Lots of duck questions..

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by FunQuail, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. FunQuail

    FunQuail Chirping

    Sep 23, 2018
    Some of you may remember me from about a year ago asking tons of questions. I decided then not to get ducks yet, but this coming year I really plan to get them finally.
    And @Kkrista123 I think I may have finally decided with welsh harlequins, but I might change my mind, who knows. :idunno
    I'm planning on having 4 female Welsh Harlequins. You can have an all female flock right?
    Do I have to tell them to go in their house at night? Can I train them to go in at night? How do I do that? Or do they just go in on their own? They won't be free ranging.
    What do you all use for feed and water dishes for them as adults that might keep their water cleaner too? I will probably have kiddie pools too.
    What is the diet for the adults? At any age do they need wet or dry food? Can they eat dry food consistently? I mean they will have access to grass and such and I will give them treats too. What treats do you all give your ducks? I want to give the adult females organic layer duck food; any recommendations? During the winter am I supposed to switch to a different organic duck non-laying food? And organic duckling feed, any recommendations there? I know they need 20% protein at the very least. What treats can you give the ducklings? I'm willing to order the feed if I need to.
    I'm planning on buying the Rugged Ranch walk-in pen, adding the extension for it and possibly chicken wire if needed, and wheels, it has a roof too, then on the inside I will have a kiddie-pool in one corner, food and drinking water along the side wall, then on the back wall 2 of those dog house barns, and electric fencing around all of it. I want them to be super safe and content. They will stay in the Rugged Ranch walk-in pen most of the time, I will move them very often depending on what they need, that's why I'm buying the wheels. And throughout the year there will be straw in the dog houses.
    Here's the links for everything I have figured out if anyone else likes these ideas:
    We already have electric fencing but I will include the link anyway.

    What are all of your favorite magazine's for duck info?
    What hatcheries have you all had success with? Which ones you didn't have a good experience with?
    Thank you all in advance!!

    Also not sure if this matters a whole bunch, but I plan to eat and sell duck eggs, that's part of the reason I'm looking into the organic food, the other part is I just want them to live long happy lives. I won't be doing any artificial lighting to make them lay sooner or lay longer. If people want eggs during the winter they'll just have to wait till spring.;) :lol:
  2. Ratchnick

    Ratchnick Chirping

    Oct 13, 2019
    Anchorage Alaska
    That is a lot of questions! How many ducks are you going to get? I recommend reading the articles on byc to get good background knowledge and if you have specific questions ask here.
    FunQuail and FarmerGirl101 like this.
  3. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds All quackd out

    Apr 17, 2017
    Wowsers! That IS a lot of questions! :lau
    Let me attempt to answer a few. . probably won't catch them all.
    First of all you'll learn what works best for you and your set up as you go along ..you will find yourself constantly re doing something for some reason. . just learn to accept it. :p

    Rubber bowls are pretty great for feed. . there are many other options too. . use a homemade feeder for my call ducks made from a pvc pipe.

    Duck water is just going to get dirty no matter what. Even if they don't swim in it. . they will drill in the muck and put it in the water. Ducks need to be able to dip their entire heads in water to wash their snares and eyes so keep that in mind.
    They don't have to have access to swimming water full time but they are happier if they do.
    One water option..

    Yes you can have an all female flock. . but good luck finding sexed ducklings.
    It's hard to know until they are old enough to quack or rasp. Quacking =female
    Smokers cough sound=male

    I know nothing about organic feed or why people prefer it.

    You can raise ducklings on chick starter/grower but you will need to supply extra niacin in the form of nutritional yeast or vitamin b complex.
    I use Nutrena naturewise meat bird crumbles until they are about 2 months old then I switch them to an all flock feed. Purina flock Raiser is also a good all around feed from the beginning.

    You will most likely have to train them to go inside at night by herding them in and giving treats.
    Don't over do the treats though. Peas make a nutritious treat. .mine also like meal worms and dry cat food.
    Eventually if you stick to a routine long enough they should learn to go in on their own. Mine still demand their bedtime snacks at door closing time. .and normally will not go in until I go out there with the treat bag. :lol:

    I don't know of any duck magazines. :confused:
    Miss Lydia, FunQuail and Raenh like this.
  4. Raenh

    Raenh Free Ranging

    Jul 29, 2017
    Tomball, Texas
    Don't get the rugged ranch pen, it's good if you don't move it, but the clamps that it uses to put the sides together get twisted the more you move it, and the bolts rust. I had one at my mom's... you'd be better off building one if you want to move it around.
    FunQuail, Ratchnick and shawluvsbirds like this.
  5. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds All quackd out

    Apr 17, 2017
    Those pens look nice. .but depending on what kind of predators your up against in your area. .
    Hardware cloth is really the best thing to use for fencing.
    Adding the electric fence will help for sure. . but is not fool proof.
    Those large holes in the fencing will allow a critter to reach in and pull your duck through . .
    A mink can go right through those holes provided it finds a way around the electric fence .. Or digs under.
    For the money you will pay for that kind of pen you could probably build something better suited for your needs. If that's something you can do or find someone to help you do it.
  6. DiYMama540

    DiYMama540 Free Ranging

    Jun 25, 2019
    SW VA
    My Coop
    Where to begin... @shawluvsbirds did a great job at food and watering so..

    Usually I just get my birds from TSC or Rural King, but they never have the breeds of ducks separated, just in one bin labeled ducks... :barnieSo with that said, if you're looking for a specific breed, you will probably want to order from a hatchery or even keep an eye our for local breeders. Privett Hatchery seems to sell quality birds, that's the hatchery our Rural King uses and I've yet to be disappointed.

    Runner ducks are great egg layers, and have lots of personality! So far my girl has laid an egg almost every day since she started laying. They are just slightly bigger than you average chicken egg, and taste great!

    And finally, who needs magazines when you have BYC!? Honestly, our site is full of all the info you could ever want...for free! :love
    Miss Lydia, Raenh, FunQuail and 2 others like this.
  7. FunQuail

    FunQuail Chirping

    Sep 23, 2018
    Thank you all!:)
    DiYMama540, Miss Lydia and Raenh like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: