My experience of raising ducks after 6 months within a neighborhood

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HennyPenny2, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. HennyPenny2

    HennyPenny2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, I just thought I would share my thoughts on raising ducks, and in a small neighborhood for those who have been considering them but were unsure due to noise and care (including the mess they would make). I have raised a small flock of 8 or less hens for the past 9 years. I live outside of city limits but inside a very small subdivision with no HOA and although I was told I was not zoned for chickens I was free to have them as long as they didn't start getting a bunch of complaints from neighbors.
    So I kept my hens and longed to raise a couple of ducks as well but my husband didn't share the same feelings I think mainly concerned over water requirements, mess and noise. I finally talked him into it this spring and built me a nice set up within my large chicken run that I hoped would make duck ownership easier. I researched best I could on types of ducks to see which were the least noisy. I finally settled on 2 females, 1 a Cayuga and the other a Buff Orpington. Here is my experience:
    First I will say right off the bat that we all, husband included, love love our ducks. They bring me so much joy watching them everyday. I just can't help but smile and laugh as I watch them waddle around, play in the water, listen to their quacks and run around flapping their wings. Who knew ducks were so much fun, even more so then I though possible. Ducks really are not that much more work then chickens (maybe this is due also to how I have them set up?), they get along beautifully with my 6 hens and pretty much each group stick to themselves with the ducks ruling the entire coop but never any aggression (I also have to females so maybe this is also a factor?). Ducks are also way more fun to raise from ducklings then chickens. Which is noisest? I would say the chickens. I was so worried the ducks would be super noisy but really they are not at all. Most of the time the ducks quietly quack to one another, again I do only have 2 but the noise is not a factor at all. My hens can make a lot more racket then they do hands down. I will say however that if the two breeds the one that is supposed to be the quietest is the most noisiest which is the Cayuga. She certainly quacks the most, but she is also more friendly then the Buff.
    Care is really simple. I new ducks an make a muddy mess so I planned carefully for this. I situated their house and makeshift pond on the far end of the run. Now first off my run is all sand (makes my life easier as it dries out there poo, water drains faster, they love to dust bathe in it. I built a 2 block high retaining wall as shown in the pics below to separate the main duck area away from the rest of the run. I laid large square cheap pavers like a tiny patio where I keep their water trough thing for swimming and bathing in. I surrounded that with medium sized smooth river rock. After 6 months it has worked like a dream. I simply lift and empty the water so it drains out of the run and into my flower bed next to it and hose down the pavers and rock out of the run, the rest drains through the rocks and sand below and the retaining wall keep the water from going into the rest of the run and the chickens from scratching out the larger rocks into the main sandy run. I keep the ducks water pail on a little porch on their duck house. They all eat out of a feed bucket so bought from rentacoop which works like a dream. The sand in the rest of the run dries out any duck or chicken poo and gets scratched in my the chickens.

    As for other care I simply give them fresh water in their water bucket once daily and other other day (daily in the hottest part of the summer) I empty and refill their container for swimming. They go nuts when I do as they just love fresh water in there pool. They are often found sleeping in it either alone or together too. The size and I forget how many gallons it is but it's plenty for the two of them and is very sturdy and lifts even full ery easy to dump. I do plan to buy a larger one with a built in drain soon however because they love to try to dive under and swim around in circles lol, but this has worked just fine.
    We are moving and building the farmhouse I have always wanted however within the next month on some acreage and I definitely plan to add at least one more duck. In my opinion they are easier to keep, no raking poo from the coop, lay eggs a plenty and they are good, are super fun to watch and although I love my chickens and will always keep them, ducks are more fun to keep. Did I mention how velvety soft their necks are? [​IMG]
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    Sorry so long but I hope it was helpful. ~Meghan
     
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