How old is old?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by saxet, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. saxet

    saxet Chirping

    Jun 2, 2010
    I am currently being besieged by some predator that has my tiny flock roosting on the porch all day, and only out on the pond at night. So far, my ducks have proven to be survivors. I am trying to tell myself that they live(d) wonderful lives while it lasted and that lead to the question: how old is old for a duck?
    The hen that calls the shots has been living 'wild' on my pond for 4 years now. She was preceded by a drake that lived here when I bought the place (he was left behind) and I think he was about that age when he disappeared. I hope my ducks can add many more summers, but I admit that I have NO CLUE what a normal lifespan is?
    I seem to have lost mostly broody hens (go figure) [​IMG] and am wondering out loud if there is any way you can discourage broody behavior (no, right? Other than picking the nest?)
  2. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Songster

    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    Quote:Generally, they live about the same lifespan as a dog or a cat these days in captivity; into their teens. I'd say 10 is getting old (my oldest duck is 6 this year, and I consider that old, but she's a Pekin - the heavy breeds have shorter lifespans than, say, a Mallard or an Indian Runner). I'd say 4 is still young to middle-aged for any breed.
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    I have lots of ducks that are in the 10-12 years old range. I suspect they can live to be quite old.
  4. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Your ducks feel safe on the pond at night. But not in the day. Dogs running loose in the neighborhood? I have had that problem, them digging under my perimater chain link fence.

    Ya, they say there are a lot of ways to discourage a broody hen. Do you have them in a strong broody pen and they are still being attacked? Take the eggs. Put her in a pen and hang it from coop ceiling (roof). So that her tush gets a breeze when she sits, that usually works to cool them off from brooding, may have to do it for several days. Mine, I just take the eggs and they give up after a while.

    I'd like to let a few brood but I still don't have small brooding cages. My 4 x 4 comes in handy for too many other things, I have yet to try letting a hen go broody there. It's covered on all six sides with 1/2" hardware cloth. Right now I'm keeping it open for extra quail that hatched and won't fit in their grow out pen when they get a little bigger. Other times I use it for extra Ducklings or Drakes. Poor broodies never get to use it so don;t get to brood around here.
  5. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    I have a 14 y/o drake, if that gives you an idea.
  6. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I have an 8 year old Cayuga so 4 is still quite young.

  7. KansasKid

    KansasKid Songster

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Quote:I have a friend that Duck hunts and he happened to shoot a banded mallard drake and when he called it in it was 14 years old. If you think about it that is a long time for a duck-
  8. A cousin of mine has a drake who just hit the 15 year mark back in March. Dag on duck is like a puppy dog, but its age is definately starting to catch up with him this summer [​IMG] he probably won't make it another year - if this summer. the heat seems to get to him bad...he's a little mallard. [​IMG] very cute old fellow though.
  9. saxet

    saxet Chirping

    Jun 2, 2010
    Good grief! So my little flock are not even mid life yet. I had no idea! [​IMG] Though I suspect that 14 year old ducks are geriatric and a rarity, but I would love to have a chance at one more decade with the crew. (I hope) [​IMG]

    I have no coop (but am really seeing the need to start one) and so the eggs are all over the brush. [​IMG] I hate to take all the eggs since that has me hunting for a/the new nest (where Mrs broody would just continue her plans to start a family) The current wannabe predator is unknown, but some members here (I posted a few days ago, asking that kept them off the pond) seem to think about birds of prey. Almost certain it's not stray dogs. My own assertive crew keep all that very much at bay. As a matter of fact, the ducks do not seem at all worried about anything on 4 paws and with fur. [​IMG] I spotted a hungry mother raccoon at dusk when I went to feed the cats. Ducks were still roosting on the porch and did not even shift for the coon, [​IMG] who went straight for the catfood (dodging kittens) and topped if off with lay pellets. I should have gotten mad, but I was laughing too hard. And I know I would be livid if it went after my birds some day. Today, however, it was just an unusual and amazing scene.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by