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Hello--new to ducks! A zillion questions!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Eluria, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Eluria

    Eluria Chirping

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    Hello, I am new here--the main forum was kind enough to direct me to the duck threads :)

    Several weeks ago the neighbor girls brought me 2 tiny ducklings--the mama had been attacked, along with the babies. One baby was killed outright, mama took off with one, and these were left. They spent the first few nights in a small cat carrier--sadly, one, which had been very quiet where the other one was not, passed away. However, we rigged a brooder box, and the other one has survived to be a very feisty mallard girl.

    Miss Mallard does not love us, and I think can't wait to get back outside. I will release her when she is fully feathered and can get away from predators etc.

    However, I think I have a touch of duck fever now. After doing some research, I have discovered that I would be allowed to have up to 3 ducks on my property (we have a decent backyard, but not acreage by any means). I am looking for ducks that would be calm and friendly, and be decent to good layers. I'm thinking of ordering from Metzer farms, since they have a small order minimum. I am looking into Welsh Harlequins, Cayugas, and possibly Swedish Black/Blue or a Buff, although my 9 year old daughter was pretty entranced by the Hybrid 300's egg production.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has a small backyard flock in suburbia. We will build a pen for them at night, and I have been researching plans for one--if anyone has some helpful links or pics that would be great. I have read that ducks can get along with cats and dogs--we have a dog and two cats, although the kitties stay indoors. Any advice on how to introduce them safely?

    I noticed that many of the ducks have temperament ratings from very calm to nervous. Clearly I need to stay away from the nervous ones--but what does "average" mean, vs. calm or very calm when one is discussing duck temperament? I can't imagine that even the very calm ones are lap-type animals?

    Sorry for so many questions. Nice to meet you all! This looks like a fantastic little community.
     
  2. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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    Not everyone thinks so (as all individuals have their own personality), but I would recommend indian runners or rouens. Mine are sweet as can be, and fairly quiet (well, for ducks, anyway. :p) My khaki campbells are fairly tame but are LOUD!
     
  3. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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    Also, they can be "lap" birds if handled properly when young. My crested rouen loves to snuggle and preen me. :)

    We also used an industrial spool (like for hosing) for a base of a coop, then boarded the sides and made it a cute little hut-like thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  4. IHEARTMYDUCKS

    IHEARTMYDUCKS In the Brooder

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    Hi there

    Pekans & runners are my favorite they have the cutest personalities & they get along with all six of my dogs, good luck
     
  5. Eluria

    Eluria Chirping

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    Thanks! That would be so cool if they were tame enough to want to snuggle every once in a while. Interesting that you guys are recommending Khaki Campbells and Runners--those were two types that I have read are nervous. Probably ducks are a lot like people,where it just depends on the individual bird :)
     
  6. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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    Oh, very much so! Also, just handle your babies often and gently so they trust you. It depends on the individual whether they are super snuggly mama's birds, but treats, flattery (flattery goes a long way. Birds in general love being told how pretty they are. They're so vain! [​IMG]), and handling certainly help! :) They also adore being talked to and sang to. I used to sing a lullaby to my ducks when they were still little fuzzies and when I sang it they would run over, plop in my lap or snuggle up to my side, and doze off.
     
  7. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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  8. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chirping

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    I personally like swedish ducks. I have two drakes right nor and they are extremely friendly! They don't like being held too much, but they love to sit next to you and snuggle. I keep mine in a city and my neighbors never complain about noise. They are extremely quiet, however boys tend to be a heck of a lot quieter than girls.
     
  9. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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    One way of sexing ducks is actually by their quack. Guys are either monotone or raspy, while the females are LOUD and are the only ones to make the stereotypical "duck quack". Also, I don't know much about Swedes, but they are beautiful~ [​IMG]
     
  10. Eluria

    Eluria Chirping

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    So, we are going to go with the Welsh Harlequin, the Cayuga (my middle daughter's pick), and a Blue Swedish (my eldest daughter's pick) from Metzer. The girls were helping Daddy build the framing for the pen today--I'm so excited!
     

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