TubbyChicken

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
472
0
129
Kentucky
How have I missed out on all this duck fun until now? I love them! Please tell me they will always be this fun and sweet...

Here my delimma...I've almost convinced dh that we NEED ducks in our backyard. We currently have a 4 ft chainlink fence along our property extending everywhere but the back. Dh and I are considering some cheap alternatives to more chain link, but my concern is for finding some ducks that could enjoy the space without really flying out or away.

It seems sad to imagine leaving them penned up with the chooks, even with a larger run and kiddie pool. I'd rather them have the ability to enjoy the whole backyard or at least a larger, fenced off section.

Is that possible?
 

obsessed

Songster
12 Years
Jan 3, 2008
250
1
141
Slidell, LA
I think that Pekin type ducks can't fly cause they are too heavy. I have also read that most of the domestics like the calls are not supposed to fly. I think they can get some air. and if you want them not to fly then a clipping of the wings is nessasary.
 

SandraChick

Songster
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
818
25
171
WAY North Coastal California
that's the perfect set up for runner ducks.....they can fly a foot off the ground if they try really hard!!!!


Need some more reasons?

They will decimate your snail and slug population
Their eggs are mmmmm good
Your baked goods will never be fluffier
They are perfect for comic relief
They lay more eggs than chickens! EVERYDAY!


there's just a few
Sandra
 

kodiakchicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 18, 2008
896
3
149
Kodiak, Alaska
I have a black cayuga, blue swede and magpie and none of them can fly much more than a foot or two off the ground and about 4 feet in length. The chain link would work great. We put up a little bit of net fence that was only about 3 feet high. It work great until the ducks figured they could push under it.

I think the key is to have more than one and to make sure they have plenty of interesting things to get into. Mine love cut grass (they dig through it for buggies) and their Wal-mart swimming pool is their heaven on earth.

And yes, they are always funny and sweet. Cute story: you know how sometimes when you are trying to go somewhere and you hop in your car and your dog keeps running up to the car trying to go with you and you have to get out several times to put them back in the yard or get a family member to hold them? Well, about a week ago I was trying to go someone and my ducks saw me get in the car and came tearing across the yard (ours aren't fenced in) as fast as their little butts would let them waddle. I got out and ran them back twice before I had to call my husband to keep them back so I could drive off!
 

Duck Keeper

Songster
10 Years
Mar 18, 2009
868
16
141
Out in the Boonies
Calls, Muscovies, and Wild-type Mallards (not Rouens) /CAN/ fly!!!

You'll have to either pinion or clip feathers constantly.

My ducks and goose all stay nearby without any fencing at all. The only problem is we have to watch for the neighbors to come home, so we can make sure they're in; their dog is a german shorthaired pointer of all things... A bird dog! They'll stay by your house/barn/shed/where they were raised without much encouragement, occasionally they will go out of sight, but usually they've found a puddle or something.


Just make sure they're locked up tight at night, and they should be, for the most part, fine.

(Geese will mow your lawn for you! And they aren't nearly as dumb as ducks. But I still love ducks... Does that make me dumb? Lol.
)
 

ChickenToes

Songster
11 Years
May 14, 2008
2,141
7
191
NE Wisconsin
Whenever someone asks for advice about duck breeds, I always advise that they think about what exactly they want - if you want big meat birds, get Pekins. If you want lots of eggs, get Khaki Campbells, Welsh Harlequins, or Runners. If you want color, get Blue Swedish or Mallards or Rouens. With Mallards, you just have to clip their wings whenever they molt and regrow their primary flight feathers, which isn't that often. We didn't clip our Mallard's wings until just recently, we let her fly around the yard for quite awhile.
 

TubbyChicken

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
472
0
129
Kentucky
I'm feeling very encouraged! I want only a couple ducks...I was thinking of sticking with the Pekins if they are flightless although I'm now searching for some runners. LOL

Are they okay with wood shavings?

The current coop set up I have is 2 coops connected with one run...there is linoleum flooring and an open door to the run. The chickens have wood shavings but I'm curious if I'd need to switch to something more duck friendly in case they went in and out of either coop when sharing the run. I plan to also extend the area for the ducks to allow them access to the whole backyard. Are the hard to get back in the coop at night though? We live on a mountain with cycotes, raccoons, stray dogs and cats, etc...

I'm also wondering about how loud one male and one female would be?! Would two females be louder than a pair? Do they lay in a nest?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm just interested in knowing more and giving my ducks the best chance I can.
 

ChickenToes

Songster
11 Years
May 14, 2008
2,141
7
191
NE Wisconsin
Wood shavings work great for ducks. Just DO NOT under any circumstances put the feeder and waterer inside the coop with them - keep it outside. The mess they make is unreal and you'll be cleaning the coop constantly.

They absolutely do not want to go into a coop at night. But, you can train them to. After 3 nights of herding the ducks into the coop, they started going in by themselves at dusk.

If you have any females, they're going to be loud, so get any combo of male/female that you want. They're not as loud as most roosters.

You can give them nesting boxes, but they probably won't use them. I tried giving mine a nesting box, but they prefer to lay in the corners of the coop.
 

TubbyChicken

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
472
0
129
Kentucky
I should have added that we live in a neighborhood so noise is a bit of a concern. My Pekin is already much louder than the Mallard...It does a loud peep cry when it's ready for more food or attention. The Mallard is practically silent aside from an occasional peep. I think they're about a week old.
 

Wifezilla

Positively Ducky
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
11,199
134
311
Colorado
Hubby and I had been doing yard work over the weekend. On Monday afternoon when I went to check on the ducks, not only was the gate to the breezeway open, the big gate in the back yard was wide open. The ducks were playing in their new pond and digging through dirt and grass. They could have run off, but they know where the food is


I have 3 different breeds...a khaki drake, a runner hen and a buff hen. They all fly like bricks.
 
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