Call Duck Newbie! PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MommaHen86, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. MommaHen86

    MommaHen86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Michigan
    SO we went to Chickenstock and came back with three snowy call ducks. Honestly, should of done some research but we couldnt resist them. SO.... We have them in our chickencoop at night and we are letting them be in our fenced in backyard for now during the day, but only when our two dogs arent out. We even bought then a kiddie pool to swim in everyday.

    How does everyone keep them,

    Do you keep them in a run 24/7 or could I let them free range with our flock of chickens?

    Would they learn to come into the coop at night like our chickens? I have to chase them every night to get them back into the coop and I feel bad but they are worse then the chickens at this point.

    What should they be eating? They are about 4 weeks old now.

    How do I tell what gender they are?

    If anyone has a picture or two of there runs or housing that would help greatly. And we would really APPRECIATE it!

    THANKS!
     
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Aug 3, 2009
    First off, the kiddie pool is a great idea-mine adore theirs.
    Mine are a little older than yours, but they eat Gamebird Starter/Grower(no medicated feed for ducks).
    For now, mine stay in the run during the day while my chickens are out free ranging and I have a hutch for them to sleep in inside the run at night. My little ducks are mean to my chickens(I know it sounds awful and it really kinda is)-I have seen them grab my big hens by the tail and pull them around [​IMG] and once I saw my tiny little Dixie grab my SLW hen by the throat and start to drag her around(OK, it was mean, but hysterical to see).
    I let them free range only under supervision-they LOVE when they can out of the big run and play in the mud and grass.
    I was able to voice sex mine at about 6 weeks old(females quack and males sort of grunt/whistle-hard to describe).
    Despite the efforts I have to make to keep them all apart and safe from each other, it is TOTALLY worth it-I am in love with my Calls. [​IMG]
     
  3. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    I have 7 that are about 11 and 9 weeks old. I started letting each group free range at about 8 weeks and they stay close and put them selves to bed at night. I don't have any pics of their little barn. They are eating 15% grower. I started them on flock raiser but switched when one of the older one developed a dropped wing. As far as sexing them, my little snowy duck just got her tiny quack the other day but I was already suspecting she was a she because she is much lighter than the other snowy. The other one's is still peeping. So, from my limited experience it seems like the girls start quacking by around 8 weeks and the boys take a few week longer to get their raspy voice.
     
  4. rebecky1305

    rebecky1305 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Lansing, MI
    You can feed them (and all your chics) Purina Flock Raiser until everyone is of laying age, then feed them Layena. Both ducks and chickens can eat these. Do not feed medicated chick feed.

    Oh and by the way, they are very cute. Saw them at Chickenstock.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  5. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western North Carolina
    [​IMG]
    Here is where I house the calls most of the day. My large ducks freerange til the afternoon in the yard then I switch everyone around, put the larger ducks (4) in the pen and let the calls out to freerange and swim in the larger pools.

    I feed them flock raiser and scratch grain, peas and other yummy treats. As babies I had them on chick starter.

    They do not run in the same area as my chickens. The large roo or turkeys may hurt them.
     
  6. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Quote:That is a wonderful pen you have, chickensioux-still trying to determine the best way to house my little darlings, too.
     
  7. obsidianembrace

    obsidianembrace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2009
    Utah
    Quote:With my calls it's the exact opposite. My drake quacks all the time while the hen makes quiet squeaking sounds and when she quacks it's more like a honk and it's very loud. Maybe the sounds are reversed when they're younger?
     
  8. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:You sound like you are really doing well so far, don't doubt yourself! We have 5 ducks, 3 of which are Calls. We have a drake and 2 girls. They have been free-ranging with our other ducks ever since they were here. They all live with the chickens at night and we keep them all together during the nasty days in the winter. But on good days, we let them out first thing and throw some layer pellets out to them and in the evening, they go in and sleep on the floor of the chicken coop. They all tolerate each other.

    To get them to come inside the coop at night without chasing them, is actually very easy. Keep them locked up in the chicken coop (maybe a dog crate if you have one available?) and don't let them out for a few days, except only to give them a little swim. After you feel they have learned where home is, try again and they should know where to go at night. If they don't try this again until they understand.

    As far as sexing goes, you'll actually begin to tell the difference around this age. It's all in the voice. Males will kind of have this quiet, whispery rasp and females will be LOUD! They'll trade in their peeps for quacks that really do sound like 'calls' hence their names. They're the loudest animals we have. Males will also grow their drake feathers in the next few weeks. Read here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=181147
     

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