Hello from Chicago... I'm new at this.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ducklings1986, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Ducklings1986

    Ducklings1986 New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Hello all. I am from the NW suburbs of Chicago. I have been comtemplating getting some eggs to hatch and raise here. I have never had any experience with ducklings and would need a lot of help. I have a fairly large yard and a pond next to my house. I would love if the ducks could live there after they are fully grown. Can anyone tell me what I am getting myself into? I am especially curious how much the full-grown ducks will rely on me for their survival. Thank you all.
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    [​IMG]

    It's really great that you're asking questions before getting ducks! There are a lot of really intelligent, experienced waterfowl owners on this site.

    Here's my 2 cents: Releasing domestic ducks into the wild is not a good idea, it is illegal, and the ducks have a 50/50 chance of survival, if that. But the good news is that ducks don't need a pond! Get a kiddie pool, fill it up, and watch them go crazy. If you hatch and raise the ducks yourself, they will definitely depend on you for food...mine start quacking at 6:30 in the morning, on the dot, wanting me to hurry up and feed them!

    I think ducks are fairly easy to care for. They don't fly or roost, so all they need is a simple shelter, like a doghouse. Fence in an area for them to run around, get a kiddie pool, and you're in business. They poop a lot, more than I ever thought possible, so consistent cleaning is a must. But they have wonderful personalities and they lay eggs that are great for eating and baking.
     
  3. alliekrpc

    alliekrpc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Mountain, Ontario
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    Ducklings1986...Welcome to BYC! Chickentoes is right...there are so many helpful and supportive waterfowl owners on here...and they are always willing to help out and give advice. Just remember that if you're not sure...you can always ask. Better safe than sorry...and when it comes to raising animals...there are NO stupid questions! [​IMG]
    First...make sure that especially if you are starting with younger ducklings...that you have somewhere safe to put them at night. Althought you should have somewhere safe no matter what! I have made a simple doghouse design for my babies...it has a removable roof and a front door that tilts into a ramp that they can walk up (make sure that ANY surfaces that they will be walking on are NOT slippy) and I have the house set in a garden cart for easy moving! it works great! I can post pics and info on how to make one if you'd like [​IMG]
    Second, make sure that you find the right kind of feed for your babies. Remember that medicated chicken feed can potentially kill ducks...so go for a feed designed for duckies. At first, they will need a starter, then once they are big enough to eat pellets, I switch them to a grower. They need a readily available, clean supply of water for drinking. You can get chick waterers at your local feed store, but I just use the small rubber feed tubs that you can buy for horses for my guys. They are easy to clean and not so deep that the chickies can drown.
    Ducks do not need a pond to swim in...but they really do love it. I have a pond here, but I always start them out in a kiddie pool. They are cheap and easy to clean and make great "ponds" for ducks. Just make sure that you keep an eye on them while they are swimming because babies can drown very easily and chill quickly. If they look like they are tired...they likely are. Get them out and back to their heat source as soon as possible. Also, if babies are not raised by their mothers, they do not develop their waterproofing for some time after they are hatched. Their down can get waterlogged and make it very hard for them to swim.
    Ducks are definetly great animals to have as pets. They will keep the bugs down and make great companions. Do you have any idea what kind you are looking at getting? I have Muscovys and find that they are a very hearty breed and are rather self sustainable. Overall, once ducks can fend for themselves they do quite well on their own. Just make sure that they always have food, water and a safe place to stay and they pretty much do the rest! And as chickentoes said...it IS a bad idea, not to menton illegal to release domestic ducks. It would be like throwing your dog who has been inside its whole life outside into the wild to fend for itself...I'm sure it would be rather confused lol
    Good luck on your ducky experience. They will being you much joy and many smiles!
    Cheers![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. alliekrpc

    alliekrpc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Mountain, Ontario
    And don't forget...you always have friends here for help at BYC [​IMG]
     
  5. Ducklings1986

    Ducklings1986 New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Thank you so much for the replies! I wanted to get Mallard eggs. Honestly, I can't say that I am 100% committed to keeping ducks for their entire lifetime. I may move from this area in the next couple of years and have no place for ducks. I was hoping that they would be able to be released and self-sufficient after they reached adulthood.


    I am still thinking about it, but rest assured that I will not take on the task unless I am completely sure I can keep the ducks throughout their whole life now that I have talked to you all.
     

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