Help me out, duck people:)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by brandislee, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm on the fence about getting ducks. Ducks are really appealing to me for a lot of reasons, the least of which that ducklings are SO STINKIN' CUTE. Someday, probably on our next property, I would love to have a pond, and then ducks will be a must. But here is our situation- we live in a rural community, not necessarily a town, but I have relatively close neighbors on three sides, and a busy highway on the forth side. Our property is 3 acres with no fence. IF I get ducks I would only get like 4. I have 22 chickens and 15 chicks currently and will soon be getting 25 red broilers and 20 more red layer hybrids.

    So here are the concerns I have that are making me hesitate:

    • The ducks will fly or wander where I don't want them to- the neighbor's yard, into the garden (5 foot fence), the road (yikes!). I know I can call my chickens back when they wander into the neighbors yard and they have never gone near the road. Are they harder, easier, or about the same as chickens when it comes to staying near home and coming when called? What do you treat them with?
    • They will make a mud hole somewhere in my yard near wherever I put their pool. I am the least finicky person in the world about my yard- we don't fertilize our grass (other than with broilers, lol!), and I would plow the whole thing and plant veggies if I could, but my husband likes lawn and has a weird thing with mowing. And I generally don't like unsightly messes. Is there a way to prevent this? Is it possible/realistic to plan on moving the pool every few days?
    • I don't have the right kind of housing for them- I haven't found much more than very basic info on duck housing. But they don't need nest boxes, and they don't need roosts, right? So the housing would only have to be pretty basic. I have this truck topper, it's about 5x6 (guessing, haven't measured) that I was thinking I could put up on pressure treated lumber for skids, build a fence out the open side, and use that as their housing (and let them free range). If I plan to get small ducks, like call duck/campbell sized, how high does it have to be? The topper it's self is probably 18 inches to 2 feet high, so once I get it up on a 4 inch tall piece of wood will it be up off the ground enough? Because besides buying the skids I could make a home for them pretty cheap.
    • And winter- I know ducks handle winter better than chickens (or at least that's what I remember hearing). If I house them as above will I have to move them to different housing for winter? We live in Minnesota just south of the twin cities.

    Thanks for "listening," and thanks in advance for your replies!
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off, they don't remain at the cute duckling stage for long, just like cute little chicks.

    Second, there are breeds that don't fly. They tend to be the larger breeds.

    They WILL make mudholes, wherever there is water. Ducks and ducklings in particular are unsightly messes. [​IMG] Any place that a pool is emptied a bucket is refilled or a drip is on the ground will turn into the most amazingly wonderful thing that a duck has seen. Unfortunately, moving the pool daily, while good for the grass, will cause many, many, many muddy holes.

    Ducks require secure nighttime pens for protection against predators. Height depends on the breed but if you stay away from Runners (they are tall) 2 feet should be fine. Call ducks, if you want them to remain on your property, will need a covered run or to have their wings clipped religiously.

    I'm in Florida but from what I recall reading, deep bedding and wind breaks should do.

    You don't say why you want ducks except for cuteness. They are alot of work for the cuteness alone. I would suggest researching different duck breeds, there is a basic comparison chart on Metzer Farms website, and then deciding if they are something you really want to venture into. :)
     
  3. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    Esk Qld Australia
    First off if you are going to let them free range i would say no to getting ducks. Ducks will wander and with a road close i would not do it. You can get indian runners and a few other breeds that don't fly . Ducks will make mud holes if there is water around.
     
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I have other reasons for wanting ducks... (other than cute ducklings, although my second reason is that I also think they make cute adults...), but I'm thinking you all have talked me out of it. I like my chickens, so why rock the boat, right???

    Maybe someday when I live in the middle of BFE and have a pond!

    Thanks so much for the feedback!
     

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