Maybe getting into ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dehave, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    Hi there, I have 2 quite large ponds on my property and I am having a terrible time trying to keep myself from getting ducks. Here are my issues. We have wild ducks that have their beautiful little families here each spring. I would be crushed if we somehow disrupted things for them. Will the wild ducks be bothered by domestics? If there is even a chance, I can't risk it.

    Issue #2 is predators. I lost 2 chickens and my sweet Rooster to Racoons! My chickens are getting a new heavy duty coop and serious fencing this spring. The ducks would need to get to the pond, and then I understand that they won't always come back into their house at dusk. How do you keep them safe?

    I have been asked to have my broody hen hatch some duck eggs, so I think it may be a sign. I just have to figure out these problems before I can move ahead.

  2. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    Oh also, I don't think we would eat duck eggs. Is there a market for them? Do you ever have trouble selling them or finding people to give them to?
  3. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Songster

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    can you fence your pond in and get a miniature donkey, or llama? a guard animal? We have mini donkeys, and they are with the ducks and chickens, and keep critters out of the pasture.. but you have to get the animal young enough to get along with the farm animals.
    I have a friend who had a floating duck house and the ducks swam out there and laid eggs.. but a snake got the eggs! Never thought of that.
    We use the duck eggs we get, we sell them, and also I cook with them. I made deviled eggs out of them too! Great big deviled eggs!! they were delicious!
  4. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    I have a mini donkey that keeps predators at bay but for whatever reason he doesn't actively defend the birds. He defends his territory but not the birds themselves. He will defend the goats, he does back up the my dog. He will run off my dog if he gets too close to him. If an attack occurs on the far side of the property the birds are out of luck. If the attack occurs in his line of sight or in the barnyard proper he's all over it.
    There is nearly 20 acres fenced for the animals. Might be different if things were in small pens.

    My ducks used to come in at night if I started yelling DUCKS!!! Sometimes a wild mallard would follow along but fly off when he saw them heading into lockup. It took steady rounding them up when they were little but it became automatic at dusk.

    One of those laser pointers works very well herding ducks out of water. Discovered that playing with the dog one night.

    Duck eggs are excellent for baking. Noticeable difference. I don't care for them outright. Lot of people do like them.
  5. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    Quote:That sounds like a lot of fun. So you close your ducks in at dusk and open them up in the morning? Roughly how long did it take for them to catch on to the idea of going in on there own?

    I can't fence the pond in, and I think if I suggested getting a donkey it would send my husband over the edge.

    If they stay on the water during the day, are they pretty safe?
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:I seriously doubt it. I occassionally have a few wild malards fly into the yard and stare at my Appleyards. But, it's not like I get the impression that my domestic birds are suddenly going to learn to fly and be lost forever. [​IMG]

    Quote:You can train ducks to "go to bed" at night in a house. In the worst case and they don't come in, they may just sleep on the water in which case they're safe. Mine know to go to bed and usually are already in their shelter when I come to close the door.

    As far as Mr Racoon goes, it's very simple to trap and dispatch a racoon using a humane trap.

    Quote:As far as duck eggs go, they generally lay seasonally (winter) rather than year round. So, we turn all our duck eggs into more ducks. I chose a heavy breed and sell duck meat, which I find sells very well.
  7. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    In my experience, the wild mallards are very curious about our rouen ducks (rouens look like mallards, but are quite a bit larger). My rouen drakes will chase the wild mallards away when they land in our yard. So in that respect, I think you might want to be cautious about introducing domesticated ducks. Since the domesticated ducks can't fly, I think they tend to be more territorial.

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