buying ducklings vs. adults

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ambrose, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. ambrose

    ambrose Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2012
    I've been playing with the idea of eventually getting some Mini Silver Appleyards.

    What are the pros and cons of getting 3 unsexed ducklings and brooding them in the garage vs. getting an adult breeding pair and letting the mama go broody and raise some ducklings in the duck house/pen?

    Luckily I'm within a reasonable driving distance of Holderread's. We're allowed 3 birds w/out any permit here, but i've heard most permits for more are approved -- though i'm not sure how high the upper limit goes. I'm thinking it would be fun to have a mama duck raising ducklings. Once they are grown i'm thinking I could rehome/sell them as male/female pairs and maybe save one or two.

    Is this a foolish romantic notion -- or does it actually make sense? Would letting the duck raise a whole bunch of ducklings be easier than raising three in a garage brooder (half of this is I'm afraid of burning the place down with a heat lamp!)

    And though i don't really want a whole lot of ducks for the long run, somehow just three ducklings seems so meager.

    *How many eggs do Mini Silver Appleyards tend to sit on at a time? Or is that something i can intervene in?
    *Do you think in a town like Portland there'd be willing takers for grown mini appleyards? I'm not completely opposed to meat birds, but not sure I want to go there.
    *If I charge money for them would that run up against some commercial vs. non-commercial zoning law? (I dont' really care about a profit -- I'm doing it for fun, would just want to break even)

    It's probably awhile before i take any action, but I enjoy the planning process. My overall goals are: Fun for the family/pet (have small children); slug/garden pest patrol; and some eggs would be nice. (and well, to out-Portlandia everyone who has chickens here)
  2. Poultrycrazy mom

    Poultrycrazy mom Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2011
    Columbiaville, MI
    If you get unsexed ducklings you have a chance of getting more than one male or possible all males, although they are cuter! If you get adults you know the sex and you could start hatching eggs sooner :) Hope this helps
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England


    Glad to see you are thinking ahead!

    Something that crossed my mind as I read your post is that while there are male-female pairs that do well, often the suggested drake to duck ratio is 1 to 3, sometimes 1 to 6, depending on the drake.

    There is quite a bit of work involved, from what I have seen on the Duck Forum, even when you have a mother duck raising her young. One thing that can happen is that the duck, well, how do I say this . . . is not very good at being a mother. Ducklings get stepped on, hurt, killed, so sad things can happen.

    And some mothers are champions, and some drakes are even good with ducklings. But it's not possible to predict how it will go.

    There are duck rescue groups here and there. Our nine runners came to us as day olds, but Romy and Michele, our buffs, are adopted rescues. And they are just great!
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Good choice. The mini Appleyards are gorgeous ducks.

    If you buy 3 ducklings, you take a chance on what sexes they will be. Holderread doesn't sell sexed ducklings. The plus side is that they are much less expensive than adults. However, I suggest you get at least 6 ducklings and then when they are old enough to tell, you can keep 2 ducks and one drake.

    The good thing about buying an adult pair is that you know what gender and also what quality they are. They will be ready to start hatching ducklings for you. The only down side is the cost. Not that the price is unreasonable, but it is a lot more money.

    Something to keep in mind. Holderread is dispersing his birds, a few breeds at a time, so there are no guarantees about how much longer he will have any breed.
  5. ambrose

    ambrose Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2012
    thanks all. Oregon Blues -- I'm resisting the urge to rush "before it's too late"! But I imagine there will probably be some mini silver appleyard ducklings around somewhere in Oregon -- any ideas on where to get from locally in the Willamette Valley?

    I should really wait till all the young humans in my life are a little more manageable before I take on other dependent creatures. And also wait till the youngest stops mauling the cat, who can at least fend for himself against her.
  6. poultry09

    poultry09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2011
    Rainier, Oregon
    I don't think their will be any problems if you want to sell any ducklings (if you go with adult route that will hatch out their own) as I live near Portland and I am always buying birds from people who live in the city,( they don't have the time/money for them etc.) so you are safe their!

    mini appleyards can be a pretty popular breed of duck, I would think that you would have no problem trying to sell/give away any extra ducklings
    If I where you I would go the adult duck route, cause you would not have to clean a brooder box, worry about the ducklings getting to cold/hot, any house pets attacking them (even tho the adults are still small they can recognize a threat and least run away from it), if you got adults you could put them out side right away and not have a brooder in the garage. (ducklings are very very messy with their food and water!) but all that is my opinion

    go with what ever will be easiest and best for you

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