duckling questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl

    ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Pinnacle, NC
    I have never had ducks before and would like to know some things like when i should let them out of the brooder to the pond, if i should fix them some place to lay there eggs and if i should clip there wings that way they can't fly away??
     
  2. AnaD

    AnaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    N. Ca
    Don't let them swim alone until they have a good amount of feathers. I put mine outside between 2-3 weeks without a pond...we have mild weather. If they have a house to sleep in and bedding materials they will make their own nesting spots. Depending on your breed you may not need to clip wings.
     
  3. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    what kind of ducks are they? I would not let them on the pond till they were fully feathered too. we clipped wings on guineas one time and regretted it because a dog cornered them when they got across the fence and they couldn't fly to get away and we lost one. bigger ducks usually can't fly so you don't have to clip wings.
     
  4. ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl

    ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    uh TSC so i think they are peckins??? that sound right?
     
  5. ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl

    ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    also if I put them out side after there 3 week mark the back yard dosnt have a pond do i just fix them a house and they go there at night or what. i know chickens will go to roost but i dont know anything about ducks. do they roost or just go in there house. also will they find the pond. should i close them up at night??
     
  6. buzymom13

    buzymom13 I run the Alien Chicken Asylum

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    [​IMG]

    I started with chickens and ended up with 2 ducks last year. (A friend of mine gave my kids a pair of ducklings). Here's what has worked for us. They are Pekin ducks (the breed is too heavy to fly so clipping wings is not needed). We have a road nearby and I'm always afraid they'll walk into the road and get hit so we fenced off an area with some simple chicken wire and posts. I have read that ducks will not challenge fences much. (Mine haven't)

    We started out with a dog house (one of those fiberglass ones) on some cinderblocks with a ramp for them to go up into it. We filled it with straw and they made their own nest. When they were younger they would hide under the house between the cinderblocks and the side of the coop. We have a cinderblock coop that we built a duck pen inside of on one side for the ducks overnite. They aren't always real happy about going into their pen but I feel safer knowing that no predators can get to them.

    A few times in the winter the ducks went inside their doghouse to keep warm. We got a kiddie pool for them to have a "pond" and change the water out every day. In the summer we float ice (empty soda bottles w/frozen water inside) in the "pond" to keep them cool... works great!


    We lucked out and ended up with a female/male pair. Our female just recently started laying an egg a day. Eventually I'm going to try and let her go broody I think.

    One important thing I've learned is that ducks need water to drink in order to eat their food. They are messy but we adore our ducks! We buy minnows for fishing in the summer and give the leftovers to the ducks. And when we go into to town we buy feeder goldfish for them. They love all sorts of treats!

    Have fun!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. Newchickparents

    Newchickparents Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2011
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    Busymom13 that was great info, I really want ducks but was afraid of them flying away...How big is your pool? And what kind of fencing are you using? Thanks so much for the info!
     
  8. ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl

    ACraZyLittLeChiCkenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks so much!! I think that she said she was using just regular poultry fencing but its exspencive... so you recomend putting them up at night? we live on a farm with a pond right down the hill... if i put there house close to our house will they come back up in the evening and sleep in there or should I place it close to the pond. I really want eggs but thats a good little walk to get eggs. also are the male ducklings bigger than the female ducklings. I would really like to make sure i get more girls than boys... will they go in their roost themselves. if so what about a timer that would close the door and open it in the morning. there arent many predators on this particular farm because there isnt and cows or anything. just a couple of dogs.
     
  9. buzymom13

    buzymom13 I run the Alien Chicken Asylum

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    our pool/pond for them is just a plastic kiddie pool. When they were young and just getting their feathers I would only put enough water to cover their webbed part of their feet in it...as they got older we put more in until they got all their feathers. They didn't start with the pool til they were about 2 months old or so.

    Our fence is literally the left over chicken wire we used on the run for the chickens stretched around some steel "T" posts. It's only about 4 feet high and I made a chipboard gate to be able to get in and out of the enclosure. We're working on "improvements" to the run for the chickens and the ducks this spring/summer but it has worked quite well for a year now.

    I was leery of getting ducks also but a friend of mine gave me pointers.

    Oh I almost forgot... DO NOT feed the ducks medicated chick starter. Their systems can't handle the medication in it. Plain chick starter/crumbles are fine. I feed my adult ducks bite size dog food mixed with chicken layer pellets. They love it along with some chopped cabbage/lettuce too. Ducks love niacin...

    And for ground cover don't use sand or gravel...they can get "bumblefoot"... we have just dirt and some bigger rocks for them to climb across or over along with straw sometimes. I lined the fence area with straw over the winter to give them a "break" from the wind...they nestled into it nicely.

    Hope it helps! [​IMG]
     
  10. buzymom13

    buzymom13 I run the Alien Chicken Asylum

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    I'm always afraid to let my ducks loose at nite. If they have a actual pond to go to then they'd be safer because if something does bother them they can go to the water to get away. I'd put the duck house closer to your house for two reasons :

    1. My neighbors have ducks and in the winter and at nite they tend to head towards the barn and outbuildings for cover so it makes sense that they would go to a duck house for comfort.

    2. If you start out with them young and limit their area to the duck house and right close and then when they get older let them "free range" to the pond I think it would be more like chicken's behaviour of going "in" at nite.


    Ducks do not have the ability to just "start swimming" I'm told. They need to be introduced to the water gradually and only left on their own with water to "swim" in after they have all their feathers. Baby ducklings can drowned.


    As far as how to tell a male from a female. Male Pekin ducks will get a "drake" feather (curled feather on the back of the tail) Female Pekin ducks will have straight out feathers. This doesn't help until they get older and feathered. Male ducks will make a raspy quack (quieter) sound....females are louder and quack quack quack. Our female was bigger than our male when we got them. I'm not an expert so I don't know if that is normally the case. We lucked out and got a pair. It is best not to have 2 males unless you have enough females to go around. More than 1 female with 1 male is ok. But when they mature males will fight over females.


    [​IMG]
     

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