Duck novice looking for advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by muddipuppy, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. muddipuppy

    muddipuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2009
    Mountain View, CA
    What are the best ducks for a suburban mini-farm? My primary purpose of getting ducks would be pest control, so I was considering muscovies and runners. Volume and SMELL are BIG issues. I need them to be relatively quiet and clean. If that's contrary to what ducks are, I won't get them. I'd love any suggestions or comments on the breeds I've mentioned.
  2. learycow

    learycow Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    Most ducks are smelly and messy, but only if you don't have a proper set-up for them.
    If you have them penned in your backyard, or plan to keep them in a coop, you will have these negative side-effects. I have a few that I pen so they don't breed with my others, and the kiddie pool I have outside for them gets really gross. I have to clean it out at least every other day. I did find that putting rocks around it helps keep out the mud, but they still splash and make a mess.
    But if you let them free-range, and you have a lot of space, you shouldn't have a problem. Especially if you have your own pond. [​IMG]

    As for noise, it's usually just the females that are talkative. I have khaki campbells, swedish, rouens, and pekins that talk ALL THE TIME. They are very noisy, especially when they are startled. The drakes aren't as noisy though.

    The few runners that I have (only 2) aren't as noisy as the rest. Either that, or the others just drown them out so I don't notice it!

    My suggestions would be to get muscovies. I have some and I love them the most [​IMG] They are quiet (the only noise they make is a hissing sound). They don't tend to trample the grass and bushes as much as the others either. They are seasonal layers, but they make excellent mothers. If you leave them alone, they will hatch their own eggs and take care of the ducklings. Mine aren't as messy as the rest, they are very tidy and don't seem to splash and swim as much.

    All of mine are excellent at bug-eating. Slugs, snails, beetles, they will even catch flies out of the air! Even my ducklings do it!

    So if your main goal is pest control, with the noise factor on the side, I would suggest muscovies. They are quiet and pretty good at taking care of themselves. Just be sure to get 2-3 females for every male. That way when a hen or two goes off the sit on eggs, you don't have one hen that takes all of the beating.
    Or you can get a bunch of drakes, pretty much any breed. If there are no females around, there generally isn't any fighting. Plus they are quiet compared to the hens.

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