Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye or both

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by jgell, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. jgell

    jgell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2010
    Avondale
    I am considering adding a pair or two of diving ducks to my collection. Buffleheads and Common Goldeneye are currently all that I have on my list of possibilities. I am trying to stick with species that might at least fly over my area of southeastern PA. I'm also trying to stay with those that eat more insects and less fish. I would appreciate it if those of you with experience with these species could tell me a little about their demeanor, entertainment value and some suggestions on where I could buy a pair. I have found only one farm with Buffleheads and they are on the opposite coast. Also, please let me know of any other species I should be considering.

    Thanks
     
  2. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Just out of curiousity, why are you sticking with species that could fly over your area?

    Second Goldeneye are considered divers, not that they eat fish like mergansers but they are exactly like puddle ducks.

    They pop up occasionally on..
    GBWF
    featherauction

    and mallard lane farms raises them, as well as many other "farms"'
     
  3. jgell

    jgell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2010
    Avondale
    I keep my ducks on an open pond so if they were to breed then I would hope the offspring would find some others come migration time. I have incubated some of my wood duck eggs and have banned a few of the ducklings before release. They always leave (except my two pair of pinioned birds) even though they are welcome to stay. I have had one confirmed female return the next breeding season. Of the 10 or so I have banned one returner isn't bad considering their survival rate.

    By puddle duck do you mean they will stick their butt up in the air and bob up and down? Or will they dive under and some time later pop up somewhere else? I am looking for something with a little different behavior than what I have now (Wood Ducks, Northern Pintails and Mallards).

    I have gotten my some of my Wood Ducks and my Pintails from Mallard Lane Farms and I was more than happy with them but they don't have Buffleheads, Goldeneyes yes.
     
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I don't keep ducks, though I do chat with someone that keeps many species. She said that the buffleheads were the only ones she had to get rid of because the drakes tried to mate with anything and everything, to the point of greatly distressing all her other species, and causing physical damage to some of them. I don't know if it was just her experience or not but I wanted to relay this on for further research.
     
  5. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Michigan
    Buffleheads can be aggressive durring breeding season we have never had problems as long as we keep one pair per pen they will chase other species of the pond but this only last for a couple of weeks then they get along with everyone again, Goldeneyes can also take control of small ponds durring breeding but not as bad as Bufflehead. Both species are fun to keep our Goldeneyes are very tame waiting at the waters edge for the daily Mazzuri to get thrown to them. They do benefit from a higher protien diet than puddle ducks we use the Mazzuri sea duck diet to supplement the duck grower pellet which we feed, that and CLEAN water and they do fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Meant to say they aren't* exactly like puddle ducks.

    mallards, pintails, gadwall, shovelers, blue/greenwings...
    puddle ducks or dabbling ducks tip up to feed on vegetation and rarely dive
    their legs are set near the center of the body
    generally have iridescent speculum feathers
    swim with tail clear of water
    their hind toe isn't lobed
    their feet are smaller than diving ducks
    and they spring into air upon take off


    Diving ducks
    dive completely under water to secure feed
    legs set near rear of body
    speculum generally dull, lacks iridescence
    usually swim with tail held close to water
    hind toe lobed, feet are large
    on take off, they patter along surface for some distance before flight.


    From Waterfowl identification in the central flyway
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  7. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Why isn't it editing? i have tried editing my above post several times and it won't let me...


    mallards, pintails, gadwall, shovelers, blue/greenwings...
    puddle ducks or dabbling ducks tip up to feed on vegetation and rarely dive
    their legs are set near the center of the body
    generally have iridescent speculum feathers
    swim with tail clear of water
    their hind toe isn't lobed
    their feet are smaller than diving ducks
    and they spring into air upon take off


    Diving ducks
    dive completely under water to secure feed
    legs set near rear of body
    speculum generally dull, lacks iridescence
    usually swim with tail held close to water
    hind toe lobed, feet are large
    on take off, they patter along surface for some distance before flight.


    From Waterfowl identification in the central flyway
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  8. jgell

    jgell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2010
    Avondale
    Got a pair of Common Goldeneyes in the mail this week and after a few days in the soft release pen I opened the door this morning. They eventually made their way out and have diving ever since. They seem very comfortable in their new surroundings. Only problem was it seemed like my N.A. Pintail drake was trying to mount the female goldeneye. That ended pretty fast but I thought it was odd. I think they are going to be a nice addition and I can't wait to add the Buffleheads this fall.
     
  9. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 5, 2010
    Michigan
    Glad to here they are adjusting well, the pintail was probably just interested because they were new. The Goldeneyes are always fun to watch.
     
  10. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    n.w.FLORIDA
    I love my red heads. They are a fairly common and inexspensive duck. The male kinda meows like a cat. Good entertainment and they arent a big fish eater. Get along great with the birds you have.Most people dont talk about these much. Pretty birds.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012

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