Is this a recipe for disaster?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by sBrickmanHouse, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. sBrickmanHouse

    sBrickmanHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    We live on a small hobby farm.

    One acre of it is fenced with 6 foot privacy fence, and contains our chickens (in a secure coop with their own 3' fenced run) and our garden (also separately 3' fenced to keep the dog out of it). The area also contains some small unfenced planting beds (garlic, asparagus, and herbs), and our swimming pool, which has no separate fence of its own.

    The rest of the property outside the fenced acre is mostly given over to the pony's barn and pasture, trees for fort building, climbing and swings, and a sledding hill for winter fun.

    We absolutely love our chickens, and are having a total blast with them. Now the kids (meaning my husband and daughter) are all excited to hit our local Tractor Supply and get some ducklings.

    I'm game for it, and have no problem building them whatever they need, but I'm worried that ducks might not be a fit for this property. We can certainly get a handful of ducks, and easily build a small weather-proof shelter and sink a small pond for them.

    My question is, though, how do I keep them safe and out of trouble?

    If I put their house inside the fenced acre but without their own fenced area, I assume they'll be living in my swimming pool and eating everything out of my unfenced garden beds?

    We certainly have enough room to put them elsewhere on the property, but if I put their house and pond outside the fenced acre, I assume they'll be vulnerable to predators? Our chickens do well inside the fenced acre with a basic but roomy 3' fenced run just to keep them in one particular area during the day, but they have a rock solid coop they're locked up in at night. I worry about the ducks being housed outside the security of the fence, and not being locked in at night.

    Can I house the ducks in a modified version of the chicken set-up? That is, can I find another corner inside the fenced acre, build them a small shelter, sink a small pond by it, and 3' fence in a small run for them?

    Can they be locked in at night to protect against nocturnal predators? How many square feet should the shelter be per duck? How many square feet per duck for the outside run? Will a 3' fence keep them in?

    Any other options or ideas I should consider, or should I ditch the whole idea of keeping ducks altogether?

    Thanks in advance for any help-- it's much appreciated!
     
  2. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Folkston, Georgia
    Ok let me see if I remember all your questions. [​IMG] First...yes you can modify a coop with a pool for them. But if you do not want them to get out, and no predators to get in, you will have to put a roof of some kind. I have two young ducks, I would say about 3 months old now. They are small rouen ducks. But....I had them penned in a little 4 foot fenced area and everynight they must fly out, because they are out of the pen when we get up. Tip; If you want to build a coop for them in the fenced area, make sure after you build it you keep them in it for about 2 or 3 weeks, only feed them in the pen (always). Then you shouldn't have any trouble getting them to go in at night, once you let them roam. About your swimming pool, I don't know about that now, remember ducks CAN fly. So they may fly over the "fenced area" and into your pool.
     
  3. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Southwest Mississippi
    Ducks really fly! And they eat everything! [​IMG]

    That's what I remember about ducks and why I haven't gotten any. My grandma had some. She lived in a trailer and the ducks would use the top of the trailer as a runway for takeoff and landing. I am sure a three foot fence would not contain them at all unless you had a top on it.

    Grandma also complained that the ducks ate all of her flowers.

    I am sure if you want some ducks you can accommodate them, but even if you put them outside of your fenced in area -- where they WILL be vulnerable to predators -- they are still going to get into your garden and your swimming pool. Unless you have them in a secure area with a fenced in "run" that has some kind of roof on it.

    That's my experience, anyway. But that was twenty years ago.

    Cassandra
     
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Not all ducks can fly so well. My layer type ducks Swedish and runners couldn't really fly well (my big fat laying hens could out-fly them all day long ) and I imagine Pekins can't either, they are just too heavy.

    Definitely predator proof area!! My 3 got taken by a fox (we assume) because we got too comfortable and just let them wander the yard. [​IMG]
     
  5. birdnutz

    birdnutz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2007
    wyoming
    Silkie ducks can't fly at all. Plus they're bantam sized,so they need less room.
     
  6. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

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    Southwest Mississippi
    Quote:Awww! Sounds cute. I have never heard of those. My granny's ducks were the cute little fuzzy yellow ducklings that turned into big, solid white duck. Boy, they were something! I'm not sure why she had them, unless as pets. We never ate them and never ate their eggs.

    The kinds y'all mentioned seem so exotic to me. Will they really have those kinds at a tractor supply?

    Cassandra
     
  7. birdnutz

    birdnutz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2007
    wyoming
    I doubt the tractor supply would have bantams. But one of the hatcheries does. I can't remember which one though.
     
  8. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Runner ducks don't fly very well so maybe look into those. TSC will probably have some as well.

    My ducks share our small hobby farm with donkeys and dogs. The dogs have one side and the donkeys have another. The ducks and geese have a pen on the donkey side - 4 ft tall. They are put up in the barn in pens at night. The dog's side also has a pen that has netting over top for the call and ornamental ducks, which fly well!

    We have predators around - but due to the dogs and the donkeys they don't come over much, if at all, anymore. I would definately look into penning them up at night for your own piece of mind. They don't need much if you let them roam during the day, like a big dog house would work. I wouldn't want them in my swimming pool! yuk! So make sure they can't get in there and give them a little baby pool to swim in.

    So I guess the long and short of it is - yes they need their own space if you dont' want them into your stuff, but they don't require much.

    hope that helps!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  9. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Southwest Mississippi
    Quote:Really?! Like on Barnyard? Donkeys deter predators? NEAT! Do they really kick them in the head? [​IMG]

    Cassandra
     
  10. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2007
    tennessee
    Yes donkeys do deter preditors:) I thought about getting a mini donkey to put with my mini sheep and goats LOL. i know they wouldn't eat the chickens Crystal
     

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