I thought I was Chicken Crazy and Now I want Ducks!!!


11 Years
Jul 6, 2008
Central Oregon
Any advice on getting some ducks. I live in Central Oregon - we have fairly cold winters with moderate amounts of snow. I only kept the chickens in for about 8 days this past winter. I read somewhere that ducks don't like to go inside - so that worried me. Also I have no pond. I have 5 pastured acres that I flood irrigate. I could have a pond dug. What about keep ducks safe - should they be kept in a pen? What about the drakes - do you only want one or two like roosters or can they all hang out and get along? Any advice or suggestions would be great. I was just online at the library and ordered 11 books on the subject to get me going but personal experiences tend to be more meaningful.

I really want ducks for eggs - what would be a good breed? I can incubate and hatch them myself. My first hatch of chickens are due out in 10 days. Yeah!!!


Born city, Living country
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Eaton, Colorado
My DH just told me over the weekend that he wants ducks too! So I am doing the research. He was asking me questions about them, I told him that I only read the chicken stuff! I will be keeping an eye on this thread so I can learn a little something too!

Mojo Chick'n

Empress of Chickenville
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Republic of Chickenville
Quote:Ducks don't mind the cold as much as chickens do, and they are more disease resistant, also (so I hear).

The three call ducks I have go inside at night, when they want to stay out, I just open the coop door wide and pick up the "herding stick" and they know they have to go in. They can be taught to go inside at night, but never try to rush them - they like to go in their own speed
if you chase them they will run in the opposite direction of where ya want them (or overshoot the gate or doorway you want them to go into.)

I have a kiddie pool - the call ducks are quite happy with that. I have more ducklings (swedish ducks) that have yet to go outside into the yard to play in the pool, but I imagine they'll be happy with it, too. I'm building a pen for them, because my dogs think ducks are chewtoys sometimes. I can't trust the dogs outside with them if I'm not there, too. If the dogs didn't bother them, I'd just let them freerange (my original plan, until the dogs killed two ducks) and put them inside at night for safety reasons. I know a lot of folks who have ponds just let them stay out on the pond 24/7/365 .

I'm not sure on the ratio of drakes to ducks, I am shooting for one drake per 3 or 4 ducks, myself. Some ducks, (so I've heard) pair up.

You'll get the most eggs out of Khaki Campbells. Did you want the eggs for breeding or for eating? If you want to breed ducks, I suggest just finding the one ya like best, and work with whatever their laying amount is. If for eating, I'd go with the Campbells.


CK Chickadilly

11 Years
Sep 11, 2008
West Michigan
I started with chickens & keep adding them

& just last week I started with snowy mallards. I have a boy & a girl that are a week old....very cute!

I just ordered the book Storeys Guide to Raising Ducks. The Storey books are usually very good so I am hoping to get a lot of info out of it.

I planned on using a kiddie pool too. I am also thinking about getting 4 fawn & white Runners. I will let them free range with the chickens, my dogs have their own run. I have the goat barn that they can hang in or the chicken coop, I also have an old dog house that they can use if they want. I am kinda going along thinking about what I will need to do outside for them. Right now they are inside entertaining me!

Good luck with your possible ducklings! Very cute!


11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
I'm now getting ducks too thanks to the BYC'rs! I have heard soo much about the duck eggs in baking and how the Khaki Campbells lay better than chickens, so I've got 3 pullets coming soon! I'm planning on keeping them with my chickens for the first week or so in the brooder and then dividing them into seperate brooders. My coop is 8x16 and my plan is to divide part of that so the ducks can have a small area to nest in/also locked up at night. We do not have a pond so I'm planning on using the little swimming pools with some bricks/rocks to allow them to get in and out easily. I've heard wonderful things about how much character ducks have so I'm looking forward to them as well!!

Lucky Ducky

11 Years
May 28, 2008
Truth or Consequences,NM
We use kiddie pools for our ducks too. BUT when we move we going to use something like what you see on this website home.earthlike.net/~runnerducks2/id2.html . Only we are using a huge garden tub instead of a stock tank and we aren't digging a hole to put it in the ground. We are going to have a load of crusher fine dropped off and mound it all around, making a hilly area are the tub.

Mojo Chick'n

Empress of Chickenville
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Republic of Chickenville
Quote:Good idea on the crushed rock!! I was looking at garden ponds this weekend at Lowes - they have the older stock on sale 30% off, and the new stock is in also. They had a 100 gallon for about 75 bucks - but the new stock one was nicer at the same price (had texturing) but it is only 91 gallon - not that the 9 gallons would make much difference. They didn't have drains in them - would have to install one myself, but it would be much easier if I put it into a pile of granite rocks than to dig a hole here.

thanks for the tip



11 Years
May 14, 2008
NE Wisconsin
Quote:Ducks are very cold hardy. On days when my chickens wouldn't leave the coop, my ducks were outside swimming in their water bowl (think -20 temps).

It's true, ducks don't like to go inside at night, but you can train them to. Last summer mine were outside swimming at 10 o'clock at night. So we trained them up. It only took 3 or 4 days of herding them into the coop at night for them to get the idea. Now they go in by themselves.

Nope, they don't need a pond. However, they will try to swim in everything, regardless of how small it is. Mine like to swim in their 3 gallon water bowl. In the summer they have a kiddie pool. This year we're buying a pond liner for them.

I'm not sure about the drake question, I only have one drake. I think they would probably fight.

If you want lots of eggs, go with Khaki Campbells, Welsh Harlequins, or Runners. My Khakis have been laying for about a month and are already better layers than my hens.

Good luck!

ChickBond 007

Licensed to Cull
11 Years
Feb 26, 2009
Madison County, Iowa
I have six flying mallards which were born last October. They were brooded in a baby pool in the garage, and later moved outside into a dog kennel type set up and a small dog house. There are 3 drakes and they all get along. I was told that they were Rouens but when 4 of the 6 started flying, we realized that at least those were mallards. One is an appleyard/mallard mix hen, and she's the beauty and yes, the gentlemen prefer the blonde.
Each morning, I open their pen and feed them, and soon after they do two or three flying hot-laps around the house. They never leave home, even though they can, and provide wonderful entertainment and pest control at my house.
They do not mind the cold, but I kept a heat lamp in their house that turn on at 15 degrees. One miserable blizzard night, I brought them back to the baby pool and they had a big quacky sleepover in the garage.
Ducks are messy, but so worth the entertainment value.Enjoy!


13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
WAY North Coastal California
The correct link for the pool mentioned above is


I use one of those blue plastic kiddie pools. It's lasted me 3 years...but is just about ready to be replaced. Learn to use an old piece of hose as a siphon and you'll save your back.

I have runner ducks. I've trained them to go into a pen every night. When the don't want in....they can be hard to persuade (especially if it's raining). I have a piece of wood I put up that blocks their path and forces them into their pen.

They are active at night (unlike chickens). So they have to have deep enough water to clean their nares (nostrils), and food available.

They do lay their eggs only in the a.m. --so if they start to hide them--just let them out later!

They're a load of FUN!

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