Help me convince my hubby!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChickenChik, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. ChickenChik

    ChickenChik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kinsey, Alabama
    I have been wanting ducks for a while now and my hubby is not really sure about the idea. I only want 2 or 3 (but if that's anything like chickens that number multiplies very quickly). I know nothing about ducks!!! We have just been chicken people up until now. What I would like to know is well..anything you think I should know about ducks. Some specific questions I have are 1) How many square feet do ducks need when they are full grown? 2)Do they have a special find of feed for ducks? 3) Do they need a duck house and if so what needs to be in it? 4) How long does it take a duck to mature? 5) Pros and Cons of ducks? 6) I currently have chickens, Do ducks need a completely seperate pen from the chickens? 7) I would like a smaller breed duck, What kind of duck do you recommend? I really am a newbie and would like to have all my ducks in a row ([​IMG]) before getting anything ducklings. They are just so cute and hard to resist. Any advice would be great!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Quote:1) They need 3 sq ft per duck...must be floor space as they do not roost

    2) Ducks need a different food because they require more Niacin and less calcium. You can feed the duck food to the chickens and make sure they have oyster shell available. Purina start n grow, flock Raiser and Layena are great for ducks

    3) I house my ducks and chickens separately because ducks make such a wet mess...their poo is primarily water. Give them straw or pine shavings, low nests, ventilation and you are good. If you give ducks food you must give them water. They need water deep enough to dunk the heads at all times...they clean their nares that way.

    4) Maturity is about the same as chickens 20 - 24 weeks laying begins

    5) Pros: They are fun, good slug and bug eaters and a real joy to have around. Their eggs are larger and much richer than a chicken egg and are great for baking. Cons: They are messier than chickens. They are seasonal layers more so than chickens.

    6) I would give the ducks separate quarters for sleeping and not mix with the chickens until they are grown and can fight back. Just a precaution.

    7) Small as in lightweight or small as in bantam? Either way here is what I would get...I would order from Holderread's in Corvalis Oregon.

    LIGHT WEIGHT DUCK CLASS

    Khaki Campbell Ducks - supposed good layers

    Dutch Hook Bill Ducks

    Magpie Ducks

    Runner Ducks (sometimes called Indian Runner)

    Golden Welsh Harlequin Ducks - I have these from Holderread and they are fabulous.

    BANTAM DUCK CLASS

    Miniature Silver Appleyard Ducks (sometimes called Mini Appleyard, Bantam Appleyard or Sliver Bantam)

    Black East Indie Ducks* (sometimes called East India or East Indian)

    Silky Ducks



    Here is a link to Holderread's Breed list

    http://www.holderreadfarm.com/breeds_list_page/breeds_list.htm

    there is tons of information on their site. I also have a heavy breed from them...Anconas they are super

    Good luck with your decision
     
  3. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    1) How many square feet do ducks need when they are full grown?
    3 sq ft in a 'house' 10sq ft in a run much the same as a large fowl chicken. I prefer to let ducks free range atleast a few hours though, but I know many people on here have house ducks [​IMG]

    2)Do they have a special find of feed for ducks? Like Cetawin said - Layena is awesome I feed it to my chickens and ducks and save on seperate bags of feed. But definately you'll have to add oyster shells for your chickens with it. Ducks don't need the amount of calcium chickens do, they need more protein and niacin than chickens do, but chickens can healthily eat their food. [​IMG]

    3) Do they need a duck house and if so what needs to be in it? Similar to a chicken coop, but you'll waste space, material, and money if you make it tall as they stay on the ground all the time. I use a large dog house/dog box its just a slanted roofed home made dog house thats really wide. Mine free range 24/7 and get in it only when its cool at night or storming, otherwise they choose the open shed at my neighbor's under his tractor - lol.

    4) How long does it take a duck to mature? depends on some breeds but pretty much exactly like chickens - laying eggs @ 6 months.

    5) Pros and Cons of ducks? Pros : EGGS! Their eggs are awesome, larger than the largest chicken breed usually, tasty and rich, best for baking! Ducks are fun have alot of character and are just plain silly. In my experience I have had more tame ducks than chickens and ducks will follow you like puppies. Their poop is watery as it is primarily water content and so it dissolves and disappears faster than chicken poo...
    Duck pond water (kiddie pools/dishes they use and poo in [​IMG] ) makes for GREAT and FREE fertilizer and recycled water for your plants if you garden!

    Cons - VERY messy. They LOVE water and splash or spit it EVERYWHERE. You will need to look up duck waterers that reduce spillage and splashing if you aren't looking to clean out a brooder full of ducklings 2-4 times a day.

    6) I currently have chickens, Do ducks need a completely seperate pen from the chickens? I don't suggest keeping them PENNED together - but free ranging or in an exceptionally large run/pen it can be okay - but again ducks make HUGE messes, much more than a chicken and I dont suggest them having the same housing as the chickens will be up in roosts and the ducks on the ground and so when the chickens poo...the ducks get pooed on. [​IMG]


    7) I would like a smaller breed duck, What kind of duck do you recommend?
    I have Magpies - a light weight duck and they are awesome!
    Khaki Campbells are supposed to be a really good duck too.
    Runners - I'm getting some from a fellow BYC'er next week and I am excited. I have heard they make one of the best pets.

    Call ducks are small - but I don't know anything about them pet wise.

    My favorite breed is one of the larger ones - Muscovy - great brooders, very easy going, lazy, and funny. but they are a big and heavy breed! But check around on here and see all the awesomely cute pictures and stories about muscovies you will quickly fall in love with them if you give yourself a chance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  4. ChickenChik

    ChickenChik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank y'all so much!! How do y'all keep your ducks contained wing clipping or covered run? Any other advice would be great!
     
  5. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They're obstinate little buggers. They're quick, they can fly, they're hard to catch. The females are supposedly really loud. Then again, they're little, round, adorable, and cheap to feed. My adult Call drake only eats a few tablespoons of duck pellets a day. [​IMG]

    I like Dutch Hookbills for pets - they're naturally more docile than any of the other breeds I've kept, even when they're all raised exactly the same way. They're a heritage breed, they're small (4 pounds average), they lay lots of pale blue eggs in the spring, and they're really unique!

    Oh, and as far as duck food - Purina does make "Duck Chow" in Starter, Grower, and Breeder rations. I can only get the Grower here, so all my ducklings eat that from three weeks of age until they start laying - then, they get equal parts Grower pellets and Layer crumbles.

    And I agree with Cetawin about ordering from Holderreads - they were the best experience I've had with ducklings, shipped or picked up locally. They were all vibrant and healthy when they arrived and I haven't lost one yet. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2010
  6. ChickenChik

    ChickenChik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone else have any options about where to order from? Holderreads is sold out of almost everything!
     
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    This time of year is tough to order exactly what you want. This is the end of the season for most hatcheries. You can order an assortment if you want or order now for Spring delivery. Holderread's also sells adult to be shipped later in the year when it cools off.

    Check craigslist and look under the chickenstock forum here for one in your area....see if they are having ducklings there. I have 13 eggs in the bator now but not doing you any good when I am in KY.

    BTW ScaredofShadows - Large fowl need more than 3 sq ft...they need a bare minimum of 4 sq ft preferrably 5 sq ft per bird your heavy breeds more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  8. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check your local Craigslist, or even post a wanted ad on Craigslist for ducklings - you'd be surprised how many people in your area are raising ducks!

    I've also ordered from Sandhill Preservation Center, and it was an overall good experience, and I'm pleased with the birds I got from them. I like to stick with Holderreads and Sandhill for ducklings because they're not the sort of hatcheries that cull all the extra male ducklings (pretty much any hatchery that DOES sell sexed birds is culling all the unwanted males - I've even read that boxes of chicks and ducklings that are still alive are left at the dump to be incinerated) - on the other hand, you can't order sexed birds from them. [​IMG]

    Most ducks don't need wing clipping or a covered run - because most domestic ducks can't fly. The ones that can fly are domestic Mallards, Calls, Black East Indies, Australian Spotteds (basically, assume that any Bantam duck can fly), Hookbills, Muscovies....I just know I'm forgetting one... Anyways, a 4-foot fence will keep most breeds in. I clip my Call duck AND I have him in a covered, raised pen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2010
  9. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Cetawin, oh yeah I know this! 2sq ft bantam chickens 4sq ft large fowl minimum 5sq ft run space for bantam chickens 10 sq ft run space for large fowl. I however believe 6 sq ft foot in a short coop and 4 sq ft is acceptable floor space in a larger/taller coop where like i've had in the past shelving boards for them to get across and roosts and rafters. I also believe 15 sq ft in a run for a large fowl if they are penned all the time. 10 is easily acceptable if you free range through out the day, or even smaller (like my mini coop for my silkies its run is only 7X5) but now that they've figured out thats 'home base' I let them loose and they stay near their coop and run but dont go far, but are out from 6 or 7 till about 7 when they are ready to roost for the night. [​IMG]
     
  10. duckface

    duckface Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2009
    the back of my horse
    I have been wanting ducks for a while now and my hubby is not really sure about the idea.

    Have him read "101 reasons we love ducks" that's sticky-ed at the top of this forum. [​IMG]
     

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