My kids and I decided to try again with ducks this summer. Last year, we hatched out 3, and lost them when they were about 4 weeks old to some sort on infection, all within 24 hours of each other. We now have 1 mixed breed drake that we hatched out this spring, and the rest we purchased from the local feed store as babies in May... 4 Mallards (2 drakes, 2 hens - my daughter is currently at the MN State Fair showing a 1 of the drakes and the hens there for 4H after taking Grand Champion at our county fair!), 4 Blue Swedish (1 drake, 3 hens), and 7 Pekins (3 drakes, 4 hens). We also have a large and varied flock of chickens that free range, as well as 6 young turkeys that are also free range. Most everyone (except a handful of chickens that live in the barn) are locked up for the night. The ducks have not yet been allowed to free range. They all live together in a large coop that used to be an outdoor dog run. We really want to free range the ducks, but I am nervous because we have never had ducks before. Will they stick around or will they fly away? Should I clip their wings? I don't really want to if I don't have to. Will they feel the instinctual urge to migrate this fall?? Will they return to their coop in the evening like the chickens do, or will I be chasing them around the yard like we have to with the turkeys? 6 turkeys, I can handle... 16 ducks is another story! We do intend to thin out the flock a bit, probably later this fall. We are thinking of keeping 1 drake and 2 hens of each breed, and the mix breed drake. Then in the spring, we may separate them into breeding pens. I have a friend who butchers his ducks, but he has Runners... Are any of these ducks considered meat ducks? We really didn't get them to eat, but I don't want to have more than one drake of each breed if I can help it. So far, everyone has gotten along well, but they are young. Thanks for any words of wisdom anyone can impart to us!!