Do I want ducks? Convince me.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ARose4Heaven, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have chickens, a variety of chickens. I LOVE my chickens. I had ducks before, pekins & rouens. They lived with the chickens, and then when they proved too messy, they lived with the pigs. They were pretty. But I must not of cooked em right, cause they were tough as leather. I am NOT interested in ever eating another duck.

    A friend has young Muscovy ducks to give away. I have a pond...far, far, far from the house. I like the idea of having ducks to watch when I go fishing. Can ducks live at a pond with only forage for food? Can they avoid predators off on their own that way? Would they stay? Would they ruin my fishing hole?
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Ducks on a pond provide free meals for predators around here. In my opinion, ducks are dirty...........
    But, that is because I have horses and the ducks will not stay out of the watering trough.
    Duck poop and horse troughs do not go well together.........

    However, they do eat huge amounts of slugs and snails and are absolutely comical chasing grasshoppers in the pasture !
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If I were you, I don't think I would bother with the ducks. They'll probably disappear out on the pond pretty quickly.
     
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  4. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Truer words could not be spoken. Domestic ducks can not just fend for themselves and leaving them to do so will ensure nothing but injury and/or death in the long run, they require care to a degree. Ducks are messy, period. Either you can tolerate it or you cannot, I own mostly Muscovy here and they are not really pond birds, they are more puddle ducks and roosting types. Mine do enjoy water but are not die hards like my mallard derived.

    If you want to try ducks again, nothing wrong with that but you'll need to explore a different route of care/management than what you have originally suggested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  6. Megaputz

    Megaputz Out Of The Brooder

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    Muscovy ducks can forage are quiet and will return to a coop even if it's far away. Depending on what you have around they may get eaten. I have 8 sharing a coop with chickens. They don't seem as messy as the mallards.
    .
    It's personal preference. If you think you will enjoy a duck a muscovy is the way to go and if they are free a few would be a good trial run. As with anything new start out small and try it a season. I started with two barred rock hens and it has been a pleasure. They are sweethearts and in the last three years become egg producing free range pets. Did the same thing this year with ducks, two of each kind: indian runner, rouens, khaki campbell, indian runner, muscovy. I fell in love with the muscovy, the rest are to gifted to other homes.
    It's a joy to watch them and hear their coo's as they wonder. You sound as if you want some eye candy on the yard and pond. If that is it give it a try. Remember... being a duck they will eat just about anything. So if you have a garden or flowers... They don't seem as water loving as the mallards. Not sure if they would be on the pond as much but rather along the shores or under shrubs and trees depending on the layout of the surroundings. Even if the pond is a few hundred yards from the coop the ducks will still return at night. Though a little later then the chickens.

    If they get eaten... eh they were free. Just get more and they'll last through the rest of the fishing season. Biggest concern is predators if the pond is really far away. With winter coming, they are going to need more then forage to survive.
     
  7. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I love ducks, and think most everyone needs them. I can not, in good conscious recommend asking them to fend for themselves on a pond. Many things are happy to go in after ducks, and domestics are just no match for wild predators, or domestic predators either. Ducks are low on the food chain for mobile species, and are, well, sitting ducks you might say.

    If you want to give them another go, give a few a nice dog house, a largish yard with predator proof fencing, and let them have a go at the yard or garden every evening for an hour to subsidize their food. I use a small kiddie pool, and just dump and rinse every other day or so. (If you only have 2 or 3)

    Duck benefits: some outlay chickens year round, ducks lay in the morning, duck eggs (if fed like chickens) have eggs like chickens. Large meaty ducks are good (but skinny ones get stringy and old ones can be tough - you only eat young ducklings age 2-8 months for best results). Ducks are very hardly, rarely falling prey to illness and disease. Ducks have good laying for 4 years or longer. Ducks can become quite tame, and don't ever crow. Ducks will eat every snail and slug in your yard, given nightly (or morning) opportunity. If you want eggs waiting for you every morning (after new girls relax) just shut them up at night.

    We kept ducks near a pond, but it was in a cow field, which cut down some preditors. Our ducks were walked to the pond every morning, and we brought them back at night (and fed them) without fail. This can be safe, but you must know your area. If there are red foxes and hungary coyotes, badgers, bobcats, or bears, forget it. Ditto hungry neighbors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  8. hotcurltr

    hotcurltr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been tempted a few days now to reply to this post and it might be too late. I love my muscovy ducks. However, I agree with most of the posts on here. Leaving them to fend for themselves, they would ultimately end up as someone's dinner, and not yours.[​IMG] Muscovy's are hardy and turn feral very easily, which of course will help them to survive also. There are a lot of unanswered questions. You said young ducks. How young? How many? They have to know where they live, and that means keeping them up for awhile. Not clipping their wings, so they can have some added protection. When we take on any animal it is our responsibility to do the best we can for them and to protect them the best we can. I lose chickens, every now and then to predators[​IMG](mostly the dog down the street) and I take a lot of precautions. ,keeping 2 acres fenced in where dogs aren't supposed to get through, but do. My ducks and chickens are up at night, and I have a donkey and several geese, plus a dog to guard at night. However, I seem to lose my occasional chicken during the day. I realize we are all different, but to keep an animal just for a decoration piece doesn't seem feasible to me. If they are what you really want, then in my opinion it would be best to decide to put a little effort and work to keep them as safe as possible. If you don't want to bring them back and forth every day, try building something by the pond that they can be put up in. Are there trees by the pond that they can roost in? Lots of variables and questions I know. I raise mine to sell and eat, but I love my brood stock and babies and give them the safest and happiest life I can give them before they go. I'm really terrible at trying to explain what I mean and hope I haven't offended you in any way, this is only meant in love for you and your animals.[​IMG] And as always, it is just one person's opinion.[​IMG]
     

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