Doing my research

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by EveG, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. EveG

    EveG New Egg

    Dec 25, 2012
    I'm new here and I'm just beginning to think about keeping ducks, mostly for meat but also eggs. I'm especially interested in Anconas, Silver Appleyards and Muscovies.
    My "farm" is the 1/2 acre behind a rental unit I own. I plan to be onsite for hours each day but not very early in the morning. I'm considering keeping a mated pair of each of the above breeds. I am planning their enclosure to be 3 doghouse-style houses (though I could make the one for the Muscovies be up high) open inside a much larger hardware-cloth-and framing structure that includes a pond (pond roughly 12' diameter). The whole structure would be roughly 8' tall, 25' wide and 15' deep if that makes sense.
    Do you think such a setup would be suitable? Would the ducks be quacking in the mornings and bother my tenants and neighbors? I plan to let them out to forage in my garden for slugs every day. Would the 3 males learn to get along? Would those different breeds fight with each other? Any other ideas?
    Thanks for considering
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL

    Anconas are relatively small for a meat bird. I'm not sure how great they are at laying but most of the small/med breeds are okay.
    Silver Appleyards are, I believe, considered a dual purpose breed.
    Muscovy are usually considered meat birds.

    I would reconsider the size area you are planning. With a 12' diameter pond, almost 1/2 of the space would be water. Is there already a pond there or do you plan on building one? You would need a way to clean it if it isn't natural. That area would be okay without the pond but not once ducklings are growing out. Recommended area in a yard is 10-25 sq ft per duck. Dog houses are great for a pair or trio but again, once babies start to grow out, they would need housing too.

    You are planning on 3 males and 3 females which is far too many males. Also, they will all interbreed. The only way you could hatch pure offspring would be to have seperate pens for each mated pair. With one female per male you could end up with overbred females. It all depends on the drake.

    Except for the muscovy, yes the others would quack and with such a small area (not that a 1/2 acre is tiny but neighbors are close) they would be heard by people.

    Once they reach maturity, it is doubtful that the males would get along and they would most likely fight. The ancona would be at a big disadvantage due to size.

    You would be better off deciding which breed you want and sticking with the one at first. It is always better to have more than 1 female. First to prevent overbreeding and second to have at least one extra that will lay when the other is broody or replace her if something happens to the other.

    This is a bit rushed since I'm cooking right now. [​IMG]
    Merry Christmas.

    FYI you'll probably get a lot more advice later or tomorrow.
  3. Nyssa03

    Nyssa03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC - I'm sure you will get lots of good advice. I agree you need to rethink your plan a little. You need to have several ducks per drake. We have Saxony ducks for meat and eggs. They are a very good size for meat and lay nice large eggs. I have some Anconas also - the Drakes are good size also, but are very active and need several ducks. also.
  4. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Personally - from personal experience I would also recommend 1 breed to start with. 1 drake and at least 4 duck hens for him. If you have the space you can double your drakes/ducks for more diversity and have some cushion in case something happens to one of the drakes or if any of the duck hens go broody and cease laying eggs,

    Muscovies are better known for meat but they do lay eggs. They are not year round layers like other mallard type breeds though so if eggs are essential you might want to look at a different breed. BUT if quiet is important- this is a breed you want to consider. They are the quietest of all the duck breeds.

    Pekins are a good dual purpose breed. They are usually known for their meat (they get big fast- ready to process before 10 weeks old). But many strains of Pekins can lay 5+ eggs a week. That's not shabby at all! My Pekin girls lay everyday...except once every 2 weeks they seem to to take a day off. My male Pekin is a big dude- extra drakes would make a fine table bird. Many people don't like to keep Pekins because they are boring white. But they are super goofy- very comedic. A lot of personality.

    I recently bought some Appleyards and I am madly in love with them. I seriously wish I would have started with them...or at the least 1 breed because now that I know what breed I want...I have 5 other breeds and now when I want to breed the Appleyards...I will have to put them in pens for weeks. What a mess. I'd sell off my other ducks but my kids are very attached to them. Appleyards are considered very good layers and very good meat they are pretty pretty pretty. And silly. Or at least mine are. They kinda remind me a little bit like the Pekins...but they are more colorful appearing.
  5. EveG

    EveG New Egg

    Dec 25, 2012

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