help with duck selection

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ellenchancesanders, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. ellenchancesanders

    ellenchancesanders New Egg

    Jun 22, 2010
    I am planning to get a few ducks to live in my garden for pest control, but also to raise as pets. I had a pekin duck growing up, and absolutely loved her, so I'd like to get another pekin. I was also thinking of getting rouen and cayuga ducks because I've read they are very sweet and great with pest control. My question is - is it ok to get one of each duck, or should I try to get a male and female of each?
    Thanks so much for your help!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I suggest changing the title of your post: change "bird" to "duck." You'll get more useful responses.
  3. Traffa

    Traffa Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2010
    Quote:I'm not keeping ducks at the moment but it depends on what you want to do with them (apart from pest control). If you want to maintain pure bred ducks for show then mixing different breeds in a free range situation is not ideal.

    If you just want pets and maybe some ducklings from them then do some research re. can the various breeds cross? The main point for me about pure bred stock of good quality is that it has a higher resale value and you can make a little back on your investment over time. Also choose a breed or breeds that are considered good egg layers.....see where this is going? They pay for their upkeep. You feed them and they feed you!

    The one thing I dislike about ducks is that they leave messy poos around the yard which you then end up stepping on. To me they really need a pond area and this will have to be cleaned (hubbies are useful in this regard...LOL) and the water effluent can be put on the garden as a fertiliser. And I wouldn't put frogs or small fish in the pond either!

    Hope that helps.
  4. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    If all you are looking for is pest eating pets then get whatever you want. If you want friendly ducks, get day olds, keep them inside for a few weeks and mess with them and interact with them as much as possible everyday. Talk to them, offer them yummy treats out of your hand etc...this will entice them to see you as the provider, not be afraid of you, your hands, or movements and will go along way into keeping them tame as adults if you keep it up when they move outside, going out 2-3 times a day and offering them treats by hand and rubbing them.

    As a kid I had Pekins, Mallards, and Muscovies...
    Now I have 1 mama muscovy and her eight babies, 5 magpie, 2 buff orphington ducks, and 3 runners. My favorite and most friendly are the runners who I've had only 3 days because they were raised in a classroom and were extremely well socialized. My 2 buff orphington are good ducks too, very pretty and i've heard pretty decent layers.

    Muscovies in all honesty are big ducks, but seem to have some of the best personalities and are just all around great ducks. Great foragers, big and goofy, good layers, go broody well, can easily be tamed and be friendly if handled as babies and positively reinforced, and make excellent excellent mothers. Also muscovies tend to be very quiet, as they dont honk and quack loud like other breeds of duck, they more do a raspy hiss both males and females.

    If you are not looking to breed and just want a colorful diverse flock, get that. Get you a mix variety of ducklings to raise together, definately get more than you are planning to keep to account for drakes as you are not going to want many drakes, 1 drake to 3 females is about the least # ratio I'd suggest. So if you are looking for 3-4 ducks to keep, get 6-8 so you can maintain a healthy ratio so the male(s) dont tear up your females and when they get old enough to sex, then rehome the unwanted drakes. [​IMG]

    good luck and enjoy the ducks when you get them
  5. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I just got ducks again this year after not having any for 20 years. NOW I remember why I didn't get more ducks! LOL I love them but they are super messy babies. At 2 weeks old I finally put them on wire but at 4 weeks old I put them out in a coop! Ugh![​IMG]

    I have a mix of breeds and only 15 right now. I got mine mostly for eggs since I have eggs customers that are looking for richer ingredients. But extra boys will be Thanksgiving dinner.
    They will be messy in your yard or the garden but are great for bug patrol and slugs. The biggest mess has been the holes they drill when the water overflows from their water tubs or pool.

    Out of 15 I think I have 2 boys. I have a Cayuga, Khaki Campbells, Runners, Rouens, a Pekin/Rouen mix drake and Magpies. The Magpies have been the friendliest and I don't have as much time to mess with them as I would like. Mine are 3 and 4 months old now.
  6. ellenchancesanders

    ellenchancesanders New Egg

    Jun 22, 2010
    thanks so much for your advice. I am so excited about getting our little ducks!

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