Docile/Pet Duck breeds and other questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Winter1, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Winter1

    Winter1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 29, 2015
    Virgina, USA
    Hi everyone! I've been thing about getting a couple of ducks this spring ,if I can convince my mom that duck eggs are safe to eat[​IMG]. And I just have some questions on breeds and care.

    1- we live in the country, so noise isn't much of a problem. But we have to have a breed that can be kept in a pen (like 10ft by 10ft) because of foxes, eagles/hawks, raccoons, and dogs. I'm also looking for a sweet tempered and/or affectionate breed. I was thinking about Pekins but was also just wondering if there where any other good breeds.

    2- what kind of housing do they need? Could I just take a dog house and raise it up off the ground a bit?

    I'll post more questions as they pop up! Thanks!


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  2. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2014
    Montana
    As far as eating duck eggs, I would use this as the best test (other than trying them): duck eggs are stronger and more flavorful than chicken eggs so if you like your eggs prepared to maximize flavor (soft boiled, poached, over easy, sunny side up), you are more likely to like ducks' eggs, whereas if you tend to prefer a minimized flavor (scrambled, omlets or even yolk cooked hard), you may not like duck eggs. When used for baking, duck eggs are absolutely superior. If you plan on doing a lot of baking, Runners and Khaki Campbells have eggs closest to chicken sized so that you can substitute them straight. Other ducks eggs are somewhat larger and depending on the recipe, you may need to compensate. If you just want the biggest most scrumptious egg ever: You can't beat Pekin they lay huge eggs that will impress:

    This is a runner egg (about the size of a Jumbo chicken egg) next to a Pekin egg.
    [​IMG]

    A couple Pekin eggs over easy with rye toast... (that is a full size dinner plate) mmmm.

    [​IMG]

    I have quite a few breeds in my flock:

    [​IMG]

    While no outdoor duck will cuddle like a dog or cat might, the ducks in my flock, and I believe for the most part from what I have read, that enjoy/tolerate contact with people the most are my Pekin, Khaki Campbell and Welsh Harlequin. My Cayuga doesn't like to be touched much, but she is very engaging and likes to be around us and interact with us (as long as we don't reach for her). I've heard Cayugas are very friendly and I can easily believe that another Cayuga might be just as tolerant as my top 3. Out of my flock the least "cuddly" are probably the Runners, however they are the most entertaining to watch. (My Buff duck is also not cuddly at all, but I just think that is her, she's "special") Now keep in mind that none of my ducks will jump in my lap and purr, and none of them think they are going to get murdered if I pick them up and they will all eat out of my hand, so I think any of them make great pets (which all of mine are.) My Swedish and Rouens fall somewhere in the middle. So as far as breed, realize there are tendencies, but every duck is an individual and level of exposure is a big factor. Amiga's runners are much more cuddly and she spends a lot of time with them. Most all house ducks are more cuddly for the same reason. Farm ducks will tend to avoid people unless they have food since in a farm environment they are typically tended, then on their own. This site has "reviews" of each breed of duck. You can read them from many perspectives (pet, back yard farm, full sized farm) since multiple people chime in on them.

    If you are looking at a 10 x 10 area, If that is their world, I would limit it to 4 or fewer. And look at some of the tractor ideas where possibly you can move it around so that they don't destroy a single 10 x 10 plot. They will absolutely need shade and shelter from the weather. Any enclosure will work if it is inside a secure pen. A dog house of adequate size would work great. Their pen should have any open areas covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. Chicken wire is made to keep poultry in not predators out. Raccoons will pull ducks (in pieces) through chain link or most welded wire that has larger openings. My secure pen is chain link, but the lower 4-5 feet is lined with 1/2" hardware cloth. So to get in a predator has to be able to break through the chain link and to reach in they have to be able to reach through 1/2" hardware cloth.

    Get your ducks from someplace you can sex them and get all girls. Drakes are a pain and can potentially be a danger to your girls especially in small flocks.

    WARNING: Ducklings only last 6 weeks. Ducks are not like dogs / cats where you can enjoy the puppy/kitten for several months. 6 weeks. Ducklings are super concentrated cuteness but at that intensity it doesn't last. Nature made the duckling the bonbon of every predator so the reason ducks still exist is they grow up FAST! Savor every second you can with them and take lots of pictures.

    I'm sure many others will chime in, but that's my 2 cents.
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  3. mlh328

    mlh328 Out Of The Brooder

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    Tevyes Dad had some great advice. I only have experience with cayugas, I have 2 hens and a drake. My drake is the more affectionate of the three, but they're all very friendly. I think every bird will have their own personality. The more time you spend with them the more they trust you and the friendlier they will be. I love having the fresh eggs, my husband and kids were a little iffy on trying them but I snuck them in on them and they love them too now:) Plus one less thing to buy at the grocery! You can search "duck run" and get some good ideas on here also. Good luck!!
     

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