Ducks and Changes

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mochilee, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. mochilee

    mochilee In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2012
    Goldvein, Virginia
    After reading what Meetzer Hatchery wrote about ducks, I see that ducks are upset by change. HOW upset, I wonder?
    I have a couple campbells and 4 swedish blues that are babies and I have them in my garage in a dog carrier right now. Keeping them in water is already a challenge. If I move them now, are they going to be upset if moved again later? It's not like I have a real place for them yet. Are they really that sensitive? I have only had muscovies in the past and they just moved in with the chickens and did fine. But I haven't ever had duck babies. I am only keeping the swedes for someone else, but I was thinking of raising more campbells for eggs...unless they are way too much trouble!

  2. Welcome to the Waterfowl corner of BYC!
    Ducks don't really care about being moved from place to place. It doesn't bother them a bit, especcially if there is an advantage (i.e. brooder-free range, or fall free range-cozy winter shelter). I think what Metzer may have meant was that ducks dislike extreme changes in diet etc. Surrounding changes may confuse them slightly at first, but it doesn't bother them.

    Ducks are actually hardy than chicken (disease hardy and cold hardy), but one thing is different with egg ducks: they are very smart. If you have nest boxes, and the duck lays an egg in the box (which btw has to be on the ground), and you take away that egg, they wont lay there again for a long while. So every time you take away there eggs, they lay in a new spot (or a spot they don't remember). Chickens, as you may know, don't really care about that, and often have 'favourite' nest boxes.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners 8 Years

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I moved my ducklings from Brooder I to Brooder II to Brooder III then into Little Fort Knox, then into the Basement Pen, back to Little Fort Knox . . . .

    Mine do seem to like a bit of a routine. They will tell me when it's time to move from garden to Day Pen or back again, they seem to know when I am late letting them out in the morning.

    Introducing new treats takes a little time and encouragement. If I move things around outside their pen they look askance for a bit.

    So some changes are no-brainers for them, while some make them a little edgy at first. I think a totally new environment with new people would take a while for them to adjust, and during that time, laying ducks would probably slow down or stop laying, unless, of course, they are like my little Buff Romy, who just ploughs right through life rolling with the punches.
  4. Little Fort Knox! I have no idea what that is, but it sounds so cute!

  5. mochilee

    mochilee In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2012
    Goldvein, Virginia
    And now I just read the chapter on raising ducklings in Holderreads book and oh no, I don't have the proper space or water supply. My husband just snuck off to bed early, just in case a new project is looming. It is. I like the idea of giving them water over a screen base.
    Improvisation time tomorrow!
  6. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Quote: [​IMG]

    My ducks let me know if I am running late, they let the neighbor know, too. The cat wakes me up before the alarm every morning, so it is rare. But...
    I was brought their water out a few minutes late this morning. Maybe 7 minutes, max. I stepped into the living room from the kitchen & looked up through the big glass doors to the breezeway, and out the breezeway window & there they were in their night yard - at full attention, staring me down.

    So... There are ducks watching me, all the time.

    They stared me down all the way to the breezeway door & then the chorus of quacks! My word, three ducks make a racket. Spoiled brats.
    I laughed the whole way across the carpet & spilled a ton of water in the process & I was more than 7 minutes late to work. It was easily the best part of my morning. If not my day.
  7. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    I made my duck enclosure 3 times bigger than I thought I would need last year. It is big enough, but I am adding on. I don't think they can ever have enough room.
    I have my pool over a giant screen base with a thin layer of pea gravel. The waterers are over the same kind of unit. It has been wonderful. Much less mess & cleanup.

    Duck babies are kind of gross. I prefer grown ducks, but the ducklings are cute & if you set up your brooder to allow for the watery mess & make it 20 times bigger than logic dictates they should need, they can be fun. [​IMG] My kids loved them.

    My ducks seem to be more effected by diet and schedule change than in the changes from brooder to enclosure, etc. When I move them in April to the new digs I will keep them in their house & enclosed yard for at least 5 -7 days. I am making their enclosed yard large enough that they will have ample room to range even if they never free range. I plan to do more concentrated free ranging this year by herding them (so easy, much easier than chickens) into areas I have surrounded by temporary fencing. I love free ranging as an idea & principal, but it is a practice I have found I am not enthusiastic about. Too much poo on the porch.

  8. dbolak

    dbolak In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2012
    North of Dallas, TX
    I recognize these ducks! I have two buff girls and They are up and calling for breakfast if we are late coming out to them. One is new here the other has been here through the loss of four to a Bobcat. She was bored when alone and yelled all the time for company. She knew anytime we went near a door.

    She had an accident and tore the skin over her crop and neck. We sutured her and now she REALLY likes my husband. She will follow him anywhere. She has been out in the yard in the "hospital" tub in an extra bathroom and now in a hopefully very secure night pen. Nothing seems to really upset her. She began laying eggs about four days after we sutured her wound. She lays an egg every morning in the same place.

    It took about a week for her and her new friend to figure out the night time routine but they have it down now. Oh, and she is quieter since her friend came to live here.
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Ducks don't like change, but they get over it quickly.

    If anything changes in their pen, they are suspicious for a few minutes until they can get a good look at it.

    They don't like changes in their routine. You should see the protest if I try to make them go to bed early. Then, I get scolded if I am late and they have to go to bed without me directing. I am expected a few minutes before the sun goes down and I am supposed to say "Go to bed.". They are perfectly capable of walking into their night run without me, but I am expected to play my part and do things in the correct order. They sit there and wait until I give the command. Then they all stand up and waddle off to bed.

    If they are moved to a new pen, it takes them a few minutes to start exploring.

    They do not like to have their flock split up. They deal with change a lot better if everyone is there.

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