Duckling Mama Wannabe

brigittehawsey

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
4
0
7
Hello! I am Brigitte and I really want to get my kiddos some baby ducks. They love animals and grew up around a farm but we recently moved away and they are really missing the farm life. I thought about getting them some ducks and joined this community to learn everything I can about them before making the big decision. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
 

rainplace

Interstellar Duck Academy
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
4,023
58
238
Northwestern Washington
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Brigitte!

The first thing I would do if I were you is buy Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks written by Dave Holderread. You'll be able to use that book for a long time. It will also help you form questions for us to answer. And just keep doing what you're doing, hanging out on this forum, reading other people's experiences.

You're gonna love ducks!
 

brigittehawsey

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
4
0
7
Thanks so much!!! I will definitely look for the book and I can't wait to join the duck community! I've been wanting to get some for a few years and I know I will love having them around!
 

goosedragon

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
2,351
22
171
Central NC
Quote:
You didn't mention where you are, but I want to warn you that several states have passed the requirement that you have to buy a minimum number of chicks or ducklings when buying from a feed or pet store. the usual mimimum is 6 but it does vary. The reason is that many parents would buy these cute little birds for Easter. Get them home and the cute little things would turn into the messy little poopers that they really are! After a week or so of cleaning up after them they would "take them to the farm or to the park so they could be with their own kind" which really means take them to the pound or actually take them out to the country and dump them on a nice looking farm or even out in the fields or a pond for ducks. Of course the dumped babies either starved to death or got eaten. The duck community does NOT approve of dumping ducks.
 

rainplace

Interstellar Duck Academy
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
4,023
58
238
Northwestern Washington
goosedragon brings up a great point. Ducks are messy creatures and poop a lot. A lot of people really can't stand it after a while.

If you get ducklings, make sure you have a brooder large enough to get them through the first 6 weeks. Think about where you're going to put it. Take into account ease of cleaning (you may want it near a water source or near a door to outside), where the stink will flow to (it will stink! garages or basements or extra bathrooms can be good places for brooders)

Make sure to have your outside predator proof duck house built before they are ready to go outside so you can get them into it as soon as possible! Figure out where you don't mind poop being and fence them away from areas you don't want poop. For me I don't want poop on my front porch, but allow them to be on our back patio. I just hose it down once or twice a day. I put pea gravel all around it so that I wouldn't have a muddy mess from them dabbling in the water when I rinse it off. Know that they will tear up any bits of plants they can reach. I have some shrubs that they have perfect laze about places for themselves because they tore off all the lower leaves. I don't mind, will you? If so, fence it off!

Anyway, those are some of the shady sides of duck ownership.
 

Duck_feeder

Drowning in feathers!
10 Years
Oct 22, 2009
519
5
131
Chicago
As the others said, you need to be certain that you are willing to stick with the ducks once you get them.


Here are a few aspects of owning a duck that seem to keep popping up in my life:
- Daily chores. Cleaning up after ducks and feeding them can be time consuming depending on your set up. Make sure you actually have the time to care for them before getting them. I spend at least an hour a day caring for our ducks. Unfortunately I'm out of the country on a business trip and my gf, Nettie, has to take care of all the ducks chores while I'm away along with all the other stuff she normally needs to do.
- Going on vacation. It's easy to find someone to care for cats or dogs. Finding someone that can care for ducks is a completely different matter. Not everyone is willing to wash out waterers covered in duck poop on a daily basis...
- Vets. Few vets will even look at ducks. Even fewer actually have experience with them. Make sure you've located a good avian vet that takes ducks before you get your ducklings. Also make sure you have money set aside for pet emergencies. I recently had several birds (ducks and budgies) get sick at the same time (all different reasons) and racked up over $1000 in vet bills in only a couple weeks.
 

newchickmom09

Songster
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
1,745
24
209
ARIZONA
Quote:
I was thinking the same thing.
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In that order too.
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And here is the link for the "sticky" post on ducks. These are very informative also.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=256233

I guess after you read this then you can ask more specific questions that we all could answer for you.

My kids love the ducks but just know that most ducks are not lap animals and don't like being handled. Also they are messy but can easily be kept under control with daily routine.
 

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