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mallard ducks....what do you think about them?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TK Poultry, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    im interested in expanding the waterfowl part of dunbar hill waterfowl and poultry to include mallard ducks and not just swedish what are they like to breed? are they easy keepers? are they easy breeders? i know their temperment i had one but i sold him because i didnt have a mate for him...... i just want to know a little more about them
     
  2. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    They will only breed in the spring and the female will almost always hatch out her own eggs....they are easy to keep and are the same as almost every other domestic duck. However, their have been stories about people's mallards flying off with the wild ones.
     
  3. fogbubble

    fogbubble Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 9, 2009
    Western NC
    We have two mallards that we got from Tractor Supply Company last spring. I forgot the name of the hatchery they came from, but seems like it was in Tennessee. I guess they're not what you'd call true wild flying mallards, but they're not Rouens either. They bonded closely with my daughters as babies and would cuddle and sleep in their laps. The female can fly if you make her but she prefers not to. The male has a slight slipped wing and I've never seen him fly unless its down a steep bank to the creek. We love them. The female (Noodles) has been a great layer of really big eggs and hasn't missed a day since she started in mid-November. She's the smartest, friendliest bird of our Welsh Harlequin/Cayuga/mallard flock and I'm hoping to cross her with the other breeds this spring to see what kind of useful hybrids result. Maybe they lost their wild instincts, because she and the male, Nibbles, are definitely breeding now with the other ducks. I have no doubt the eggs are fertile and she'd probably go broody if I'd let her. I think mallards are the most beautiful of all ducks, it's just that they're so common people look for rarer and more exotic breeds. I chose Harlequins and Cayugas for their egg laying abilty and rarity, but honestly I love the wild look of Nibbles my male mallard more than any of the others.
    Shannon
    Harlequin Creek
     
  4. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    Hmmm....are you sure they are mallards....I've never heard of a farm mallard laying in november, let alone keep laying through the winter [​IMG]
     
  5. Barred Rockstar

    Barred Rockstar Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Humboldt County, CA
    We kept mallards when I was a kid and as I remember they could all fly. Every morning they would do a lap or two around the neighborhood, then settle in the pond down the street. Because of their wild nature and the fact that we free ranged them, we did have some fly south for the winter and we lost a lot to predators. They are awesome ducks though, much smarter than some of the more domesticated breeds. And great mothers too, they breed like rats! We started with a pair and had 30+ ducks before we knew it. We even had one who hatched 21 ducklings out in the blackberry bushes with no protection or food from us at all, we thought she was a goner.
     
  6. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    well the mallard i had flew alot but i cut his wings and he was kind of psychotic! but i thought maybe he was the minority because the mallards next to us at a show i took him too were just so calm and sweet so idk i really like the very natural look to them and they are nothing like my big swedes so i think they are a hit with me but like always i had to consult my awesome BYC family and i had to see what you guys thought of them

    thanks and keep the stories coming nd post some pictures i would love to see some (not like i havent but you know what i mean)!
     
  7. fogbubble

    fogbubble Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 9, 2009
    Western NC
    Oh, they're mallards all right, albeit highly domesticated ones that have been bred in captivity for generations. My husband was surprised too. I'm really impressed with Noodles (the female) and I hope to keep her genes around through a few experimental crosses with Harlequins and Cayugas. I'll see if I can add a picture...
     
  8. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    My experiences have been like fogbubbles. My mallards (from "wild" stock bred for hunting preserves) lay all year long. In fact, they are great layers, probably the best of any of my ducks. Notice that you see hatcheries that sell Mallards year round? Mine also become quite tame, probably something that lended them so well for domestication in the first place.
     
  9. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Guess my Monty was a fluke! thank goodness
     
  10. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Personally, I love Mallards. Like any breed, there are going to be differences in personality, etc... depending on the individual bird. I have had them almost continuously since I first started keeping my own ducks (as opposed to my family's ducks) some 30 years ago. In that time, I have had many, many Mallards that were exceptionally calm and tame.
     

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