considering ducks..?s

drdolittle

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 25, 2010
19
0
22
Downeast
i'm considering adding ducks to the homestead....I hear great things about Mascovies ......I'm wondering tho about how they'd do in winter in eastern maine (without a heater)? i've been told they'd help with the slug & mosquito problem, like the small creek we have, get along with chickens & goats etc, and obviously there's the egg &meat option. i was also told they might try to stay outside and sleep on the water or nest in trees?what if i couldn't get one inside during the winter- would it be too cold for it? would they eat my garden too? I know the chickens ate quite a bit... would there be a better breed?thanks.
 

Bleenie

Wyan-DO's
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
5,014
82
268
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I don't know about winters in Maine, but, Mine do just fine during winter here in WA. As long as they know where their "home"(pen) is. I've never had mine roost in the trees either but I know some do.

Mine pretty much stayed away from my garden last year, i did sometimes give them tomatoes and extras though...the geese & chickens were terrible on it though
somad.gif
 

Mahonri

Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 14, 2008
30,365
304
526
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
Wish I were on a farm. I'd have ducks and geese and quail and guineas.

Alas, I live on 1/3 acre lot. I have chickens.
 

veronicasmom

Songster
10 Years
Aug 31, 2009
1,323
51
171
I live in ME, and ours do fine without heat. I just have a birdbath heater in their pool and a heated dog dish for their water. They can always get out of the wind and the rain or snow if they choose and I keep a big pile of straw in their shed all year long, but I put extra in in the winter. They will all hunker down in it when it is really cold. Other than the extra corn they get in the winter, that's all we've ever done and ours do great.
 

drdolittle

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 25, 2010
19
0
22
Downeast
thanks for the replies. i can't do a heated water-er or tub. would that be a problem? we do bring the all the animals fresh warm water twice a day during the winter.
 

ohiofarmgirl

Songster
11 Years
Jan 22, 2009
1,420
5
161
Quote:
what she said
:)

we dont even have a heated waterer....and yes its fine to take them warm water. but WARM not hot - remember that ducks need to dip their whole head in the water and will splash around a lot (part of their preening). the other end of the equation is that they need to be dry. so we always put the bucket at one end and keep the fresh dry straw at the other end of their shelter. as long as they can be dry they will be fine.

as veronicasmom said - pour on the corn to help keep them warm but dont forgo bagged food entirely.

the good news is that in the summer our ducks basically need...nothing. the adults hang out on the pond and the mommas+ducklings only need a good shelter and a yard to roam around in. we feed bagged food (duck starter) for the little ones, but they will spend their days chasing bugs and eating grass. the cutest thing ever.

good luck!
 

fisharescary

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
220
0
109
Quote:
If nothing else, you could always turn them loose in your garden only after the growing season is over and things are harvested...of course, if there's something that's supposed to still be there in the spring, you may want to consider that...they go for the younger, more tender shoots though. Bigger plants *should* be fine. If you want to be extra careful, only turn them loose *around* the garden, and they'll get the pests before they (slugs, snails, etc) reach the garden, and any time they come out of the garden. Should help take the pest population down quite a bit.
 

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