Getting rid of my chickens!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Senna95, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I've made the decision to finally get rid of the last of my chickens and just stick to ducks. While ducks are messier then chickens when it comes to their water, I find that the pros of ducks out-weigh the cons. Feel free to add to this list


    Pros (of ducks vs. chickens):

    Easier to contain (chickens are hard to keep in their corrals and out of garden areas)
    Don't scratch the soil and kill the plants and grass.
    Are more alert at night, thereby warning you of approaching predators
    Rather than scattering all over the place when it's time to move them, ducks can be herded
    Are at least as good, if not better egg producers than chickens
    Don't eat their own eggs (the chickens were even eating my duck eggs!!!)
    Eat slugs out of the garden without doing significant damage to the veggie crop (as long as you don't have too many)
    Are very good eating (I raise a few every year for the freezer)
    Are much more fun to watch as they forrage for food and play in the water
    Don't feather-pick or become canibalistic
    Are more hardy in cold and wet weather
    While baby chicks are cute, baby ducks are WAY cuter
    Produce larger (and tastier, in my opinion) eggs.
    Are more disease resistant
    Lay their eggs early in the morning so that they can forrage durring the day without losing too many eggs
    Both drakes and hens are non-agressive and complete safe around kids


    Cons:

    Female ducks can be loud (but the drakes are much quieter than roosters)
    They like making mud
    Don't always lay their eggs in their nests
    They are hard to butcher (Lots of feathers!)
    Chicken eggs come in LOTS of neat colors, while duck eggs are only white or blue-ish
    If over-crowded, can flatten and compact soil, making it hard for small plants and grass to grow
    Many people aren't used to duck eggs, and it can be hard to find buyers, especially in a small town
    Did I mention the mud...???


    I had ducks before I had chickens, and now I'll go back to just ducks again for a number of reasons. Partly because I like playing around with the much simpler duck color-genetics, and partly because I like how easy they are to contain, and that they don't eat their own eggs. But for me the most compelling is that I own herding dogs, and it has been so much fun teaching them to herd the ducks, while the chickens just scatter and get in the way, and frustrate the dogs.

    Just curious what reasons you all have for keeping ducks........
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Slugs.

    Yup, that's what got me thinking about ducks. It's Mollison's fault, really. He said, "You don't have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency." A year later, I had ducks.

    Then it was the duck math. Figured I would want three, read somewhere there can be relatively high mortality, so I should get six, the hatchery I wanted to buy from had a minimum order of ten. They tossed in one extra as a bonus. [​IMG]

    I fell head over heels in love the moment I opened the box. Haven't been the same since.

    I have discovered their poop is the best fertilizer (perhaps just shy of worm castings) ever.

    They not only eat slugs (slug population here now decimated), but squash bugs, chickweed, dandelion. . . . .

    And most of all, they have the best personalities, sophisticated social structure, and fascinating communication skills. I can count on them to let me know if a predator is anywhere nearby. They are cooperative and patient.

    Did I mention cute?

    And their eggs are wonderful.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    They do just waddle right into our hearts.. [​IMG] I know of no negative thing to say about them.
     
  4. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    Get Muscovies, they don't quack and that takes care of the "noise" part of the Con list :)

    Michelle
     
  5. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

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    You got my vote! I don't care for chickens myself and only keep Call ducks. My husband started the "no chickens" policy here and I'm glad he did, because the more I learn about them, the less I like them.

    You'd be hard pressed to find something with more "cute" quality or personality than a Call duck! They probably are harder in some ways to keep than other ducks, but they sure don't make as much mess.
     
  6. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Muscovies fly (I've had them on top of my roof, and on my porch, where they make a big mess), and they can't be herded.........

    And....... (I know I'll get some flack for this) I don't find them attractive.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Muscovy can definitely be herded, i do it everyday with our flock and earlier this year i had 17 of them i put in, the ducks all taught the younger ones how to do this.

    As for a chicken vs duck? eh, sounds like dogs and cats to me, both serve purpose, both have pros & cons. I keep both and will continue too. It truly falls down to what you need & want, not one being inferior to another.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I'm sorry, but muscovies don't herd like "regular" ducks. I had 20 muscovies last year, and they scatter an fly like chickens (though not quite as bad).

    As far as one not being better then the other, I agree. I was just stating why I prefer ducks to chickens, for the reasons I listed. Financially I've had greater sucess with chickens (selling eggs, laying hens, and extra roosters), but I prefer to keep ducks.

    BTW, I've come to the conclusion that (for myself) it is not a good idea to keep ducks and chickens together. At least not when one has large quantities of both. I had 150 ducks, and 250 chickens at one time, (with plenty of room to spread out, and plenty of room at the feeders, and separate breeding pens) and while thy got along fine it just didn't work well. When one was doing fine, the other was having problems, and vice versa. Seemed like nother was ever perfect. That's another reason why I had to make a desision on one or the other.
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Regular ducks? Perhaps, I wouldn't be able to compare as that is the only breed i own but i will stand by my statement that i disagree with your previous they cannot be herded. My Muscovy are herded in every night and while i think there special i doubt there that "special" LOL..

    I don't house my chickens and ducks together, i am not a fan of the concept but people do, i feel there needs differ enough where it creates issues that i would rather not deal with but again some seem to pull it off just fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  10. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    The only breed of duck I will ever own is a Muscovy, yes the females can fly but I've never had them leave the yard. They are quiet, gentle and don't make such a mess. The "other" duck breeds I've found to be, as you mentioned, loud, smelly, messy, poor egg producers (at least my birds), and honestly, the only bird that I've ever owned that was dumber then a duck was guinea fowl. Sometimes I swear they have rocks for brains... lolt
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012

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