General Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by daphnelovely, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. daphnelovely

    daphnelovely Just Hatched

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    I am a new duck mom this year and have posted a few things and so much appreciate all the info and replies on here. I want to give my ducks the best, safest, and most comfortable home they can have. I didnt know with those first 6 babies I would love them so much :) A few random general questions:
    1. Is it typical for domestic ducks to pair up while being part of the group as well? Even with a different breed. Or could this create separate groups?
    2. I currently have 6 Welsh Harlequin hens that are laying and get 2 to 5 eggs a day :) What other breeds are able to lay at this rate?
    3. Do different breeds give different flavor of eggs or does the food affect flavor? (Was given duck eggs that tasted very "gamey" but the eggs from my new hens are delicious)
    4. How do you keep and maintain a healthy pool during the winter?
    5. Is it normal for hens to act out mating with eachother? I have 2 that constantly mount eachother, other females and sometimes my aggressive drake. ( you should see his face lol)
    6. How important is natural grass and foliage in a ducks diet?
    7. I often put minnows in the pool for a treat and also give night crawlers. Are these good for "treats" or is there something more nutritional I could be giving them?
    8. The outside of the pen and their inside shed is lined with buried chickenwire, covered with dirt, and also covered with mulch on 2 sides that is made of mixed pine and oak. They do peck at the bugs in it through the chickenwire. Ive read that pine can be bad for ducks. Is this safe for them to be pecking in?
    9. What is the best way to introduce new ducks to eachother?
    10. I have been thinking about changing my flock a bit in the Spring to add some new babies with my more docile ducks (once they are of age to be outside of coarse). Is this safe for the ducklings or just something you need to keep an eye on?
    I THINK THATS ALL FOR NOW! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY REPLIES!! :)
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is pretty normal.I have had hens hump each other .I think it happens when the "drakes" are not doing duty.
    But,ducks will pair off.I have 12 and two of my Khaki girls leave together sometimes.They will separate usually having one male with them.Their groups do change when drakes are in the picture (I have 3,2 are mature one is just learning how to do things.)You probably will have to clean out the pools often or add a pond,that seriously helps(Less spending.)Also,feed the mino's as a every other 2 or 3 week treat Too much protein gives them angel wing.Ducks can do fine penned up and not being able to forage,but they really do enjoy grass,you also experience wild duck behaviors when out grazing.
    Nothing wrong with a sepertaed flock unless there is a bad reason their seperated.
    I would introduce them through a fence,they could be scared of the ducklings and this can really make the ducklings dominate in the flock,it's funny,but happened to me.If you have 1 or 2 dominate hens in the flock of ducks,they will be sure teh ducklings do not challenge them it's fun to watch them interact.

    The duck breed doesn't change the flavor,it's what they consume that make's the flavor either bad or good.
    Most ducks lay whenever.Some go through with the whole year thing whole week,but lot's of times they just lay whenevr.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  3. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope this helps! [​IMG] Btw, welcome to BYC!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. Is it typical for domestic ducks to pair up while being part of the group as well? Even with a different breed. Or could this create separate groups?
    Yes, and those groupings may change over time

    2. I currently have 6 Welsh Harlequin hens that are laying and get 2 to 5 eggs a day [​IMG] What other breeds are able to lay at this rate?
    I have a WH and runners. My runners are good layers as well. One is 6 years old and when not molting, still laying strong


    3. Do different breeds give different flavor of eggs or does the food affect flavor? (Was given duck eggs that tasted very "gamey" but the eggs from my new hens are delicious)
    food plays a part on the egg flavor, I don't know that the breed does. Feed too many minnows and the eggs will start to have a bit of a fishy taste to them.

    same with meds - if you have to medicate your duck, depending on medication, you don't want to eat any of those eggs laid and may want to wait a while before eating those eggs again once the meds have cleared the system

    4. How do you keep and maintain a healthy pool during the winter?
    Live in the south!

    They make pond heaters that you can put in small pond of water for them or you can do limited winter swim time and bring them water when you can for swimming. Moving water also freezes slower

    5. Is it normal for hens to act out mating with eachother? I have 2 that constantly mount eachother, other females and sometimes my aggressive drake. ( you should see his face lol)
    the ducky dance - yes, the ducky dance does not require a boy LOL


    6. How important is natural grass and foliage in a ducks diet?
    It gives them something to do, which is important, but along with their grass, they can get bugs and other "yummy" things. Is grass and whatnot a must - no, but if you can let them roam your yard now and then, they will love it

    7. I often put minnows in the pool for a treat and also give night crawlers. Are these good for "treats" or is there something more nutritional I could be giving them?
    the more minnows and worms you feed, the more fishy/wormy your eggs will taste (I have no idea if worms are wormy, but if you feed lots, I'd guess their eggs would tend toward whatever "flavor" a worm is...)
    My girls will walk over hot coals if there were peas on the other side. I give them fruits and veggies. Cucumbers, squash, watermelon, grapes, peas. Mine despise strawberries and carrots and plenty of other things, but they LOVE peas.

    8. The outside of the pen and their inside shed is lined with buried chickenwire, covered with dirt, and also covered with mulch on 2 sides that is made of mixed pine and oak. They do peck at the bugs in it through the chickenwire. Ive read that pine can be bad for ducks. Is this safe for them to be pecking in?
    I have pine and oak trees all over our property. Their bedding in the egg bin is pine straw and oak leaves. Never had an issue. They root around in mulch but I think ours is cypress or something - as long as they aren't eating the mulch since it is normally treated... should be fine.

    9. What is the best way to introduce new ducks to eachother?
    time
    This is how I do it, not sure if it is best, but works for us.
    Time LOL
    no really - littles stay on the deck in a great dane sized kennel but take supervised trips to the yard at least once daily to run around from day 2 or so. I let the big girls investigate and as long as they aren't trying to grab them, I let them get as close as they like. As the littles get bigger, they move to the yard during the day in a fenced area (my ducks and chickens free range) so everybody can see each other, but nobody can get beat up. They still get trips out in the yard with the bigs. As they get older and can fend for themselves against the bigs, I let them hang out longer on their own and just check on them often until they are free in the yard with the big girls.
    Night time - I put a divider in their hut. New ones on one side, existing on the other. Do this for a couple of weeks and then take the divider down and let them fend for themselves


    10. I have been thinking about changing my flock a bit in the Spring to add some new babies with my more docile ducks (once they are of age to be outside of coarse). Is this safe for the ducklings or just something you need to keep an eye on?
    As in put ducklings in with adults?
    You can try it, but not likely going to work with out time for introductions. Even docile ducks don't always take so kindly to new babies.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Wow....All I can say is that was long......You lost me someplace in the middle?

    Anyways...

    Ducks are easy...
    Sounds like you have a handle on Duck keeping....Sorry, you lost me.?...I know Ducks, but not about to write a novel to respond..

    Enjoy your Ducks...I do.
     
  6. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish I was near a creek or lake where I can easily get minnows for treats. As it is, I tested if my ducklings liked fish by buying a few feeder goldfish from the pet store. Did I really have to test it? Nah, just wanted to see if they like the fish. They were surprised by it at first but then I think seeing the fish dart around so fast got their interest and they went into the water after the goldfish.

    My ducks free-range and I've seen them eat many kinds of bugs. They probably eat lizards too, though I haven't witnessed it.

    As for other treats, there is a recent thread about it, probably on first 1-2 pages, you can find more info there.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    What a nice welcome, and thanks for taking time to answer all those questions!

    -kathy
     
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  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!

    -Kathy
     

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