Duck Math

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kaessa, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, tell me if this makes sense:

    I am allowed to have six(ish) ducks in city limits.

    I have ten straight-run Muscovies coming at the end of April/beginning of May.

    I am assuming that the Muscovies won't start laying until NEXT spring, again assuming that at least some of them are girls.

    Would it make sense to get three/four TSC ducklings this week, raise them, and keep whatever girls I get? I could have them raised, outside, and ready to lay before the other ducklings even show up. What are the odds I actually get 10 female Muscovies and four mallard-derived females? How hard is it to sell your extra ducks?

    I really want some ducks now, but I really want Muscovies, too. Hubby says buy 6 ducklings at TSC and cancel my Muscovy order, I say get 3 ducklings at TSC and keep the scovies, and just sell off the excess later after I raise them and find out which are girls.

    I'm so confused.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Breathe. It may be the ducky desire confusing you. I can relate.

    So. Let's step back through the math.

    Let's say you get Pekins at TSC. From what I have read here and elsewhere, they may start laying at about five or six months of age. My Runners began laying between 16 weeks, 4 days (I counted) and 22 weeks - 4 to 5 months. Generally, the larger the breed, the longer it takes to first lay.

    So, if you had the day-olds today, in 5 months it will be mid-July. And sometimes I read stories here that Pekins are slow to lay for any number of reasons, so it could be even later.

    You might get girls who are precocious and start laying sooner, but as I wrote, my earliest layer, 6 weeks ahead of the last to get on board, started at four months old.

    Regarding rehoming ducks, if they are drakes - it can be a big challenge if you want to rehome them as pets. If you don't mind if they go to freezer camp, then you will likely easily find takers.

    Are there any rescue organizations around you that might have adult Muscovies to adopt? You would know they are females. I can understand, to at least some extent, the desire for your own day-olds. Our Runners arrived at one day old. Wow. But they were sexed, all girls.

    We can get really deeply attached to our ducks. There is something about them that, for many people, some kind of invisible cord wraps around our hearts. Talk about difficult to let go!!!

    Something that happened with our Runners was that they arrived a month early (no harm, no foul, just a strange miscommunication), and it was a cold, late spring, so we had eleven Runners in the house for three months. In a way, it was total bliss, as I was able to stay home and raise them. I lost touch with human society for a while, but I didn't miss it. Did I write that????

    So where you are, you could have a cold, late spring - I don't know if you have the perfect safely heated brooder-coop for them. If you do, I congratulate you! If not, I empathize.

    Breathe. It is not always easy or quick to rehome ducks.

    At the other side, perhaps Muscovies can lay their first year . . . I will let Muscovy folks go into detail about that.

    I truly understand the desire - this year I decided I want to add Runner females to my flock. So tempting to order two or three from a hatchery right now. But I have decided that since every now and then there is someone who desperately needs to rehome a Runner girl or two, I have contacted two rescue organizations, and off and on check out the rehoming forum. There have been a few, but not in my part of the world, and I am happy to say I know for sure one of them found a new great home and I believe the other two did as well. Rehoming females seems much easier. But there are people who love drake flocks, I will say that. Drakes don't have egg-laying problems, and are quiet. Two great selling points. And they eat garden pests, and make superb fertilizer, and can be very very sweet pets.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hey did you see someone is trying to rehome a Muscovy girl over on the rehoming forum????
     
  4. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have an issue with drakes going to freezer camp. We'll probably send a few there anyway because hubby really likes duck, and we also want to do a duck for Thanksgiving this year.

    I have a separate (heated) area for brooding that I could move them to if the other ducks came early, so that wouldn't be a problem.

    I've already looked for adult muscovies in my area, including rescue, and there aren't any ducks available at all. A few drakes at the most.

    I'm thinking early muscovies can lay their first year, but I won't be getting these until April/May, and from everything I've read scovies don't really start laying until they're about 8 months old. I could be wrong, however.

    I really appreciate your thoughts, there is a lot to think about. I'm thinking "Go look tomorrow and see what they have". If all they have are mallards, I'm going to wait for the scovies. If they have Pekins or Campbells, all bets are off. :D
     
  5. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, going to look there now.
     
  6. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sent them a PM. :)
     
  7. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I feel you! I will say that in my neck of the woods drakes are hard to rehome. I got mine for free because there was zero interest in him when I bought her female. In fact we waited 2 weeks to pick her up hoping that she would be able to rehome her drake. I see a few drakes posted on craigslist and then get reposted many times. There doesn't seem to be much of a duck market here in central Texas to start with.

    If you can truly handle that many and won't get in trouble with the law I would go for it. If you really can't I would just stick with your order. Like Amiga said, do you have a nice cozy border for them long term? I got my girls in Dec and they were inside till Mid Jan and then moved to the garage. They have been out side now for 2-3 weeks and this is their first taste of "cold". We may get some ice the next few days. I was very happy when mine moved out of the house. There was so much dust and my guest room stank.
     
  8. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, we have a spare room off the house that can be heated, so it is already being re-purposed into a brooder room after they're too big for the bathtub. Also, we should have the duck house constructed by then, and running electric to it shouldn't be much of a problem if we do it during construction.
     
  9. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking more and more that we're going to wind up cancelling the muscovies. It's still REALLY early so the eggs haven't been set yet, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem to cancel.
     
  10. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you really wanting pekins or KC? I don't have muscovies so I can't say much about them. You could always see about ordering exactly what you want and getting a few or all sexed.
     

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