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Duck Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AccentOnHakes, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Hi, I was thinking about getting some ducks instead of chickens, but my mom is a bit wary about them, as she raised both ducks and chickens when she was young. So here are the things that make her think chickens are better pets...

    1) Ducks are loud.

    2) Ducks poop a lot.

    3)Ducks won't fly-they'll walk and poop all over the place. (There's a pond across the street from us, and I thought that maybe they could go there during the day?)

    4) They'll lay the eggs a long way off so you can never find them.

    5) They need a lot of space.

    Is this true?
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    1) Ducks are loud.

    They can be but the noise level varies from breed to breed. Muscovies are quiet. Khaki Campbells aren't too bad. Runners can go either way. Buffs are REALLY loud and so are Pekins.

    2) Ducks poop a lot.

    Yeah...but so do chickens, cats, dogs, etc...
    At least duck poop can be easily sprayed down and it melts right in to the grass.

    3)Ducks won't fly-they'll walk and poop all over the place. (There's a pond across the street from us, and I thought that maybe they could go there during the day?)

    Unless you are going to walk them across the street, you will most likely end up with flattened ducks....or ducks eaten by the neighbor's dog, or a fox...

    4) They'll lay the eggs a long way off so you can never find them.

    I lock my ducks in to a secure pen at night. When I go to let them out in the morning, the eggs are usually in their house. Sometimes in the pen, or even occasionally in the yard, but they usually lay in one spot.

    5) They need a lot of space.

    I have a small suburban back yard. I have (well, had) 6 ducks. If I had chickens instead I could probably get a few more because the ducks are a bit bigger than chickens, but their eggs are a lot bigger, so so problem with that.​
     
  3. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Hmmm..do they won't fly there by themselves? Dang. If only they did.
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Depends on the breed. I have Welsh Harlequins and a runner. I have also had khaki campbells, a rouen and a buff. None of them can fly. Smaller breeds and muscovies CAN. It is still not a good idea to let them on a pond that isn't on your property.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I think ducks are quieter and less obnoxious-sounding than roosters. But the duck hens are louder than chicken hens. On the other hand, if she's worried about neighbors, most people really don't mind the sound of ducks--they actually tend to like it. Whereas a lot of people will complain about a rooster. For one thing, roosters tend to be really really loud right when people are trying to eke out an extra hour of sleep in the morning, whereas ducks will generally wait to make their noise until whatever time they are accustomed to being fed (they are not super-early risers as a rule).

    They do poop a lot. I have noticed that the babies are WAY messier than chicken babies. I only have to change my chicken brooder every couple or three days, and then I only have to remove the top layer of bedding, not the whole thing. The duck brooders always have to be changed twice a day, completely, and rinsed out at least once a day. They are pretty gross. And they get everything wet and dig mud puddles in the lawn wherever they can find water to moisten the dirt with.

    Mine do tend to lay eggs wherever the heck they happen to be when they get the urge. However, they also tend to lay at night, so if you keep them enclosed at night (and you should--because otherwise you *will* eventually lose most or all of them to a predator), you will be able to find the eggs without too much trouble. On the other hand, the eggs will be dirtier than chicken eggs. They will also, however, lay more eggs, larger eggs, and more nutritious eggs. And they use less feed per pound of eggs.

    I don't think they need a lot more space, although as someone has already said, they are larger so will need slightly more.

    I completely understand your mom's wariness, especially if she's had both before and already knows her preference from experience. But there are some advantages of ducks:

    They are nicer than chickens. Nicer to each other, and nicer to people. I've never heard of a drake attacking a human the way a rooster will sometimes. And they don't pick on each other at all, usually (there are exceptions, mostly to do with management--if you have too many drakes for the number of hens, there will be fighting, for example).

    I think they're more fun to watch than chickens. I mean, chickens are cool, too--don't get me wrong. But ducks are just so amusing and cute!

    They don't have to have a pond (and the others are right about the dangers of crossing the street to the pond--and you will have to teach them where it is and that it is safe to use--this is not always as easy at it seems like it ought to be), but they will appreciate a little kiddie pool to get wet in.

    They're awfully cute.

    They have simpler needs--no coop is necessary--just a predator-proofed enclosure and a dog house or other structure for the coldest of nights.

    They don't suffer as many ailments. Ducks run a feverishly high temperature as their normal temp, meaning that not much in the way of bacteria or viruses can survive in their systems for long. So they just don't get sick as often. They do, of course, have things they can suffer from, just not as much.

    They are more weather-proof than chickens--no worries about them getting wet in the rain, for instance (they LOVE the rain), and they can handle colder temps too without any trouble whatsoever.

    I do like them a lot. But chickens are way cool too. I sometimes think I should have done the chicken thing because they are easier in some ways, and neat in their own way. But I love my ducks, and plan to keep messing around with them. The ducklings are sturdier & hardier than chicks. And cuter (sorry, but it's true!).

    If you do a search on this forum for "100 Things I love about ducks" or something to that effect, you'll find a thread that gives lots of other cool things about ducks that you could perhaps show your mom, if you still want ducks.

    But either way, you will have a blast. Poultry is fun. [​IMG]
     
  6. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    I'm more thinking about getting bantams from MPC now. I'm only getting 7, since they ship only 7 or more to where I am. I'm thinking about these:

    1 White Leghorn
    1 Black Frizzled Cochin
    2 EEs
    3 Silkies

    Hmm....but those green eggs seem very appealing. And yet I want a partridge Silkie pretty badly. Gahh!!

    But I guess I'm not getting ducks.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Oh, bantams are SOOOO cute. I just hatched out four Old English Game Bantams, and they are ADORABLE. And they really are easier, as young'uns, to care for than ducklings. I can't speak for adults, as I've never had them as adults. But the OEGBs are good flyers and will roost way up in the trees if you let them (my neighbors do). I don't think silkies are good flyers (someone may correct me on that), but they are so very very cute.

    I like the OEGBs because they come in so many colors, and I love color.

    Good luck with them. I think you will really enjoy them!
     
  8. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    I'm pretty sure Silkies don't fly much. I've read that they would rather cuddle on the floor than roost.
     

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