First time duck owner, so many questions!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Easton, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. Easton

    Easton New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2014
    Hello! I am getting my first ever ducklings in spring [​IMG] but I can't decide what breed!! [​IMG] I've narrowed it down to 3 breeds based on my ducky criterion:

    -Must be good foragers, I'd like for them to have a big helping hand in getting rid of the abundance of ticks, mosquitos etc. that are on our property along with keeping food cost down

    -Mainly I will be raising them for eggs, I like different colored eggs and would like to be able to sell some to help with the cost of maintaing my feathered pets

    -I think a larger breed to be better in my location, we are heavily wooded though there is the large area around the house that is cleared out and we will be clearing more before they get here

    -I will have a pen for them and am converting an old chicken coop to a duck house, but I would like to have them free range during the day, kind of a necessity for me

    -They must be attractive! Haha, I'm not interested in Khaki Campbells because they are too plain and I'm clearly far too shallow for that kind of inner beauty

    The ones that I have my eye on are Ancona, Saxony, and Welsh Harlequin mainly. I'm also throwing around the idea of Silver Appleyards and Black Cayuga but I they'd be later down the line if I ever decide to grow my flock.

    The problems I'm running into are that these heritage breeds are only sold straight run and I wouldn't know what to do with drakes! Should I just keep them around in case I ever decide to breed them? Which I may depending on the breed. I would definitely be interested in breeding the Anconas and Saxonys! But only after I'm comfortable in my ability to raise happy, healthy birds. I'm not really into the idea of slaughtering them either...I'd probably cry before I even touched it haha. And I'm not sure how many I should get! I plan on starting small but the hatcheries are a minimum of 10 to ship...then however many unwanted drakes I end up getting. There are three people living on the property so eggs all around are intended plus ones to sell (if we can find buyers). We have large gardens for them to feast in and will be putting in lots of fruit trees. Plus there is a small river just to the side of the house they could use instead of me needing to have a tub or trough??

    Just throwing my thoughts out there, anyone have any input?? [​IMG]
     
  2. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmmmmm, ever put any thought into Indian Runner Ducks? They're GREAT foragers, probably the second best behind Muscovies! They're also a joy to watch, you will always laugh when you see them stamping around the yard as straight as a pole. They're also good-sized, fairly quiet as ducks go, and good layers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  3. Smurfbrew

    Smurfbrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Easton. Have you checked out Metzer Farms? They will send you sexed ducks for a slightly higher price. And you can get as few as two, but you have to pay extra for that as well. I just got 2 Welsh Harlequins and one Runner from them, all girls. Most of your criteria are the same as mine, with the exception of size. I think runners and WH are considered light weight breeds, So far, I am very happy with them!
     
  4. Blue Rooster

    Blue Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2014
    I have a variety of different mixed breed ducks along with 3 Pekins, and a Cayuga male. If you want unique eggs get a Cayuga hen, they lay grey to pure black eggs. I am thinking of getting one.
    Pekins are large birds and great egg layers, and their pure white feathers are so beautiful.

    Theses are my ducks
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. DemonicFowl

    DemonicFowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Muscovys and cayugas

    Cayugas have great personality's and well there like dogs basically. They lay various shades of black or green eggs. Good foragers. Can be a little loud and love to talk.

    Scovies are peak efficient foragers, survivalist and low noise. They also... Look like pancakes. Lol seriously

    Also scovies are not mallards like other ducks. So their lingo is different more body language than vocal like other ducks. So any crossing with a mallard with produce sterile ducklings. Until nature throws a curve ball that is.
     
  6. quacksnclucks74

    quacksnclucks74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Went to a farm swap today. Didnt sell any animals but i did come home with three new ones. A guinea pig and two black cayuga ducklings lol. I have them in a brooder in my bedroom. Laying here watching them and I adore them already! They dont peep like my other ducklings...its more like a soft gentle whistling sound. It is going to be so much fun watching them grow. I'm as happy as a kid in a candy store right now :) [​IMG]
     

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