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First Time Duck Raising Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Doc McCluckins, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Doc McCluckins

    Doc McCluckins Songster

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    I started with Call ducks this year and purchased all adults so I am looking forward to raising our first brood of call ducklings in the spring when our girls start laying. As of now I have 3 drakes and 6 hens and plan to sort them into breeding pens of trios pairing birds with traits that compliment their mates working towards competitive show birds bred to the SOP. I am fairly new to Calls but learning all that I can. I have been studying them and picking out their better features and their faults to determine who needs to be with who come spring. Still lots to learn!

    If there is anyone else who has questions breeding related please add them!

    Some questions I have:
    -When should I expect them to begin laying (Southeastern US)? I need to have my breeding pens in order by then.
    -I plan to have a nest for each hen in my breeding pens but in my experience with chickens they like to share, are ducks often co-setters as well?
    -I really hope my girls will go broody on their own because I am not confident enough in my incubating skills to hatch ducklings yet. When (if) they start setting. Do I need to remove the drakes from the pen, assuming both hens are relatively on the same schedule?
    -Each breeding pen will have a pool like the pen pictured below (google image), although mine will be larger than this one. If the ducklings are raised by their mother will the pool be safe for them or would I need to remove/cover it until they are a few weeks old for safety?
    pen_left_side-301x218.jpg

    Here's some pics of my hopeful parents to be come spring. I can't wait!
    24129810_1706462699397567_1201924476217203740_n.jpg untitled.png
     
  2. Doc McCluckins

    Doc McCluckins Songster

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    @Ravynscroft you have been so incredibly helpful with all my call duck questions in the past.
     
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  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    I have Calls also, so I will follow along with you. I'm still learning the color genetics with them, but I have had a few successful hatches with them. I am also going to let them brood a group for me to add to my group this spring.

    I was also going to tag @Ravynscroft She is wonderful with this subject! @shawluvsbirds may want to join us also!
     
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  4. Doc McCluckins

    Doc McCluckins Songster

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    Neat! What colors do you have? I just have the whites and am going to focus on them for now. I was REALLY tempted to buy a pair of butterscotch at a show I was at a few weeks ago but luckily they were not for sale. Once I get comfortable raising them I may branch off to different colors. I shouldn't have to worry about getting any unexpected colors breeding white to white for now.
     
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  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma Premium Member

    I also breed Calls...They are fantastic little Ducks..
     
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  6. Doc McCluckins

    Doc McCluckins Songster

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    They really are. Do you breed for show or just for fun?
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma Premium Member

    Just for Fun..I have a waiting list ..Mine are Breeding now and laying eggs..I will start incubating Friday if all goes as planned..Lady wants 10...
     
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  8. Doc McCluckins

    Doc McCluckins Songster

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    Neat. I assumed they were seasonal breeders. Mine are not laying currently but all of my females but one are pullets so that may be why. I might need to speed up my pen construction sooner rather than later
     
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  9. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Glad to see you thinking ahead, Doc! Your Calls are gorgeous! :love

    Being typier Calls like you have, I wouldn't worry too much about them laying til at least late Jan into Feb, maybe even Mar... some of mine will lay sporadically through winter, but fertility is hit or miss until temps warm up and daylight hours are longer... and my Snowy line that is typey doesn't start til Feb, at least...
    Yes, they will co-sit and brood, if the females are bonded well enough... first time sitters may not finish sometimes, and some may not take to brooding, just letting you know... usually they are amazing sitters and brooders...
    If the ducks are bonded to the drakes, then the drakes can stay in with them, but be prepared to remove them if necessary...
    Ducklings can go to the water from day 1 with their mom, just make sure they have steps or ramp out of the tub... as long as they can get in and out easy, they should be ok... but monitor, especially first time brooders...

    Honestly, though... the typier Calls lay much, much fewer eggs and go broody much less than other Calls... you might be better off looking into hatching and raising them yourself, or at least be prepared to... never know what might happen with broodys... but no worries, I can help you there... since you're in my area, I can give you all the pointers that I learned hatching here... and @WVduckchick is absolutely excellent in hatching help too! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  10. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    I have 6 - 3 pairs. Drakes are white, blue fawn and silver. Hens are grey, blue fawn and silver. They all run together now, and are inseparable.

    A couple pics
    WP_20170910_12_24_54_Pro_LI.jpg WP_20171122_07_40_46_Pro.jpg
     
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