Hottentot and Ringed Teal Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HottentotTeal, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    I bookmarked their site after reading your thread last night where you highly recommended them to someone else.

    I planned to put that 3t netting on the ceiling area, maybe a few inches before the actual roof, to give them some space for the netting to give in case they fly up there.

    Did you also mean I need to put that 3t netting all around like against the chicken wire or just on the top?


    Our home builder recommended someone that can do the work for us and we are going to have him come out and kinda brainstorm with us on what might work in that little area i have planned for it. Hopefully, he can come out this weekend.

    I am already getting antsy!

    I also mentioned to my wife that you said i should have enough room for 2 pairs. I could get a pair of Ringed and Hottentots, but she said i can only have 1 pair.

    We will see how that goes, but she is probably right. No need to overdue it and get greedy right now.

    I'll be sure to post updates, questions, and pictures as this rolls along.
     
  2. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

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    Thats great and with the netting its best if you don't have to use chicken wire at all. If you can do a ceiling, a sight barrier, and then the rest netting, there will be a very small chance of a bird hurting itself by flight.
     
  3. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My only concern about using just netting is would it be easy for a cat to scrape or cut through?


    Hopefully, this isn't too dumb of a question, but do electrical fencing/wires have fire-causing potential? I'm not really familiar with them or how they work and it would be very close to the house.

    I'm not sure if something like newspaper or trash or a branch would fall and get stuck on the wire, if that has potential to do anything bad.


    I am trying to look up some aviary designs on the internet, but i really like parts of yours best. I would like to put a roof over mine though for protection from tree limbs and use pillars, but metal poles would be easier.

    I am trying to look up as much information as i can right now on them, since we are supposed to hopefully meet with our prospective builder this weekend. I don't really know if he will have any ideas on building it. hopefully he will.

    I checked out several threads in the main forum section, but a majority of them looked like they were for chickens and they were too short and small and a lot of them were triangular.


    One question i have on cleaning is that it looks like when i put in the pool, I should line it with some rocks and large pebbles and sand, which i gather are to help soak up water when they come out from swimming.


    I saw a few places mention that the ground for them could have either concrete or sand and gravel floors.


    I think having it completely concrete would be too expensive and i would rather have something a little more natural for their feet, so i am leaning more towards sand and gravel, but do you think i should do the entire floor like that or should i just replant grass? or have grass on one end like the left side which will get most of the sun and then the pool kind of in the middle and then have rocks and sand around that and to the right i figured i could make that their resting/nesting area?

    Looking at your pics it looks like you have a lot of grass, but i just fear mine would die out if i had it on the right half side of the space alloted. I was thinking splitting it 50/50 would be the best alternative.


    If sand is ok, is there any kind you might recommend as well as the rocks or gravel. I think my book or maybe Mallard Lane recommended "river gravel." I am guessing that is a type of gravel, maybe polished and/or rounded.



    Speaking of sand, something i just read in the book i bought yesterday and read on another website that i did not know was that it mentioned that ducks should be supplied with coarse grit or sand of some sort to aid in food digestion. Would that be correct and if so, do their foods come premixed with that or is that something i would need to buy separately? I was thinking maybe that depends on their diet as well. I would think duck pellets might be softer, but again, this is quite new to me.


    If i build a roof, I don't think the grass would grow very well and eventually die out.



    The funny thing about all of this is my little sister was given an "easter duck" for easter when we went to a huge family easter party on someone's farmland and we kept it for about a year and then released it back on their farm, but i have no earthly clue how we took care of it. I remember my dad built a raised cage for it, but that was it. I don't recall what we fed it. All i remember is it got really big and brown and we had some gigantic 4 or 5 foot styrofoam ice chest cooler that it would dive into and out of after we filled it up with water.



    Thanks for any replies in advance!




    EDIT:

    Ok, the building guy is coming out tomorrow and hopefully we can do some brainstorming.

    We went to Lowes and Home Depot a few minutes ago and we saw 2 pond liners. We plan to go back and pick one of them up tomorrow. I'm going to start ripping out all of the bushes as well, so hopefully the land can be mostly cleared tomorrow.

    I think i am going to go ahead and try to do something like yours 1lpoock, so that means I won't be doing a roof with shingles. It only gets partial sun as it is, so i guess it might be a good idea to just do without the shingled roof. I couldn't find any angled or curved metal fencing poles at either store. I just saw a couple of straight ones. I may have to go looking elsewhere and maybe i can do a search online and see if there are sites that sells stuff specifically for this. For the netting, all we saw was the plastic and metal fencing, so i am going to just order some from that 3t place.



    EDIT 2:



    Ok, we picked up the little duck pond as can be seen here:

    [​IMG]


    The builder recommended doing the following:

    wire bottom in the ground, rocks on top of that for drainage, a few inches of sand on top of that.
    A pressure treated frame with cemented posts.
    For the sight barrier, we were going to copy our fence and use a "rotboard" (his words) and then do some small fencing tops all around to make up the needed height. I forgot whether it will be on top or in front of the base board.
    Chicken wire around the sides and top.
    I ordered the 1" 12.5x50 heavy notted 3t netting and will put it on the top a few inches below the ceiling.
    The dimensions are still in the same ballpark of 6' x 13' x 7'. I think we actually somehow got to 5 feet across, but i think that is just not large enough. I have about 7 feet to work with and i would feel much better with 6 feet.

    I am thinking of maybe putting a weed blocking sheet at the very bottom below the wire or right above it, but i'm not really sure if that is necessary.

    We will probably get started on the building of it in the next few weeks. Next week is Draft week, so for sure it won't be started until the week after.


    I took out all of the landscaping from the area as well. It didn't take as long as i thought. Only about an hour, but i decided to transplant half of the bushes to the front yard, which recieves a lot more sun and the plants up front didn't hold up too well in full sun. Then i moved the rest around to the neighbors house. Also dumped all the mulch and little dirt next door too. That helped out quite a bit, so the area is more or less prepared for the guy to come work on it and isaved him some time having to clearing it out. The aftermath of all that took an extra 2 hours. At least it wasn't 100 degrees outside!

    [​IMG]


    Using the sand, from what i saw from a few other threads will allow the ducks to use the grit on their own without having to be supplied it by me in the trough i guess, although i still may do that.

    In either case, do ducks just know when to eat it with their food or how does that work? Do they just eat a little of it separately?

    Next up, I will probably buy a watering device and look into buying 2 or 3 nesting boxes and then think about what i will do on the ground level. I think i will make a little roofed box area like 1lpoock did, although i saw several people mention they used little dog igloos.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  4. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, after spending the morning reading the forums and checking out what is available at Lowes and Home Depot, I got a new list of stuff i plan to start buying.


    Lowes carries Play sand, which i thought "ok, now i don't have to order a truckload and can just pick up several bags from there."


    Well, I read 2 reviews and they mentioned it was more like crushed rock and contained a lot of dust. Having read that, I figured forget that.


    I then saw that they carry a bag/box of commercial grade medium sand:
    http://www.lowes.com/pd_19178-286-1...rue$ddkey=http:SearchCatalogDisplay#prod-tabs

    My guess is that the medium grade is what i need for the floor of the aviary, at least if i was going to buy sand from Lowes.

    Unfortunately, it looks like most of the stores around me don't actually carry it, so i may need to look elsewhere at a different chain store or just get it through one of those quarry places.

    I may not be able to find this at any of the local stores, but is medium grade sand what i should be looking for?



    I also came across some pool filter sand called ZeoSand, but I don't know if that is something i should look into or not.


    http://www.zeoinc.com/zeosand7.html
    Their website has the following listed:
    Ecological Information
    Waterfowl Toxicity: Not applicable Aquatic toxicity: Not applicable
    Food chain concentration: Not applicable Biochemical oxygen demand: Not applicable
    Atmospheric: Not applicable

    I did a search on the fourms and saw no results for "zeosand." Has anyone used that before?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  5. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I would suggest you use 1/2" hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. Chicken wire is only good for keeping your ducks IN, it won't keep predators out as it is flimsy and easily ripped/spread apart for predators to get in. You won't be sorry using the hardware cloth believe me especially if cost isn't a problem.

    Have you found a breeder for the hottentot teals? I've never heard of them before but looked at googled pix and they are a beautiful bird. I've got a pair of adult greenhead Australian Spotted ducks I got last year from Holderread's. They are now a year old and I am loving them.

    I've also got 2 cayugas, 2 welsh harelquin and 1 chocolate runner coming from Metzer's in another 1.5 weeks. Can't wait! I started with 3 Golden 300 hybrids from Metzer farms 7 years ago and they are still around too. They don't lay many eggs anymore but in their over a five year period!

    Good for you for being so thorough on this project. Sadly, too many people don't do enough research before they get ducks and end up letting them live in filth (seen it first hand!).

    ETA: (For some reason I just noticed text was missing from my original post and should read as: " They don't lay many eggs anymore but in their prime they laid several thousand between the three ducks over a five year period!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  6. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    Hi Sianara,

    I am building this in my backyard in the city. The only predators we have around here would be cats, dogs, and possums.

    Dogs can't get in our yard, because of our fencing, but cats can, since they climb and I am sure possums are small enough to get through the front gate, but there isn't much reason for them to be in our yard, as it is quite bare.

    I will go back to the store this week and take a closer look at the fence wire they carry. I did see the hardware cloth, but the thing that turned me off from them was the size of the holes. I fear it will distract me from spying on my little ducks.

    I need to go see if they carry any bags of rocks/pebbles and if they carry any sand. I think both Lowes and Home Depot don't carry the sand i am looking for though. All they seem to have is sand that more closely resembles crushed rock and a ton of dust.

    I'd much rather buy bags, instead of having to have a truck dump it in my yard or driveway.




    The breeder i found for the Hottentot's is Mallard Lane Farms. I believe 1lpoock mentioned them to me, although i think i managed to find them beforehand:

    http://www.mallardlanefarms.com/teals.htm





    After doing some more checking on that green zeosand, I don't think it will be good for the ducks, because the chemical makeup contains Calcium. Not sure how much, but if they ingest it as grit then i am pretty sure that it would not bode well long-term. I'll continue with my plan to get some medium sand.


    I am now wondering about the food/water dishes for them. I know a lot of people just make do with things, but i was kind of leaning towards a little trough.

    I thought of getting 4 mud pans (the little plastic trays by the putty and sheetrock in the home improvement stores) I think it's the perfect size for them, but they have a small dull metal edge on both sides and while it won't cut them, I fear it might rust. I'll have to check on what kind of metal it uses.

    The first day of serious research last week led me to a few sites that had trays like it without the metal, but i can't seem to find them. I remember it was orange and even had a little section for grit sand.
     
  7. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    yes 1 inch wire will be fine, welded wire is best. It will last longer than chicken wire, netting is a bad idea on sides, like you said, way too easy for a critter to go threw and, bare in mind an adult hottentot is smaller than the palm of your hand (smallest duck in the world), so keep it all nice and tight. And dogs, possums, cats, it just takes one to ruin your morning, electric fence is recommended if you suspect you may have any trouble. And no, they are not fire hazzards, they dont really work like that. But just check it daily to be sure, remove any trash or grass from it, and you'll be fine. As tiny as these guys are, tell your old lady even 4 of them dont make 1 mallard! [​IMG]
    These all will tame down well, but will never really make pets, so dont be disapointed there.. I've had about 20 teal species, they are all very tame but none are handelable really.
    as for your ponds, concrete ones are best and most durable, and yes the stones and sand around them are for decoration, but mainly to help keep trash and mud from being tracking and lowering cleaning . NEVER EVER EVER, make a solid concrete pen, it will eat their feet up like nobodys business, they must be kept on the ground. Logs, large stones, tuff plants, things like that go a long was to making it natural looking and keeping them happy and sequre feeling. The more the better.

    No teal species is noisey either. you're also right, most all ducks are very cold tollerant, BUT For your hottentots, they are one of the cold weather exceptions. They are from Madagscar and dont really like subfreezing temps, so bare that in mind if you get long cold snaps they'll need a heat lamp. You can plan on $150- $200 just for a pair of them plus your pen exspense which you can make cheap or spend a fortune on, and grand is very easily reachable.
    Cool thing with the hottentot and the rings, they stay in color year round, they dont have an eclipse version of male plumage.
    The Biakals, which I just love, do unfortunately and they run around $300-$400 for the one asking about them. They also fall under the USDI permit class, hottentots and rings dont as they are forgein. Biakals really are too, (Russian) but some have been found in Alaska, so they added them to the waterfowl requiring a permit.
    All teal species do get along well in comfinment with each other, they are one of the gentlest species out there, and most wont interbreed, cinnamon and blue wings are the only problems with that that I have had, and that's still rare.
    Teal come in both ground and cavity nesters too. your rings will neeed nest boxes, the hottentots dont they are ground nesters, as are th biakals, but I have had the use boxes too.

    Well could talk for hours about all this, as many species as I have kept, I just love to talk about them, but it's late here and I have to get to work early.
    I'll check in tomorrow and see if there's any thing I can add
    Good luck with them
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  8. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    What a beautiful bunch of ducks! I've saved the website link to my favorites folder [​IMG]

    I made an entire run (floor, roof and sides) out of 1/2" hardware cloth and I can see into it great. It doesn't limit my view of the bantams at all.

    Keep us posted on the progress of this project please. I'd love to follow along with the building and arrival of the ducks!

    ETA: What a beautiful bunch of ducks from Mallard Lane Farms!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  9. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Boggy Bottom,

    Your website is very nice. Have also tagged it in my favorites folder for viewing in detail later on.
     
  10. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks!
    I will be adding all my waterfowl back over the next few years too, cant stand not having them around, had acres of them!!
    if you ever need an advise, one on one, now or later on, feel free to PM or e-mail me anytime. I have kept thousands of these things over the years, and am always glad to help. I also know a lot of reasonable priced breeders too if you need help locating any. Some of those internet guys get a little crazy with their figures! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Glad you decided on these instead of domestics, we need more migratory/ornamental hobbyist!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010

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