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Ducks? (Breeds and pen/pond) (lots of pictures)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KDOGG331, May 15, 2015.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    So I know I sometimes change my mind a lot and I had previously wanted chickens (and still do) but then the other day I got to thinking, because of the small pond in our garden, that maybe we should get ducks. They seem just as easy as chickens but my thoughts are they're maybe more fun (chickens are amazing too but I've heard ducks are intelligent and make great pets?), we wouldn't have to go through the permitting thing like with a chicken coop, and we could have less. I mean, you could probably only have a few chickens too but still.

    So anyways, I immediately looked up info and have read several articles, both the thread here and articles elsewhere, and know a decent amount plus the chicken research but I think I'd still like help with a few things.

    Like breeds for instance. I've read the breed info on that rearing ducks thread here as well as this page on Metzer Farms site:

    http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=4576014

    So I have some ideas but I'd appreciate input.

    From what I understand, Swedish, Buff, Cayuga, and Welsh Harlequin seem to be the calmest? And according to that Metzer page, they're "very calm" as opposed to just calm and on their breed page, they say they're probably the calmest on their farm? I had never even heard of or considered the breed before but if that's true I think I definitely want to try them.

    But then I was also considering Swedish and I've heard they also do best with a mate?

    I was considering getting a pair but then I've also read they really do better or best with a trio or even at least 3 girls to a male so they don't get mated too much so I don't know how much of that is true either?

    And I've seen conflicting things about mixing breeds? One thing said they're fine and bond with any other breed but then another said they really do best with their own so I'm confused about that as well. I don't mind getting one breed or at least one pair of one but I'm kind of interested in trying other breeds too.

    And another thing is that I think I've read Cayugas can be noisy? I don't really want a really noisy breed but considering we have a lot of birds around anyhow and a dog that barks at basically everything, I can handle a little noise. Hahah

    TTheyalso don't have to be great egg layers or really at all since if we went with ducks over chickens or both, the ducks would really just be pets anyways. Although I do think it would be cool to let them have babies one year.

    Now, breeds aside, I have questions about the pond.

    I know there is a thread for it on here, as well as just a pen one, and I've subscribed to both and looked through the first few pages of the pond one and there's definitely a lot of great ideas, but I do have some questions. Also have questions about housing.

    SO.

    Initially I had thought they could splash around in the little garden pond or we could get a kiddie pool and I may still do that, at least for now, but then I was thinking that we could make a much bigger pond. I had thought about it but wasn't sure because we had tried to drain it before and I think the septic/sewer leech field is over there so I wasn't sure he'd want a pond there or if it wss safe but my dad says you CAN put one there and that it would be cool and I agree. Even if we don't end up with ducks, it would be cool to watch the wild birds and wildlife enjoy it and have a place for the dog to swim. The only problem though is finding water to keep it full but I'm sure we'd find something. That part of the yard is naturally a giant bowl anyways so when it rains, it fills up. We put stones in years ago to prevent it but they're mostly buried now so it fills up again but not as much. All we'd really need to do though is put a pond liner in I think.

    But anyways, I was mostly wondering if you think this old dog house would work for them? I know some people just use those dog igloos and I thought of that but then I thought why not just fix this thing up. I know it's small for chickens but would 2-4 ducks be okay? We could expand or add an igloo or something too if necessary but if this is fine, I don't want to, you know? I'm thinking they would just be out free ranging all day and sleep in it at night. I'm not sure if I'd build them a pen but I might.

    Anyways, there's a lot of pictures but here's the dog house first then some of the property and potential pond. If there's too many, I can remove some and put elsewhere.
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Was trying to figure out how to post the pictures on my page but I'll just do it here
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Garden where they could hang out
     
  4. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    We currently have 2 pairs of fully grown Pekin and 11 Pekin ducklings that I hatched myself. 2-2 ratio is leaving the females a bit torn up. If I were you I'd do 1-3 with your ducks.

    We've had mallards (they were always a bit wild), a male Swedish (he wasn't extremely friendly), 3 male black somethings (they were always a bit shy), 3 khakis (female was a magnificent layer, but they weren't very friendly), and Pekins who are IN YOUR BUSINESS friendly. The male of late has either become territorial or likes to play waddle-around-any-human's-legs a ton. The female Pekins are also really good layers. I can depend upon them giving me each an egg a day, with little vacation.

    I think a dog house would be good for them. We have our adults in a 8x8 hain-link dog pen with a roof on it.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Oh, they also all have really nasty wet poo. And they'll get into any water they see or hear. We have a deep kiddy pool for the adults. Make sure they have deep enough water to dip their bills in to rinse their noses. The ducklings are still too young to swim.
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Backyard, side/front and and the dog house.

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  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry, didn't see your response until just now but thanks so much!! :) I've considered Pekins but wasn't sure because don't they grow fast for meat? I wasn't sure if they'd still walk and do okay?

    And thanks fir the info on the poo and pool. I've heard some people say to rake the house every day but then some say only every few months?
     
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    The rest of the yard. The giant bowl is where we're considering potentially adding a pond.

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    (Excuse the mess but could potentially clear out for bug hunting or something too)

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    Okay, that should be all the pictures. :)

    Does this look good? As you can see, the dog house needs a lot of work
     
  9. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dog house would be fine for 2 or 3 ducks. Needs to be able to be entirely enclosed and I'd put hardware cloth at the roof opening so you still have airflow, but not invite in critters.

    The pond in the garden, that pond will be vile nasty disgusting in 10 mins flat, so unless you have an easy way to empty that sucker daily, you don't want them in it. For ducks and water, you want something that will clean easily or a way for it to not be stagnant. Kiddie pool is fine, easily dumped. I have a pond I built that has filtration and movement, so it is good to go for long periods without cleaning (as in most of a year).

    As for breeds - if you don't want eggs, you can consider males. They rasp, so not very loud. Pekins are large ducks, but they are fine as adults and have no issues getting around.
    If you are letting them free range in the yard, you will want to fence it or be aware that lots of things like ducks.
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the great info!! :)

    Males definitely seem like a great option but I read somewhere they're truly happy when they have mates?

    And maybe we could always start with a kiddie pool and then do a real pond later? A real pond would probably be a lot, especially if we did it professionally whwhich we may or may not just cause we don't really know what we're doing lol

    Also, I really want ducks now but if we went with chickens instead (my dad's kinda against just pets), do you think they would also fit in the dog house or no?

    Thanks for all the.info though. :)

    And that's good if the Pekins can still get around. :)
     

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