Do Ducks Ever Mature?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CourtneyJo33, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. CourtneyJo33

    CourtneyJo33 New Egg

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    I've raised chickens for a long time. I love them. I have all kinds of very cool rare breeds. It's something I'm naturally good at. I've never had issues with smell, diseases, bugs... nothing. It's a piece of cake. I introduce new birds in pairs of 3 and the way I do it is seamless. No issues. Love my hens.

    So I decided to try ducks this year and I want to pull my hair out. I love them. They are funny and I love the tail wagging and the way they play in the water. I love that they are starting to love me. They are very funny. They love it when I spray them with the hose. They run to me and want me to pester them with it. It's hilarious.

    But they are messy. Does it ever chill out? At least a bit? I've got the water situation under control mostly with special waterers that I made so they can't splash water out and they don't run out. But it does need to be dumped at least bi-daily because they get food in it and that will stink quick.

    Then they kind of have smelly poop. I'm not liking that too much. I rake the hay daily and have layers to help absorb moisture. So I have pine flakes, then pine chips and then nice fluffy soft hay. I'm just now to the point where I might be able to get a couple weeks before I have to take everything out of the barn start fresh because of the cooler weather.

    The ducks are the first birds whose poop has attracted fly's when it's hot out. So this summer I was at the hottest point changing everything out weekly and I have a huge barn and run so it was really annoying. They have a spot they chill that seems to get wet under the hay in the barn and I don't really know how because I let them out to bathe in a fresh pool but they don't have that kind of constant water supply available to make a mess in the barn. I learned about getting rid of that the first few weeks.

    Do they ever mature? Will they stop trying to make such a mess with the water? Will they stop sleeping around and hogging the water areas? Chilling and keeping all the water to themselves, getting wet and pooping in one spot is really annoying to me. It's like having kids all over again. It would be nice to know if it gets better. I just have the 3. One large Pekin and two small gals.
     
  2. AnjKar n Ducks

    AnjKar n Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ducks don't ever mature their behavior. It is just their personality and they way they are I have 2 ducklings and 6 month old ducks who are just as bad as the ducklings. The flies were a problem until I put up some fly traps and no more flies. They will hog the water, the problem with waterfowls, mine are in the water 90% of the time. But I have some friends who have ducks that don't make as big of a mess as mine do. I have to clean my cages every weekend because they are a mess. I don't mind it, but I have never owned chickens.
     
  3. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's a reason for the saying "takes to it like a duck to water." My ducks are only 5 months old so I can't say as to whether it calms down but I shouldn't really think so. A happy duck is a duck with water to play in. And they poop. So much poop. They are so messy that half the feed stores around here don't even carry ducks. Unfortunately I think it just comes with the territory with ducks. How old are yours?
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    To answer your question in a Nut Shell...No, they always love water and are always playful.....They do stink, are messy and are like puppies in feathered suits...You either love Ducks or not....? Sorry, they never change.
     
  5. daphnelovely

    daphnelovely Just Hatched

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    Hi :) Do they get to free range at all? When I was down to 5 and then 2 they stayed in their boundaries bcuz there was food and a baby pool for them by our deck. They would come out in the morning when their doors were opened and came to the pool and stayed in the yard. No smell at all. The pooping never stops but definitely not noticeable when they are not in a pen all day. Now that we have 10 in a pen they were super smelly at first. We use straw bedding i change once or twice a week depending on how bad it is. And the pool is emptied and refilled daily. Ive found keeping the pool clean ( i was tild keeping it semi dirty like natural river water is good but it does reek with so many so thats out) helps a lot with the smell and flies. Also, my ducks love their pool to overflow or when i just run the hose in some mud so they can suck up the water and bugs :) The mud can be a pain but they love it so much i cant take it away
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh gosh, Ducks LOVE water and if there is water, they will figure out how to have fun with it and make a mess.

    My ducks have a house and I hose it out daily. It gets flies, but not in the house, just where it collects at the end of the house. If I used more water or set it up to run into the garden, it would be less of an issue, but their house isn't near our house, so not an issue. And it is only lots of flys for a couple of weeks and then not so much of an issue (still in the 80s and 90s here and not much in the way of flies by the duck house).

    I think most of the chicken poops smell worse than the duck ones, but every now and again, they ducks squirt out a nasty one.


    The only thing I noticed different from my young ducks to adults that have been around a few years... my young ones are quackier... after they start laying, they seem to quiet down quite a bit
     
  7. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love how ducks know how to play with water even if they had no one to show them.

    Their reaction to water is so different from chickens, and that gives them a different kind of personality regarding water.

    But as for changing their behavior around water, no that won't change. They drink and clean their mouths in such a way that water is spilled all over the place.
     
  8. CourtneyJo33

    CourtneyJo33 New Egg

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    What everyone is saying is what I've been afraid of. I'm going to try and enjoy them for what they are and do my best for cleanliness. My ducks are only 12 weeks old I think. That sounds about right. I'm trying to chill out and remember that just because they are gigantic already they aren't full grown so maybe a little of this stuff will calm down. Maybe. I hope :D

    And they do free range for several hours each day during the week and then pretty much all day on Saturday and Sunday. They have a huge barn so they aren't in a small area at all and it has a huge run. But I don't let them roam free when it's night or if I'm not around to protect them. I love my ducks and chickens so much. We have a lot of predators in the mid-west. I'm sure it might be unusual but I can't stand the thought of anything happening to them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  9. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks are not very hard to keep clean if you provide them with free ranging they usually always stay clean, and if you have an enclosure for them all you have to do is give them enough space and their environment will stay naturally healthy. Now depending on your number of ducks depends on how big of an area, for 2 duks i recommend at least giving them an area of 45' by 30' as well as putting plants that help dry out the ground and plants that are safe for the ducks to be around. So basicly aviaries are the best way to go if you need to keep your ducks enclosed/safe and while keeping everything healthy and clean.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Fly predators are helpful, dried oak leaves help reduce odor, making sure there is drainage so that water moves away from the pen easily helps, too.

    Waterfowl are waterfowl, as someone pointed out. That is mature for them.

    Sometimes changing their feed helps. Some say that fermented feed reduces manure aroma. Lots of protein will increase manure aroma.
     

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