Need advice on ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 4-H chicken mom, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I would like to get some ducks. I have never had ducks just chickens. I have a beautiful creek that runs through my property. I have seen wild ducks visit but they never stay. But before I get any I need to know a few things about them. Do ducks come back to the barn at night like chickens do? That would be the only problem if they don't. I have too many predators, fox, racoons, coyotes at night that I don't think ducks would survive if they didn't come back to the barn at night to be closed up. Also, what would be a good choice for a first timer to get? Are they hard to take care of? Thanks for help. [​IMG]
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    My ducks are trained to come into the duck house at night. They are their waiting at the door for me to open it and shut them in. Sometimes, though, they just go to sleep out on the pond. They're safe there from coyotoes so I don't worry too much.

    I think the key is to handle them a lot as ducklings and get them very used to contact from you. Then, like with geese, they'll tend to follow you everywhere like little puppies.

    I raise Silver Appleyards, which are gorgeous. But, there are some other beautiful breeds out there like the Saxony, Rouen, and Welsh Harlequin. But there is also something beautiful about the white breeds, looking like white golf balls out in your big pasture of green. The most common are Ayelsbury and Pekin. Finally, if you are worried about quacking and noise, the Muscovy duck is considered 'quackless' and are the best bug, slug and snail eaters you can get. They're just pretty in a non-traditional sense.
  3. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Songster

    Dec 1, 2007
    Princeton BC Canada
    Greyfield said it all. Try and find out what breed is most common near you to start. Its easier that way.Once you have had them for a while a get the hang of it you can try different breeds. Muscovys, Mallards, and Call ducks can fly, the other breeds can't.
  4. Aun <HIS><

    Aun <HIS>< Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I had white pekins a few years ago that did just what was said above, they came in at night on their own... never had a problem. I have a shallow stream by my house that pools up into a very small pond in one place where the 3 white pekins I have now like to hang out. In the fall, they started wanting to stay out at night. We did everything to get them in, and they just would not come in. After several hours, they did finally come in with the food bribe. That happened several nights this past fall. Then one night, they were stubbornly staying out, I know they think they're safe on the water, but the water is so shallow... And we were going through the stages of trying to get them in... out for awhile, in the house to wait for awhile, out for awhile... etc. I went out on the deck, to go down the stairs to try again, and right then, I heard one of the ducks thrashing in the water and screaming. I ran out there, scaring off what I think was a fisher cat, and spent an hour trying to get her to the bank so I could take her in and care for her. (she recovered fine, but was badly wounded) So, after that, we would put the ducks in really early, an hour or so before dusk. They hang around the yard, go down to the stream, back up in the yard, and they always come for treats, (except at night). So we started herding them in before dusk. They share space in the henhouse, and we have double doors, so we close the bottom ones on the ducks and leave the top ones open for the chickens to get in when they're ready. The ducks just stand in there and yell their heads off! They're so mad they're locked in early! We love having the ducks, and would have them even if we knew we'd have to go through all of this. And like I said, the first ducks we had a few years ago never did that! They always came in! So, just know that it doesn't always work the way it's supposed to... when you have a stream close to the house, but there are ways to deal with it.
  5. Tony

    Tony Songster

    Jan 16, 2008
    When you get them, talk to them, I`ve found that the ole saying "Here chick,chick" works wonders. I`ve always said it to them everytime I feed them. It works for me. Many nights I`ve had to call them back inside after dark from staying in the brook in my yard. I have 3 rouens, an egyptian goose, a blue swedish, and a few mix breeds (some type of man made egg machine breed) They stay together always and go nuts if one gets separated from the group. good luck.
  6. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    The others here are quite correct. If you start ducks like chicks and keep them in a coop to start out with then let them out in the evening they will return to the coop when it starts to get dark. from there you lenghten their time outside.

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