Ducky questions...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mp5girl, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. mp5girl

    mp5girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    105
    11
    91
    Aug 8, 2013
    Hi all,

    I've been lurking for quite some time. I am on the fence as to whether to get ducks or chickens. I would like to start out with just one type of poultry since I've never had any to date. Except there was a little Pekin girl that kinda came with the house that became a pet for some time. Something got her a few months ago though. :( And I did do some chicken-sittin' for a friend who has little bantam cochins and they were adorable. I've read the pros and cons of both and I think ducks might be more to my liking. Here are my questions:

    1. There is a pond behind our house that is part of our neighbors property. I intend to fence off a poultry area and have a few kiddie pools maybe even a little fountain for my guys. Does the pond pose any problems? I don't want depressed ducks because they can't get to the water.

    2. What's the best duck house scenario? I haven't found actual duck houses, just chicken coops. What do you all do for night time confinement?

    3. What are the best Non-flight, egg laying ducks? I have read khaki campbells are good layers and some kind of 300 hybrid. Are there any problems with getting hybrids?

    4. What are the day time predator threats to ducks? I assume coyotes and fox and what not at night but are hawks a threat to full size ducks?

    5. Last but not least, where do you suggest buying sexed baby ducks? I've heard good and bad about hatcheries. Tractor supply has them but they aren't sexed and I really want to control that part. I don't wanna get attached to two drakes that aren't getting along.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,835
    180
    224
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    1 - if you have pools for them and they can't get to the pond, they will be fine.
    2 - you will find very little for duck houses online. Ducks don't require much - just something that will keep them safe at night and allow for some air flow. I used a dog house kit from lowes that I put hardware cloth over the windows, bungied the roof down so something couldn't get smart and open it, and made a latching door. I've since built bigger and the dog house is now the food station. They are now in a 3x6 fence board house with roof.
    3 - mallards, calls, and muscovies will be your fliers. None of the other common breeds will get enough height to be of issue. The rest goes on what you are looking for in temperament. I have runners. Love them. But they can be loud mouths at times and also flighty. My original 3 had 2 friendly girls and one that didn't want attention. When the super friendly one died, timid girl took the lead. Both of those girls are still friendly and will run to me when they think I have something for them. The other 3... the welsh harlequin is friendly in regards to food. The other 2 would be content if I left them alone minus the refilling of food.
    Pekins will lay decently - friendly - can be loud.
    Welsh Harlequins lay really well, friendly, mine isn't too chatty.
    Runners - all sorts of different colors - nuts (in a good way), adorable, can be a bit aloof and can be loud if they want to be
    the others - I don't have much experience with.
    Metzer Farms has a good comparison chart - http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=2317060
    4 - yes, a hawk can take a duck. I had one take my polish chicken which was about the size of my runners :(
    Also need to worry about stray dogs and the random night predator that is out during the day
    5 - I have had excellent luck with Metzer Farms both times I've ordered from them. They do small orders (I ordered 3 the first time and 4 the second (kept 2, the other 2 went to a friend). If you are only doing 2, you should be ok going with a local feed store or TSC, but if you want eggs, better to go the hatchery route - will be more expensive just because of the min order, heat pack and shipping.
     
  3. mp5girl

    mp5girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    105
    11
    91
    Aug 8, 2013
    You are fantastic!! Thank you so much for your help! :)
     
  4. RouenDuck

    RouenDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    17
    96
    May 7, 2013
    Welsh Harlequins are good layers. And they are really pretty.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by