duck space ratios and couple other question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kidsnchicks, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. kidsnchicks

    kidsnchicks In the Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    At this time we have 2 ducks, I think 1 hen and 1 drake, they are in with the chickens right now but, we will be moving so, questions, Wil they be ok with just the 2 of them of do they need a bigger duck family to hang out with? My daughter is looking to get a pair of Blue swedish ducks for fair next year, after the fair they will be added to our current 2. We wont be able to let them free range due to safety issues, so they will have a pretty good sized run of their own and a bigger pool than they have now, what about a shelter, how big does it need to be? With the plan of 4 ducks total or more if need be. Do I need to worry about a nest box or just provide areas and materails and let them make up their own?

    Thank you
     

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Hi, kidsnchicks,

    I pretty much follow Storey's Guide on space, and my eleven runners seem healthy and happy. I have a 32 sf plywood double-walled box with sloping transparent roof, a sliding duck door and a Dutch door on the side for me. It opens into a 32 sf "veranda" wrapped on all sides with half inch hardware cloth. This is their night area (we have many predators in the neighborhood). Storey's recommends minimum 3 sf per duck for their coop/house, more if they are a large breed.

    For a run, Storey's recommends 10 sf per duck if they are let out to free range, 25 sf if they are confined all the time. I have 160 sf for their day yard (also predator resistant construction) and let them work the gardens some days.

    The house, veranda and day yard are all connected so that they have use of about 224 sf of area during the day. They have two concrete mixing pans for swimming, two very large steel mixing bowls for additional drinking water, a large cake pan for pelleted feed, a dog bowl with oyster shell in the bottom.

    Hope that gives you some ideas for space.

    Added:

    One female for a drake may not be enough for her sake. I am told drakes need three or more females or they can hurt the female with too much mating (also reduces her laying). If your other two are female, that might work.

    My ducks have used the nest boxes I supply for them. One or two use them regularly. They prefer to make their own. They have wood shavings with a topping of straw for bedding, and they can make nice nests from that. Since they are not free-ranging, I don't have to go on egg hunts as a friend of mine does. Even though mine now make their own, I think a simple box with a wooden egg might get them started.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  3. kidsnchicks

    kidsnchicks In the Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Thanks, guess I will have to go duck shopping! I need to post pics to see if you experts can help me be sure if it is indeed a hen and drake. Will it be hard to introduce another hen or two into their family? I can't wait to move,lol! Ill be able to have the chickens and ducks in their own areas, they are sharing nicely now but I really think the ducks need more room and a bigger pool!
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Often I read that giving them enough time near each other, separated perhaps by a fence panel for a week or two, helps. It will depend on the individual ducks and your comfort level as well. Sometimes ducks make fast friends, sometimes they need more encouragement.

    We probably won't be dealing with that here for at least several months. We have all females, and I am fine with that. But if I decide we want to breed them, we will need to introduce a drake or two. Also, after a few years I will probably brood a few day olds so that we have six laying pretty regularly in the flock. Their main work here is as garden helpers, so the laying is a real bonus!
     
  5. kidsnchicks

    kidsnchicks In the Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    We didn't intentionally get a drake and hen, the kids picked out 2 ducklings, they picked out the smallest and the "ugly" duckling,lol. So now that we have 1 of each we will do our best to keep them happy.
     

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