Help! Husband brought home a Mallard and I have NO clue what I'm doing

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JessHall, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. JessHall

    JessHall Heavenly Hollow Ranch

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Shadow Hills, CA
    We're newly weds, and I thought I had the whole communication thing down... "Honey what do you think about getting some chickens?" I asked. "Great idea" he said... then he came home with a Mallard! Maybe chicken means duck to men lol!
    She/he is a little piggy! Gets water from waterer everywhere!... poops bigger than chicks... but he is cute and we have it now so we are responsible now. We're currently designing our chicken coop, and I wonder if there is a way I can incorporate the duck into our plans. Or do I need to? What do you do with a Mallard? Does it need a buddy(It has been with three of our chicks since they all came home. Not sure if this is ok or not, but everyone seems happy and healthy. When can it live outside? I have so many questions I can't list them all. I just need a little guidance so that we can take care of the little guy. Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Where did he get it? Please say it wasn't wild.
     
  3. call ducks

    call ducks silver appleyard addict

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    Mar 4, 2009
    waterville , canada
    how old duck or duckling ?
     
  4. JessHall

    JessHall Heavenly Hollow Ranch

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    Shadow Hills, CA
    Quote:No it was not wild... It was from a pet store. His mom grew up with a few and he has always thought that it would be fun to have a little duck waddling around our yard.
     
  5. JessHall

    JessHall Heavenly Hollow Ranch

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    Shadow Hills, CA
    Quote:Duckling
     
  6. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    Quote:Well, there's your problem! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sheesh, having communication "down." That cracks me up. Husband and I are "communication challenged."

    Have fun with the ducky, they're awesome critters.

    Blessings on your marriage as well.
     
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Ducks are messier than chickens, but in a large yard/free range they get along just fine. Confined, I don't know for sure. We keep our ducks in a separate run from the other birds. They need a continuous source of fresh water, deep enough to at least put their whole head into it to keep their nostrils clear. They tend to take a beakful of food, nosh on it a little, then suck up some water, so the water gets mucky pretty quick. If kept separate from other birds, I would recommend a buddy. They are social just like chickens, and I'm pretty sure one would be lonely. I put ours outside at about 5-6 weeks depending on the temperatures. I didn't see where you were located... do you have to worry about really cold winter temps? Once he's fully feathered you should be able to put him outside without any problems. They need a clean/dry place to go to get out of the snow if applicable... they CAN get frostbite on their feet, especially if they go from water to snow/ice.
    I'm sure I'm missing plenty... but there's plenty of help here. [​IMG]
     
  8. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    We're currently designing our chicken coop, and I wonder if there is a way I can incorporate the duck into our plans. Or do I need to? What do you do with a Mallard? Does it need a buddy(It has been with three of our chicks since they all came home. Not sure if this is ok or not, but everyone seems happy and healthy. When can it live outside?

    Ok, more seriously, the duck can be with the chickens, but you'll need a covered run to keep him from flying off. If he has chicken friends, you may not need another duck buddy, but I would get more than one because ducks are really cool.

    Don't feed him medicated feed, we're using Purina's Flock Raiser for our duckies.

    Mallards are pets or eating ducks. The females lay eggs, but not as many as egg breeds.

    For housing, use the same square footage as a chicken, but trend toward more generous. 4 ft inside, 10 outside. He won't need water to swim in all the time. Holderreads often just gives ducks showers to play in.

    Cut up greens really small and float them in a bowl of water for a treat.

    Ask other questions as you need to. I"m new to ducks as well, and I'm following others' advice.
     

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