info to have!





    Does anyone here have any experience with Metzer's golden 300? Looking at mcmurray's site, it appears as though they offer the same breed except they call it the "gold star hybrid". I'd be interested to know how they compare to a campell or a harlequin. I'm also interested in the golden 300/gold star's temperament. I my kids are young yet (6-9 years old), so a bird that's not prone to being flighty/aggressive is appealing. Supposedly the golden's temperament is excellent.

    I think we're going to get 2-3 of a Campbell or other super-good layer and then I want a Runner just because I find them to be so stinkin cool.

    And as far as where to get them from goes, I've got to get them sexed - I'm only getting 3-4 and I'm hoping for eggs. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a favorite breeder that seems to be good for production-oriented birds.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  6. Happy Quack

    Happy Quack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My campbells from Mcmurrays are really not that flighty. Same with the Harlquins. Except the Harlquins from Metzers They were very flighty and large for the breed. I don't mean to downplay Metzers but that was my experience with that breed. I have ordered meat ducks from them along with buff geese and love the geese to pieces. I will again order meat birds from them in the future.

    I have not tried the Golden 300. My personal favorite breed are the Silver appleyards. They are so laid back. I have never seen a duck that mellow.
     
  7. antirice

    antirice Out Of The Brooder

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    So it seems to be a common theme here (and with local folks I've spoken to) that Metzer's isn't the best for egg-layers...

    Anyone have a favorite place to get good strains of egg laying breeds from that also sexes the ducklings?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  8. Happy Quack

    Happy Quack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cackle hatchery, Purely Poultry and Mcmurray will sex most ducklings. They do seem to send pretty good stock.

    My favorite is still Holderreads but the only send strait run
     
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  9. antirice

    antirice Out Of The Brooder

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    Just FYI: Cackle will not sex all of their ducks. Campbells were available sexed, but black runners and Welsh Harlequins were only available straight run.

    Purely Poultry has better pricing/shipping so if the local place I call tomorrow can't help me out, I'll order from them.

    Thanks for all of the help!
     
  10. Happy Quack

    Happy Quack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is why I said MOST breeds. I did not state ALL breeds.
     

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