I need help deciding.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by r4eboxer, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

    Sep 20, 2011
    Some of you know I got 6 straight run ducks last week. I don't know the sex of the ducks so assuming I have a 50/50 ratio I am going to need more females. I don't want a problem on my hands with over active drakes and abused ducks KWIM? Should I go ahead and order more females now so they have time to grow along witht he drakes. The selection is so sparse right now and I really don't want mixed ducklings BUT I don't want battered girls either. OH the decision. I don't know if the one Cayuga I have is male or female. I did try vent sexing on them for my first time and got one boy for sure, but I'm sure I've missed some.

    I do see a difference in feet and body size in the ducks, could this be a sign of male/female?

    I suppose I could order 4 female Cayuga's in case I do have a male and I have 5 Swedish and would have to order say like 10 more females? I of course am going to have to take whatever female ducklings are available, then I suppose I could get males later that are the same breed.

    Any thoughts?

    BTW I NEVER will order straight run ducks again unless I want meat ducks and I don't really ever see that happening. I am going to be overrun with ducks. GEEZ darn those spur of the moment purchases.

    eta: Oh I forgot to mention I am on the wait list for some of Holderreads ducks, I'd like to have some nice quality breeders for my son's to do 4H projects with so I don't want a bunch of hatchery ducks either. I really don't want to have to separate drakes in a cage.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Balancing out the ratios - yeah, buddy!

    I went with all girls. So far, it's been good. My nightmare was getting 8 boys and 2 girls in a straight run. If it can happen to anyone, it's more than likely to happen with me.

    Some folks keep a drake pen. That might be a thought, at least as an interim step as you think it through.

    If you're going to get girls, if you wait, you'll need to keep them separated anyway, as you don't want big boys jumping little girls.

    You may be able to find some girls that need to be rehomed. Sad as it is, some are cutting back their flocks due to economic stress. Being able to provide a loving home to a duck may be a real spirit booster, and a relief to the person who needs to find a new home for the ducks.

    Check around on the forums - you may find you can help someone as well as your own flock.

    My girls had significant differences in feet and body size - and they're all girl runners.

    Get girls that are as big or bigger than your boys, if you need to mix breeds. That's just my feeling - I wouldn't want drakes significantly larger than the ducks they'll be hopping on.

    You may need to go through a transition stage where the flock isn't exactly what you're aiming for. Just get a picture of how you want it to work out, and take small steps to get there, always keeping flock health in mind.

    And way to go, caring for your duckies!!!
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    If you don't want a ton of hatchery stock then don't order any more until you know what you have. If ou end up with too many drakes list them on Craig's list to thin the numbers. Nothing says you have to keep all the boys and overload yourself with girls just keep the drakes happy. If you want your boys to have ducks or 4H then pick a breed and plan for it. Of course Metzers has good stock too and they show some of their 4H winners on the site. Holderreads does have good stock, but even top stock will produce all types of off spring from pet to show/sop. This is why people wishing o show over order or hatch and ten cull those that don't measure up for the intended purpose. So instead of stressing over mixes of ducks, enjoy what you have now and plan for the ducks your boys will use for 4H.
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    My very seriously offered opinion is to re-home the excess males.

    You will be receiving exhibition ducks from Holderread and you are going to want to breed them, which will mean increasing your flock size. They arrive straight run, so you've got nice purebred drakes arriving in the spring, and more of them than you need.

    What are your duck goals? You said no meat. But do you want eggs? Do you want to show?

    What breed have you ordered from Holdderread?
  5. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    We got 4 straight run ducklings the first (well, third or fourth) trip to the feed store. I was being cautious, then I jumped (against my better judgement - but they were so cute!). I figured ah we;ll get 50-50 likely as not. Wrong. 3 drakes - 1 hen. Got two additional (sexed) hens a few months later. I still have to keep them in separate pens at night or the girls take a beating. Straight run is only for those that want to gamble!

    Hubby can't convince me to butcher the excess drakes. I named them. Oddly, I do notice I am more attached to the first four ducklings than the second group. But them I spend more time handling them when we first got them. And the drakes are a lot more friendly than the hens for some reason. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

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