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If you had fifteen minutes to talk about ducks to people who own other livestock, what would you say

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Amiga, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    There will be a brief talk on ducks before a local livestock owners meeting in a few weeks. And I get to present it [​IMG]

    While I have a few of my own ideas, I want to open up the opportunity to my caring, wise, and humorous BYC DF friends. Don't worry, you will get credit for sharing [​IMG]

    How ducks are different from chickens (including the feed and niacin issue)
    Ducks and water
    Ducks as pets
    Susceptibility to predators
    Duck jobs: egg production, pest management, fertilizer (since I don't raise ducks for meat, I won't talk about that)

    If I spend 3 minutes on each topic, that's fifteen and I'm done. But then there are other noteworthy items.

    I also wondered about mentioning
    Ducks in winter
    Bumblefoot
    Bedding
    Mistakes to learn from
    Brief list of breeds as examples (Calls, BEI cute and diminutive, Pekins larger eggs & often quieter dispositions, Runners, different looking, energetic, good layers, Muscovies large, tick controllers, flyers . . . . kind of list)
    Medicine chest (and things to avoid, like topical anesthetic - the 'caines)
    Rescues versus hatching or day-olds

    If I pull myself together well enough, I can have a printed list of resources that will include
    Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks
    The Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook
    BYC DF (natch)


    What have I missed?

    Fifteen minutes. And if you hadn't guessed from some of my longer posts, condensing information is something I struggle with.

    As I wrote above, these are people who already have chickens, horses, goats, and sheep. Two of them have or have had ducks.
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Great Job Amiga! Just a suggestion you may want to talk about how to sex young ducklings. This seems to be a untouched subject for a lot of people in my area.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Thanks, Kevin565! You are a great support!

    Another confession: I have never vent-sexed a duckling. I have read Holderread's description of how to do it. What would you suggest I do to cover this, though I haven't done it and don't have any ducklings right now if I were to want to do so?

    You're right, it is a very good skill to develop.

    If I begin hatching, I would certainly want to be able to do this. I am one of those who gets a little nervous about hurting those tiny little bodies. You would probably be amused at how nervous I was just cutting the bands off their legs. But at least I did it on day two and we had no leg problems from too-small bands. Wow, their legs grew so fast, and seemed to be the first part of them that developed.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe touch on housing. I can't remember how many times I have seen people on BYC build chicken coops with steep ramps for ducks. Also, no need for roosts, can be much lower and less elaborate than a coop.
    I think your list is pretty inclusive.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Right! Good one!

    I have been wondering what kinds of habits people with chickens may have that would interfere with building optimal housing for ducks.

    Your comment (thanks so much!) makes me think about

    Ramps - as you wrote
    nesting boxes
    roosts - a.y.w.
    substrate for both bedding and outdoor pen
    keeping the water out of the coop-shelter, which leads to talking about
    feeding/watering area for nighttime, if desired

    I knew you all would offer some wonderful guidance. It is lovely to know I am not out here on a limb all by myself.

    What about surprises? I want to try to recall the things that have surprised me about raising ducks. The first thing that comes to mind is how engaging the ducks are and how well they respond to a bit of attention.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ooh, maybe I need to talk just a bit about drakes, the optimum drake:duck ratio and the danger to hens (of the chicken sort).

    Fifteen minutes. Right.
     
  7. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Since you will have some chicken owners in there they may already know that skill. Since you don't want to go into too much information for a presentation I would just explain the option of vent sexing and possibly hand a reference guide to the metzer sexing video: http://www.metzerfarms.com/SexingVideo.cfm?CustID=1116936 You could also mention voice sexing for those who would prefer not to vent sex.
     
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    A few more notes:

    When your covering predators I would defiantly mention turtles. So many people down here are surprised to find out that snapping turtle could have got their duck.

    Also, I would mention that ducklings shouldn't be left alone swimming when they are young because they can easily get chilled and die.

    You might consider a brief warning when it comes to the crested gene if these are potential first time duck buyers.
     
  9. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow - how neat! I'm sure you're super excited - I know I would be!

    What you didn't mention is WHY you are being asked to give this talk. Is it geared toward folks who are considering adding ducks to their farm? Perhaps the intention is to highlighting the differences between chickens and ducks? Are the invitees small/backyard farmers, breeders, interested in self-sufficiency, or saleability of eggs (meat?) at their local farmer's market?

    It might be that if you can find out more details about the invitees or a bit more about what they're looking for, you may be able to slant your talk in the most helpful way.

    And of course, it would be a great idea to mention BYC, even though we don't have "ducks" in our site name, as we know, we've got a huge duck section! [​IMG]
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't miss ducks as insect control and weed control.

    Even if you don't eat your ducks, mention that many people do raise them as food. All you have to say is that they are raised to be roast duck, but that you don't eat your ducks so can not provide any information about that aspect.

    You might give the short list of good egg laying breeds and how many eggs a year they are capable of laying. just about everybody is surprised to learn that a good laying duck will lay more eggs than a chicken does.
     

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