1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

my nephew wants some ducks but idk anything about them. help please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by justaddsun, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. justaddsun

    justaddsun New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Aug 18, 2013
    Jacksonville FL
    I have a small 5 acre "farm" with some laying hens and meat rabbits, so I do have some basic livestock knowledge, but ducks are a different story. My nephew wants me to get him some ducks to swim on the pond. My pond is a small 1/3 acre surface area hole in the ground. The pasture it is in is fenced but just with barbed wire. I have a few questions and would appreciate any advice.

    1. can I really expect to be able to let any species of duck loose on the pond without field fencing around it

    2. what do you think is the best species for a novice

    3. Are duck eggs tasty

    4. Do I have to build them their own coop, or could I possibly put them in with the hans(bard rocks)

    5. If they do need their own coop, are the requirements different than for hens

    6. What do I need to feed

    TIA

    -M
     
  2. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,560
    89
    188
    Mar 11, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm pretty new to duck ownership myself, but I've been doing well with them and have spent countless hours researching [​IMG]

    1. I don't know about any species, but my rouens only took a few days of being herded into their enclosure at night for them to start putting themselves to bed.

    2. Rouens are my only experience so far and they are wonderful!

    3. Yes! Ducks are actually better layers than chickens and their eggs are healthier and taste fantastic in baking as well.

    4. Just something as simple as a doghouse or living with the chickens if they aren't going to pick on them too much. Keep in mind that ducks make a huge mess if the water is anywhere near the food though.

    5. Nope. Basically the same.

    6. I give mine duck feed...I think there's a guide in the duck stickies for details.
     
  3. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,683
    143
    208
    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    Adding to Previous Post: that while ducks probly won't have any issues at all living with your chix, your chix might not appreciate how messy the ducks are. The ducks wet-messy-natures could even possibly create conditions that could make chix sick. Some people house chix and ducks together and all is well. I'm just not one of them, so I can't really offer much more than that. A dog house, or a kids playhouse, ducks seem to love both. The only further consideration is predator protection. The "structures " my ducks live in, they're all fenced around so no predators can get in.
    Ducks are fun and I think you'll enjoy raising them. Do read over in the stickies to find all the answers to your feed questions.
     
  4. justaddsun

    justaddsun New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Aug 18, 2013
    Jacksonville FL
    thanks for the 411. I'm assuming from your replies that letting them loose on the pond is not realistic?
     
  5. ducklover87

    ducklover87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,166
    42
    141
    Aug 7, 2012
    As long as you have no snapping turtles in the pond you could let them onto it during the day but if you don't want them to get snatched up by predators during the night then putting them in a coop is best. Snapping turtles can seriously injure or even kill a duck, especially young and small ducks. If you teach them to come back at night then your all set for letting them enjoy the pond during the day. First you'd have to wait until the are about 5 to 7 weeks old before they explore the pond as that's when they become fully feathered. It really depends on what your looking for in a duck. http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=1886684 this link will give you lots of information on a few different breeds of duck. There are other breeds out there if you aren't interested in any of the ones listed on that site. Depends who you ask. Some people say yes others say no. For me I have a hard time getting over the fact that my ducks laid them. Not sure why it bothers me but it does. However I do like the taste of them, I just can't eat more than a few bites. I'd go for their own coop since chickens don't really like how wet and messy ducks are. Duck houses are even simplier than a hen house. They don't need roosts unless they fly then you could put some in there if you wanted too. They also don't need nesting boxes. Whatever is available in your area. Here we have dumor, Purina flock raiser, or poultry feed from the feed mill. As long as the food isn't medicated than your good. There is also mazuri waterfowl feed I think is what its called. Umm I'm not sure what else their is. You should be able to get it where you get your chicken feed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,955
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Have you looked at the Stickies at the top of the Duck Forum? Really good information there, too.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by