Im Getting Ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ZakoHero, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. ZakoHero

    ZakoHero Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm getting ducks so I wanted to ask if anybody has any recommendations for the kinds i should get(I want the egg-laying kind)and a couple of names.
    Thank You!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Welcome to the Duck Side!

    Off the top of my head, Runners Khaki, Campbells, Welsh Harlequins and Golden 300s (a hybrid) would be good breeds to consider.

    Then there are the Anconas, a hardy breed and good layers, I am told.

    Right from the start, think about how you are going to manage the ducks' special relationship with water. And just as important, how are you going to protect them from predators? Please give each of these serious thought, and invest some time and resources to protecting them from attack and from water-related problems. In the long run, you will save yourself untold heartache and aggravation.

    Have you read the stickies? We try to compile some of our best information there.
     
  3. ZakoHero

    ZakoHero Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well we have walls on ether side of us and we have a cat that always protects them.As for the water part we have two swimming pools(one big one small) and we can put them there.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    What are your plans for night-time protection?

    From what I have read and seen, predators will do just about anything to get at a duck. Really. Digging, ripping, climbing, flying in from above . . . . once a duck has been attacked and/or killed, it's too late. Guess you can tell I have had my heart wrung from people losing their ducks. And it does not mean I am immune. We had what may have been a close call with a sharp-shinned hawk yesterday morning.
     
  5. ZakoHero

    ZakoHero Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh so what can I do?I really want ducks.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If you can find a copy of "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks," there are loads of information in there about everything having to do with ducks. The stickies at the top of the forum have information about a variety of things including Duck Housing.

    You can search the archives for things related to coops, shelters, houses, fencing.

    And we can start here and hope others add their wisdom.

    Storey's Guide recommends (if I recall correctly) that for night shelter, no more than a half inch opening, which means something like metal half-inch hardware cloth over all openings. Ducks need good ventilation, so closing them up completely in a plywood box has health issues. You don't need a huge shelter, just one that has a bit of elbow room (wing room?), good insulation for cold weather, and good ventilation year 'round.

    We built a double-walled, insulated (with vermiculite and perlite which don't mold) plywood house with metal hardware cloth over all openings. It has a sliding door for the ducks and a Dutch door for me to get in and gather eggs and maintain bedding. Attached to it is a porch, covered top, sides and bottom with hardware cloth. When the ducks are in that shelter, at night I turn on the electric fence surrounding it.

    Wintertime, the ducks spend the night in the basement pen. I know not everyone has a walkout basement with space for ducks, but it is something to consider. Some people keep the ducks in the people-house overnight. There are many ways to do it right.

    Here is a photo of the Duck Inn.


    [​IMG]

    This was built for a flock of eleven runners, but it could hold a few more, or a couple of extra bales of straw.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Make sure you have solid, predator proof housing. What kind of coop do you have for the chickens? most of the same issues apply when it comes to safety and keeping the birds safe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  8. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have almost an identical duck house to Amiga's. Electric fence and all. I line my wood flooring with alfalfa hay and clean it daily. Mine stay outside all the time. They are out of the wind and it is not insulated. They do just fine in the Nebraska winters.

    Make sure the TOP OF THE RUN IS COMPLETELY COVERED! I cannot stress this enough. Hawks will stop AT NOTHING to get a duck. My drake boy (my sweetheart) was killed by a hawk very recently and that hawk was less than five feet from the building and I had the ducks out foraging. Watch carefully! Take your time and inspect every aspect of the pen and run. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY to see if there are any holes, broken areas, etc.

    Breeds: I love Khaki Campbells (good layers and good foragers! My drake I lost was a Khaki Campbell.) Now I have Welsh Harlequins. They are EXCELLENT foragers, quiet, beautiful, calm, and they will sit on eggs. They are also very very good layers of eggs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  9. ZakoHero

    ZakoHero Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you guys (and girls) for the fast answers.What I have as a coop for the chickens is a huge wooden box with glass windows,it looks like Duck Inn except bigger (it would probably hold 15 chickens and ducks)

    I was just looking up Welsh Harlequins and Khaki Camp bells and they look nice.

    P.S What should I do to stop the predators from eating them (we have a rather big backyard so they like to stay out of the coop a lot)

    Thank You[​IMG]
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I'll see if I can scare up a pic of the Day Pen.

    Some of your decisions about security are going to be how far you will go to protect the birds. And from what I have seen, sometimes sad things happen in spite of our efforts. There needs to be a balance between protecting the ducks and chickens and letting them step foot outdoors. Everyone has to make up their own minds. Economics plays a part, too. Putting half inch metal hardware cloth around a largish area could cost over a thousand dollars. Yikes!

    I just am a bit sensitive to losing critters, and sometimes we don't realize what the risks are and wish someone had warned us. I have had a couple of close calls . . . neighbors' dog visiting unexpectedly, sharpie swooping into the back yard (was it after the ducks? maybe not, but they are bird hawks) in spite of being careful. Oh, and there was the time that I had the basement door open for a little fresh air in early spring and that night something was rattling around and a baby opossum had wandered into the basement during the daytime. Long story short, I ended up my face six inches from its face, we were both startled, it hopped into a box and I took the box outside and released it.
     

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