Duck Reseach - Can you help??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Nuggetsowner:), Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2007
    Minnesota
    We have 42 acres of land down by the river. On one side it is bordered by state land (trout ponds) and on the other there is a gentleman who keeps about 8 cows. No house or anything just cattle pasture. On our 42 acres there are 3 ponds. One is quite large with an island in the middle and two are somewhat smaller. Near the large pond we are building a small cabin. No electricity just a rustic little getaway. We spend quite a bit of time down there. My garden is there about 1 1/2 acres!
    Here is the thing... My DH and I are wondering if we could get a couple of pairs of ducks to keep near the large pond. There are some wood ducks that nest each year in one of the smaller ponds. Our questions now are...
    1. What kind of duck should we be looking at??
    2. What kind of shelter would they need for winter?? Or should we move them to our home in winter??
    3. Would they stay around or would we have to clip wings etc.

    This is a new adventure we are thinking of starting and of course I thought of all you and how great you are at answering questions. I appreciate all the help and thank you in advance.
     
  2. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2007
    Minnesota
    Are there no duck people out there tonight?!?

    I also wanted to ask...Should I be worried about the "wild" ducks that are down there? The is quite a distance between the ponds.
     
  3. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    Wow, 42 acres boggles the mind! I can't offer any advice really, since I'm new to ducks and just have two pairs on my small 3/4 acre property. One pair is still living in the house. The other pair only have a plastic kiddie pool to swim in. I'm sure someone out there will be able to answer your questions. I chose my breeds by reading Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. I was able to narrow down what I was looking for based on size, looks, noise level and egg laying. Good luck!!
     
  4. inudat12

    inudat12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2008
    NorthCentral Ohio
    I think the first thing I would worry about is turtles. I would set a live trap and see if you get any. Chances are you will. I would deal with those first. You certainly don't want to invest in waterfowl to have them eaten.

    There are so many different types of ducks it really depends on what your tastes are. We raise call ducks in white and blue fawn. My DD wants to get runner ducks.

    I'm sure you will get lots of suggestions from other members.

    HTH

    Tracy
     
  5. menageriemama

    menageriemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2008
    Lake Nebagamon, WI
    Gosh, I wish that I was a bit better versed in duck-ownership! We have four and they are great. We have two peking and two mutts. My guess is that you should get a breed that isnt white, as they sort of scream "come eat me" to predators. Our ducks are pets, and we have a "run" for them with a large dog house for shelter. We let them out to range around every day, but they really are not interested in going far. I was surprised about that, because we live on a lake and I assumed they would be in it all the time, but they are just not interested. They have a pool instead which they use. I think that maybe I didnt get them out in the lake to swim enough when they were small. Anyway, I hope someone else can answer your questions, I would like to hear them too!!! [​IMG] Best of luck on your new venture- ducks are awesome!!!!
     
  6. olp_63

    olp_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a pekin and a runner and they NEVER stray from our property line! Neither can they fly. I'm not really sure if this is going to help you at all, but you could look into either of these breeds. I know Pekins aren't much to look at, I love mine, but runners are very beautiful. Any heavy breed would probably be ok.

    As for shelter, I'm just guessing here, but you would probably need some warm area sheltered from the cold for them. Also, if you're looking into domestics you would need to feed them, right? I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but this is my ameture take.
     
  7. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    In winter is your home also that little rustic cabin or a house somewhere else to far away to feed the ducks every day? Since you're in Minnesota can I assume the pond will freeze? My ducks spent the nights in winter in my garage, this year they will have their own house next to it. This kept them safe from night predators since they couldn't escape to the pond.

    Making sure there are no snapping turtles is good idea, too.
     
  8. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Whatever kind of ducks you get will be quite happy!
    Think about what you want ducks for- decoration/pets only, eggs, foraging/slug and pond clean-up, meat. That will help us with some advice.

    Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is a MUST read. It's by Dave Holderread.

    The pond with the island in the middle should be quite safe for them if it has cover from owls/hawks (check for turtles), but I would also have a smaller, fenced enclosure near the pond (I use electric netting from Premier for mine) for safety. You should build a shelter in the safe area where they can stay the night. Ducks can withstand cold temperatures pretty well, but they will need something to sleep in for your climate, and you will need a way to keep water thawed for drinking in the winter. Plus, they will lay eggs in the am in the pen before you let them out, then you won't have to search for eggs or worry about your 4-6 ducks turning in to 30 ducks in a few years!

    If your garden is near their hangout, you will want to fence it in. Ducks will dig around and uproot the young plants. Plus, if you fence it you could confine them in the garden in fall/early spring once the ground starts to thaw to eat slugs, bugs, etc.

    My ducks (I have Dutch Hookbills, they are 13 weeks old now) generally follow the food home each evening from the pond to the pen, but occasionally 2-3 of them will refuse to come off the water and stay out all night. They are mighty hungry the next day! Domestic ducks stay close to the food supply.

    I have seen a pair of wild Mallards at our pond, my babies hung out with them for a few days then the wild ones left and I haven't seen them since. They will probably be back next year. I worried about diseases, but not much I could do.

    Here is a picture of the pond where mine live.
    [​IMG]


    And here is a picture of their fenced yard for nighttime. Our climate is quite mild, I will add a third side to the shelter soon and will incorporate nests into the wall. Also, I don't have a pool in there anymore since they get to swim all day and I got sick of cleaning it every day!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Nuggetsowner:) :

    Here is the thing... My DH and I are wondering if we could get a couple of pairs of ducks to keep near the large pond. There are some wood ducks that nest each year in one of the smaller ponds. Our questions now are...
    1. What kind of duck should we be looking at??

    Sounds like a great setting and your breed options are limitless. In the long run, it will make 0% difference what kind of ducks you choose. For me, I pick breeds which are "pretty" to me, as I'll be looking at them for many years to come. To my eye, the pretty ducks are Silver Appleyards, Saxony's and Welsh Harlequins.

    Nuggetsowner:) :

    2. What kind of shelter would they need for winter?? Or should we move them to our home in winter??

    They need protection from the snow and wind, but will be very unhappy confined to a small heated run. An outdoor shed/coop makes sense and if you start early, you can train your ducks to "go to bed" in a shelter at night. You can then lock them in for warmth and predator protection (during the normal year, they will sleep on the pond providing predator protection).

    They will also want to breed/lay eggs during the winter, so a nice house with nest boxes will work. This is also a problem since ducks generally only breed/mate in winter, and you are trying to get ducklings in the summer. You may only find starter or adult birds this time of year.

    Nuggetsowner:) :

    3. Would they stay around or would we have to clip wings etc.

    The only flightly ducks are Mallards. And even then they will come back to the feeder. You don't need to clip wings.​
     
  10. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2007
    Minnesota
    Thanks soo much for the advise. The main reason we want the ducks for entertainment and to help keep the pond clean. We were looking for something "pretty" but like I said we really do not know that much about ducks yet.

    We do not live in the cabin year round. We stay a few nights a week during the spring summer and fall but in the winter we don't stay much. The property is not far from our house so we could visit each day to feed and whatever. The pond stays open all year round due to artisian wells that flow through the property. Only one of the smaller ponds freeze up totally and that one we like to clear off and let the boys skate.

    We are in the research stage now and probably will not get ducklings untill this next spring if that would be the best time.

    I haven't seen many turtles, just a lot of frogs. Do I not have to worry about disease from wild ducks.

    Also what is this about eggs?? I don't want a million ducks down there so should I take the eggs from them??

    WOW I have alot to learn. I will be going to get the book you all recomended soon.

    Thanks again for the advise and keep it coming!!
     

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