Getting Started

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by msnider612, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. msnider612

    msnider612 New Egg

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    Oct 6, 2015
    My husband and I want to start raising ducks. We are new at this, and could use any advice you have for beginners. Our two biggest questions are:
    1) Since we live in a neighborhood, we are concerned about noise level. (This is actually why we are looking into ducks rather than chickens). Which breeds would be best for our back yard? Looking for low noise and no flight.

    2) What would you recommend for containment and housing? How much indoor space do they need? etc.

    Oh, and we are in NC, so the weather changes daily. We need a hearty breed that can adapt easily.

    Any other tips would also be greatly appreciated.



    Thanks!
     
  2. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you want ducklings or eggs? Because female ducks are much noisier than male.
     
  3. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1.) ducks are louder than chickens. That being said I live in the suburbs and none of my neighbors complain. I've talked to them many times about if they get too loud then come talk to me. They are much better than having a backing dog all day and they are silent once they go to bed at night.

    2.) mine don't have all that much indoor space since the only time they ever go in there is to sleep. Even in the middle of winter they never want to go in there and would rather sleep on my patio. I'm in TX though and we only have a handful of days where it stays below freezing. I believe my house is 16 sq ft. I would recommend that you go larger rather than smaller and keep breed size in mind when building the house.

    Do you want egg or pets? Here is a good starting point http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=117105

    I have 2 runners, welsh harlequin, cayuga and white layer. None fly but they can be on the talkative side depending on the day.
     
  4. msnider612

    msnider612 New Egg

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    Oct 6, 2015
    To start off, we are mostly interested in eggs. As we get comfortable, we may expand out some.
     
  5. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would get an all female flock then. The males can rile them up when trying to mate, so that can increase the noise level. There is no breed that is quieter than the other, really. Pekins are probably the loudest, but it boils down to personality. Most of my ducks are quiet all day. Every once in a while one of them will just quack for an hour for no apparent reason. I have a Pekin that is just noisy. She never stops talking, ever. Her sister Pekin, though, barely makes a peep all day. You really can't rely on breed, because every bird is so different. If they are only in their house at night, you need a minimum of 2 square feet per bird. I'm not sure about a run, sine mine free range during the day, but I think it is 10 square feet per bird minimum. I could be wrong though. all of my ducks are pretty hearty, and I have a large assortment of breeds.
     
  6. MaureenD

    MaureenD Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2015
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    Hi there,
    I just got my first ducks in April and also live in a neighborhood with a neighbor on each side and farm field in the back. We have a fairly open yard, and I tractor their coops (a day pen when I am at work, and a night pen for nesting). They were noisier in the earlier months (3-5 months), but now that they are laying, they are not as vocal. They typically just talk to themselves as they graze in the yard. Honestly, our neighbor's dogs (two one each side), and OUR dog (barking at squirrels!) are louder than the ducks. We did run getting ducks past one side neighbor as we are on that side of the house and see them much more frequently than the other. I would suggest that before ordering.
    We got two chocolate runner and 2 welsh harlequin hens. LOVE them. They started laying at about 5.5 months, on "Labor"day actually.
    I have been getting three eggs a day, 2 green color, 1 white. Someone... is not laying yet, but I do not know who.... ; )

    Enjoy! Post picks...
     
  7. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would guess that your two chocolate runners are laying, my chocolate lays green eggs, and Welsh Harlequin lay white only. I saw it suggested on here a while back to dab a bit of food coloring on the vent of both of your Welsh Harlequins at night when you put them in their pen. When the laying duck lays her egg, it will have food coloring on it. Obviously - use two different colors so you can identify which of them is laying. Another way to tell is by measuring their pubic bones. I can always tell which duck isn't laying by the width of her hips compared to other ducks. It is really noticeable when you have laying ducks to compare to.
     
  8. MaureenD

    MaureenD Out Of The Brooder

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    I actually tried to feel the pelvis gap like in the Metzler Blog description. I think they are all capable right now of laying from that experience.
    I found it was easiest to do that when they were in the kiddy pool swimming. The girls seem to let me touch them there as long as I am slow about it and gentle.
    I have one runner who actually comes to me to be pet... it's a blast. I think she is also the one who delivers one wet STINKY poop every morning for me with a fart to go.
    Seriously- a loud fart. Her name is Betty. ; )
     
  9. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stinky Betty. I like it. I think that ducks poop like you would expect a cartoon duck to poop. With all the right sound effects. And the green fumes rising up from it? Yummo!
     
  10. DiamondSwan

    DiamondSwan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL!!!
     

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