I Want Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by flyingdragon, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. flyingdragon

    flyingdragon Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Have chickens and guineas and now ready to try ducks. Really can't decide on breed. Torn between welsh harlequins, cayugas, and muscovys. Like both the eggs and meat. Do cayugas lay colored eggs? Would drakes fight each other like roosters? If I wanted both egg and meat should I raise them separately so they don't interbreed? Maybe two hens and one drake of each? And what about the poop situation? If they are free ranging is it really that bad? Will they destroy veggie garden? Too many questions but would like to gt started so they can mature by fall. Thanks.
     
  2. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I believe Cayugas lay greenish eggs but Muscovy eggs range from white to brown, I have gotten some pretty dark ones from my girls before. Muscovies grow much faster than a lot of other breeds so they're better for meat and a lot of people say the taste is really good too(i've never had it). The only adults I have anymore are Muscovies and the drakes only have a "spat" once in a while when one sees the other mating, but it only lasts a few seconds. when i had other ducks before they also didn't fight much either.

    I currently have 20+ babies right now that are living outside and free ranging everyday. i still have to spray the yard down every couple days but so far the poo isn't too bad. My babies & adults haven't touched the tomatoes so far but they're really good at eating the weeds, they just love them, especially the 2 goslings.

    As far as seperating, that's up to you. you could always get WH & Cayuga hens and a Muscovy Drake then you would have eggs from the hens and could butcher their offspring. I imagine they would have more fat than a pure muscovy but they would grow faster than a pure WH or Cayuga. You could even let the mommas hatch for you.

    PS. I found ducks to be Much easier to raise than chickens, they're messier but also much hardier and i have had almost no health problems with mine in all the time i've had them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  3. barred-rocks-rock

    barred-rocks-rock Can't stick with a Title

    Jul 5, 2009
    Cayugas! Cayugas! Cayugas!
     
  4. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Where are you located flyingdragon? Maybe some fellow BYC'ers can help you find the right ducklings/ducks in your area.
     
  5. flyingdragon

    flyingdragon Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Quote:I am in central NC. I see plenty of ads for muscovys, locally, on craislist but no WH or cayugas.
     
  6. FlashPointFarm

    FlashPointFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Iowa
    I have a few different breeds. Cayuga, Pekin, Ancona and Muscovey. The Muscovey's pretty much keep to themselves. I saw the Pekin and Muscovey drakes fighting a couple of times.

    The meat of the Muscovey is far superior! My husband smoked a couple of them, wow, was it good!
     
  7. flyingdragon

    flyingdragon Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Bleenie,
    You say you have to spray the yard. With what and how many ducks are you running and how much space do they have? I live outside the city on about 15 acres. Have a subdivision next to me but there is woven wire fencing separating my pasture from OPP (other people's property). There is plenty of space for the ducks to roam. I just don't want them pooping all over the yard.
     
  8. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I just have to hose the poo down into the grass/dirt every couple days, if the rain doesn't quite get it all. We have tons of room for them since they have run of the propert but i try to keep them in about 5 acres, they're still young and it makes me nervous when i cant see them! They will definitely poop everywhere, they just don't care. as long as you stay on top of it though it doesn't start to smell or become too much of a problem though(like poop-scooping if you have a dog). and if you wash it into the ground it helps fertilize the grass anyway. My little ones have a pen thats about 20ft x 20ft for overnight and it gets pretty poopy but i don't bother spraying it down until i move it. it's just 2ft welded wire with mini t-posts, they're very good in their pen and perfectly happy with it, they'd rather live in there than in a dry shed overnight. They definitely love the WA rain.
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Hi flyingdragon!

    I'm in Charlotte, so we're not too far apart. Some other breeds you might consider for meat & eggs are magpies & anconas. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone around here who has those breeds (well, I have some magpies, but they're not mature, so I won't have any for sale until next spring).

    With about 15 acres, you're not going to have a poop problem unless you get a whole heck of a lot of ducks. I have one acre, and the ducks roam the neighborhood, but even with 30-some ducks, I don't have a significant poop problem (there's poop back there, but it's not egregious).

    As for free-ranging, mine do during the day. But they are locked tight in Fort Ducks at night. Otherwise--the predators get them. I have learned this from cold, hard experience. And the nighttime pens have to be VERY secure.

    I'd be glad to have you come look at my set-up some day if you are ever down this way and want to see one way of doing it. I also would be glad to sell you some Indian Runner ducks, but if you want meat birds Runners are not your best bet--they're very skinny.

    Oh--as for the veggie garden--they will eat your young plants. I would fence it off somehow--the fencing does not have to be tough to keep ducks out--they don't like to challenge barriers. A mature garden is pretty safe, although they'll eat any low-hanging fruit. They'll also eat the weeds and pesky bugs, so they can be beneficial in a mature or fallow garden. Mine completely eliminated a severe Japanese Beetle problem within a year (and that was just six ducks on an acre).

    Good luck, and let me know if I can help somehow.
     

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