Ducks & the ocean

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Athaid, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, so we already have plans to keep chickens (and possibly quail, not free ranging of course) and will be having a flock free ranging on our land. However we are also curious about keeping ducks. If we do decide to keep ducks it will be a lot later in the year, possibly even early 2017. There is a small lake/pond behind our house where geese like to swim around, we even saw a mother duck with all her little ducklings waddling around just outside it! So cute. So clearly it is suitable for ducks, it is a decent size too. This seems like the obvious place to keep ducks, but there is also another place. There is a small river running down from the fields/hills that runs under a bridge and into the sea. The part of the sea it runs into is a naturally occurring bay, there is a small island between it and the open water, with two small streams of water connecting the two on either side. It is usually very calm, infact I have swam there many times. Do you think if we built the duck house near the bridge, tucked in beside the small hill that they would walk down to the beach and swim in the bay? Or would they not like the salt water? The river is only very small, you could easily step over it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bumpity bump
     
  3. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Anyone got anything?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hi, just saw this.

    My first thought is - what predators do you have in that area? Some don't see predators until they get ducks.

    So there is a huge risk, free-ranging ducks. And water bodies attract all kinds of animals.

    Domestic ducks are ill-equipped to protect themselves.

    From Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks:

    "Ducks can be raised successfully in marine areas. Most ocean bays and inlets are teeming with an abundant supply of plant and animal life that ducks relish. Because domestic ducks have a lower tolerance for salt than do wild sea ducks, sweet drinking water should be supplied at all times. Birds that are raised for meat on marine waterways need to be confined in a pen or yard and fed a grain-based diet for 2 to 4 weeks prior to butchering to avoid fishy-flavored meat."
     
  5. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi,
    There aren't any real predators here, the only other animals they might encounter are otters, seals, deer and maybe a cat or two. (You do get birds of prey here, are they a problem?)And we're not going to eat them so the fishy thing doesn't really matter.
     
  6. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh I forgot to mention adders.
     
  7. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are also other snakes but they're not venemous.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I am a very protective duck mom, just so you know....

    Adders could pose a problem, I am not familiar with their habits, though. Don't know if otters are egg eaters. If you have a duck sitting on a nest of eggs and an otter or other critter comes for the eggs, she could be injured or worse trying to defend the nest.

    Cats have been known to kill domestic ducks.

    Birds of prey (here we have - among others - red tailed hawks) can and do take ducks, especially young ones and smaller breeds. My flock is not for meat, either. Eggs, fertilizer, pest management, and good company.
     
  9. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmm well I did almost step on an adder, they do frequent the area. Maybe if I remove and/or break the eggs every day they won't attract predators? Do you suggest a certain breed which is less likely to be bothered by birds of prey?
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I eat the eggs, and collect them daily.

    Some of the larger breeds may be less likely to be bothered by birds of prey. I don't know what is available in your area.
     

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