Getting Ducks Soon and Need Tips

Fluffy_Feathers

Songster
Jul 6, 2017
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Missouri
I'm going to be getting ducks soon. The plan is 2 ducks. I already have 7 chickens (just over 1 year old), but I'm thinking about making (or buying) a new duck coop and putting it right next to the chicken coop with their very own run (since ducks are extremely messy and play in water). I'll let them free range with the chickens and I will get some kind of water container for them to swim in. Since I am 100% new to ducks, and new to backyard poultry in general, I want to know some tips for raising and keeping ducks, and if anyone knows a good online guide to keeping them also. I'm so excited!
 

3bird

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Apr 2, 2017
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My Coop
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I'm going to be getting ducks soon. The plan is 2 ducks. I already have 7 chickens (just over 1 year old), but I'm thinking about making (or buying) a new duck coop and putting it right next to the chicken coop with their very own run (since ducks are extremely messy and play in water). I'll let them free range with the chickens and I will get some kind of water container for them to swim in. Since I am 100% new to ducks, and new to backyard poultry in general, I want to know some tips for raising and keeping ducks, and if anyone knows a good online guide to keeping them also. I'm so excited!

I'm excited for you! We began our duck journey just a little over a year ago, and we couldn't be happier. "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks" (Holderread) was invaluable to us, as was BYC (although the site was down for migration at the most critical time for us..ack!). We have all ducks--just seven (2 drakes and 5 ducks). They have a duckhouse with an attached run run that is both covered and predator-proofed. As such, we rarely lock them in at night unless we're getting into the negative numbers F with wind. We have silver Appleyards, which are great layers and excellent foragers. They also are really personable.

Keep us posted, and post pictures!
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
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South Park, Colorado, USA
I also recommend "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks" (Holderread) as @3bird mentioned.

Housing is way simpler than chicken housing. A dog house or shed or something will do, and as long as the wind isn't ripping they just hang out on the ground. Just be sure whatever you decide for housing has easy people access.

From what I've been told, drakes and chickens don't exactly mix. If you are only getting 2 ducks, 2 hens may be your best bet. One hen and one drake isn't a great ratio either.

They are soooo fun. I kinda wish I started with ducks instead of chickens! Having both is a blast.
 

Fluffy_Feathers

Songster
Jul 6, 2017
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Missouri
I'll definitely look into the Storey's guide. How accurate is duck sexing? Since I'm only getting 2, and if one turns out to be a drake then that wouldn't be good...

Also, will my rooster go after the ducks? He goes after my dog, but I'd think he would know that ducks aren't a threat... right?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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Oct 3, 2009
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He may roosters can be unpredictable. So they will need a lot of supervision once you let the ducks and chickens meet.

Just make sure they all meet first with some way to keep them still separate like fencing in between and the ducks need to be pretty good size. Even hens can be mean to young ducklings.
as for sexing you can order sexed ducklings. But unless your experienced vent sexing say at a feed store isn't a good idea the ducklings can be injured.
 

Fluffy_Feathers

Songster
Jul 6, 2017
360
402
186
Missouri
Yeah I have 0 experience with vent sexing. We are going to get the ducks from a farm store, and they say they're supposed to be all girls, but I know that isn't always accurate. With chicks, anyways. I'm hoping that duck sexing may be more fool proof...
 

Fluffy_Feathers

Songster
Jul 6, 2017
360
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186
Missouri
We have a plan now in case we get drakes. We will get a couple extra ducks and give the drakes and the hens that we don't want to my dad's boss so that we end up with two hens. I hope I don't get too attached to them... :hmm
 

3bird

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Apr 2, 2017
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Rockland, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
We have a plan now in case we get drakes. We will get a couple extra ducks and give the drakes and the hens that we don't want to my dad's boss so that we end up with two hens. I hope I don't get too attached to them... :hmm
Our neighbors tried that route with their runners, and it's a good plan. They were, however, devastated when they gave up their boys. They had grown very attached by that point. :-(
 

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