Considering adding ducks to my menagerie.

kesrchicky16

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Dec 13, 2016
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Ok so my household got chickens on a whim in October. Someone told me that ducks eat mosquitoes. If I'm already caring for animals I might as well care for something so I can be outside in the evenings. Feel free to tell me this is a bad idea if it is.

Our personal considerations.
  • We don't necessarily want duck eggs. I will collect if necessary. But we would prefer a mating season and ducklings.
  • I don't have a "proper" pond. They would get a Wal-Mart kiddie pool.
  • Bug eating is very important. Especially mosquitos.
  • I thought all ducks migrated. How would I keep them "home"?
  • It can get to -30 F in the winter. But that is sever and I would be able to provide lamps for warming. I didn't have to so anything more then draft free lodging for my chickens this past winter.

I understand I may need to provide separate lodging for them. Will it hurt them if they get into the 20% lay pellets I feed my chickens? My chickens free range and so their food is exposed.

Also what breeds would be recommended? I don't want to add anything new on a whim.
 

TheTwoRoos

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Sep 25, 2015
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Most ducks cannot fly,accept for Muscovies,and they will not migrate like domestic mallards,which they can fly.
Cold weather usually is never a issue,a smaller big kiddie pool works just fine,there are problems with ducks getting legit frozen in the water,so make sure it is nice and crushed and you may even wanna limit their time.
Depending on the breed,you may get a duck egg everyday.My hens lay often.

Runner ducks are pretty nice,so are muscovies,pekins,and Anconas,I have raised all,also Khaki campbells. Anonas and runners can be a bit shy.I have also had Rouens,and a Cayuga.All these breeds accept for Muscovies,cannot fly,there more breeds who cannot.
If you have laying ducks only,it probably would not hurt them to get into the feed,but young ducks and drakes shouldn't eat it.I would suggest adding oyster shell free choice and changing feed to all flock.
 

TheTwoRoos

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As for big mosquito eaters,that isn't true.I never have caught any duck snapping at the mosqituos. They are about as good bug eaters as chciens are,maybe better do to all the babbling they do in grasses and water.
 

kesrchicky16

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Dec 13, 2016
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Drakes are like roosters right? Are there better breeds for broodyness? The whim that brought chickens into my life doesn't want duck eggs but is ok with ducklings.
 

TheTwoRoos

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Muscovy's seem to brood often (From what I heard, all mine got killed and did not even make that far unfourtently.)
Drakes are worse then roosters, no real polite way they mate. Drakes will mate with anything,and force mate everything. Lots of times they have certain mates that they will head bob and treat with great respect, other side groups are just raping targets. Drakes are rude and usually need separation. Mature drakes mate with young males and are more likely to target them then they are to females. I have had a young 3 month old drake have this happened, they can die. You cannot keep young ducklings with mature drakes, just doesn't work.
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
Oct 27, 2016
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okay so am pretty new to the world of ducks, only having two so far, but here are my answers from reading a few books and learning with my ducks.
1. not too sure about breeding i think i have two females, but from reading am sure there is no breeding season they just breed all the time.
2. its a misconception that ducks need a pond/pool of water, they love it but they just need water deep enough to dunk there bill in, also should note i do think they need water to breed.
3. i know they used to do a rent a duck in some city's (i read in a book/online) that gardeners used to rent ducks to eat the bugs in there gardens also i should note geese have be used as weeder geese to get rid of weeds in crops.
4. only wild ducks migrate as far as i know (well here in north america that is note sure about Muscovy in there natural habitat) mine fly like a brick (some said on these forums once for Swedish ducks) they barely can get a few inch's off the ground.
5. i live in canada we can get down to minus 40C or about -56F was the coldest we got last winter, but keep in mind ducks have the best down coats on the market, and one or two layers of fat to keep them warm, i have heard story's of geese and ducks freezing to the ground because they wanted to play in water when it was so cold out.
6. am just going to use chicken layer ration as where i live no one raises ducks for my hens when there laying eggs.

hope i could help out and just to say duck eggs are really good by the way. :)

edit: forgot about the breed, right now i raise Swedish ducks, there said to be an amazing starter and dual purpose duck but so far my ducks act wild around me, but i still really enjoy raising them (taming them is just part of the fun i guess)
 

TheTwoRoos

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There is a breeding season.Ducks do mate all year but are especially more alive during spring months and way worse in spring.,generally lots for fighting in spring.
 

kesrchicky16

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Dec 13, 2016
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but keep in mind ducks have the best down coats on the market, and one or two layers of fat to keep them warm

hope i could help out and just to say duck eggs are really good by the way. :)

Well... now I feel dumb is a facepalm kinda way. "What do you mean duck feather are warm?" (Extream sarcasm)

Looks like I will be having duck eggs whether or not I want them. Maybe I'll have to think hard about a drake. If I'm going to have a plethora of eggs anyway then I might not handle with male aggression. I dont have a rooster for that very reason.
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
Oct 27, 2016
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Well... now I feel dumb is a facepalm kinda way. "What do you mean duck feather are warm?" (Extream sarcasm)

Looks like I will be having duck eggs whether or not I want them. Maybe I'll have to think hard about a drake. If I'm going to have a plethora of eggs anyway then I might not handle with male aggression. I dont have a rooster for that very reason.
just saying that ducks are most likely the easiest to keep warm in the winter. but you should try duck eggs (with an open mind) there really good for baking. and making omelets.
There is a breeding season.Ducks do mate all year but are especially more alive during spring months and way worse in spring.,generally lots for fighting in spring.
huh did not know that, always thought domestic ducks breed year round and have no mating season. i really don't want to get into breeding (i raise for eggs and pets) but you learn something new every day :)
 

kesrchicky16

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Dec 13, 2016
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I'm sure part of the reluctance of eggs is more about not using the eggs we get already rather then prejudice against duck eggs. I give away 3-5 dozen eggs a week (16-17 chickens long story). However I love baking and duck eggs sound like they would take my cookies to a whole new level of fluffyness. Currently I use 3 chicken eggs when it calls for 2.

Now what to get...

No one told me chicken math could lead to ducks. These birds should come with a warning label!:confused:
 

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