Getting ducks in the spring- lots of ??s

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ShadowRooster, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. ShadowRooster

    ShadowRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    claremont, NH
    We have had chickens for the last two years, and as I was going over what I should have on the farm.. well, ducks came to mind. Lots of peaple say ducks are much better than chickens. I have always stood up for my clucking friends but I have never met a domestic duck- so I cant compare. I have a 20ft by 10ft pen, with a three and a half foot fence. I was using this for rabbits, and some extra silkie roosters. I know that anything with wings could get over that, even by fat BR with clipped wings can jump it. I dont mind if they get out, as long as ducks dont go far. Its mostly for keeping kids out than keeping things in (They are in a petting zoo). I was thinking I wanted call ducks, but I cant find a breeder around here, or large hatcheries that breed them. I want ducklings, not adults. What other breeds could I consider? I want smaller ducks, as they will be pets. I was thinking around three of them. [​IMG] I have a 3ft by 3ft dog house that the silkies are in but they are moving out, will this be an OK shelter for them?
     
  2. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    Hmm, well if you get calls they're gonna fly, so clipping their wings will help keep them contained. Muscovies and mallards are the other fliers but apart from that I think pretty much all of the other breeds can't fly, depending on the individual too of course.

    I love to advertise runners since that's what I have - they can't fly, are extremely fun to watch and mine are tame, although that depends on how much time you're willing to put into making them tame! They are pretty big though, height-wise not width-wise [​IMG]

    Other people will be able to tell you about different breeds [​IMG]
     
  3. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    The dog house sounds fine, but as for your chickens it is a good idea to make sure they are securely locked in at night for protection against predators. You could house 3 or 4 ducks in there I think as they will only go in at night, and prefer to be outside during the day.

    Adam is right about calls, and Muscovies are good flyers too but much heavier, and Mallards fly well. I have a 3 foot fence penning in my ducks and that is sufficient. They are not big jumpers! They would need a really big area to run up first to get enough lift from flapping to just get a few inches off the ground.

    I would suggest runners, not only because I too am smitten by mine, but because they don't take up a lot of floor space like some of the heavier breeds, they don't fly, they have lovely characters, and they don't need vast amounts of water for swimming. They will also give you lots of eggs to eat or sell. They stand tall, but are thin. They are not aggressive - my drakes are complete sweeties and would never attack a human. (some breeds' drakes can be really protective of females and get a bit bolshy and nippy)

    For a petting zoo, you will find that most ducks will not be "cuddly" or enjoy being held, but will give great entertainment and interesting viewing if the children can see them fishing for lettuce or peas in a water bowl or splashing about in a small pool.

    Depending on how many you have and how large their run is, they will most likely make a big mess of any grass, turning it into a mud hole. They are easy to keep though, will eat the same as your chickens and will most likely be very healthy and hardy even in really cold weather.

    Here you can see for size comparison, my runners with one of my chickens, which is a large breed RIR/Light Sussex cross.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. DuckyMom

    DuckyMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Oh I vote for Runners too! They are so much fun! and mine are very social. They will run right up and climb into your lap. If you let her one of my females will perch on your shoulder. They make such wonderful pets. they get so excited when you come to the pen and will preen you and pull at you pant leg to get your attention! Such sweeties. I've never had any other breed so I dont have a huge comparison. But I've met others and was not nearly as impressed. (I may be a tad biased... [​IMG] )
    Good luck with your new duckies!
    Emily
     
  5. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    minnesota!!!!
    minni apple yards are good pets and mothers! [​IMG]
     
  6. ShadowRooster

    ShadowRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    claremont, NH
    Thank you all! Runner ducks seem to be pretty common around here. I had not thought about them much, but it sounds like they are friendly. I always though they were kinda funny-looking. [​IMG] The pen they will be going in is already dirt, my chickens made sure of that this summer. The dog house is only 2ft tall (inside), would that be ok?
     
  7. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    Hey...you are near my old stomping grounds of Lebanon, NH! Born and raised.

    I too will be getting ducks this spring. Runners are on my list...Saxony, Welsh Harlequin, Cayuga, Blue Swedish, Rouen, and Gold Star Layers. I'm after eggs primarily and just like ordering chickens, it was hard to narrow my search. I want a little bit of everything!
     

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