New duck Mom with so many questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CrazedCowgirl, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. CrazedCowgirl

    CrazedCowgirl Chirping

    Jan 17, 2016
    Eugene Oregon
    Hi Everyone!

    I'm new to ducks but I've had chickens for about a yr now. I'll be picking up 4, 2 month old ducklings from a co-worker tomorrow and I thought I did all my research but now I'm finding contradicting info.

    My main questions are:

    1) Can ducks drink out of "Chicken Nipples?" Those stainless water nipples that are attachable to buckets for poultry. My girls free range all day and have multiple water sources but all my little quarantine waters have nipples.

    2) How do I tell male from female ducks? The littles I'm getting tomorrow are barnyard mixes from what I understand. While I can keep male ducks, I'd prefer not too.

    2.5) I've heard that male ducks can kill chickens because they're a rough during breeding. Is this really a thing?

    3) I do a standard quarantine of 30 days but I've read/heard that ducks don't carry a lot of the same diseases that chickens do as a 14 day quarantine is sufficient, True/False?

    4) Since my girls free range, should I just offer a small hut for my ducks rather then a real "house?"

    Sorry for all the questions. I thought I had this all figured out but I think I'm psyching myself out over researching. Thanks for taking the time to read all of this and helping me out!
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    1 - they can drink out of nipple waterers, but they need water deep enough to dunk their heads, so as long as you provide water they can do that with, they can use both
    2 - at 2 months, they should be quacking. If it quacks, it is a girl. If it sounds like it has laryngitis, it is a boy (does not apply for muscovy ducks and possibly muscovy mixes)
    2.5 - it isn't so much the rough as it is that male ducks are equipped differently that roosters. Male duck anatomy is not compatible with chicken hen anatomy. So if you have boy ducks that don't have enough girl ducks to keep them occupied or they some how have chicken hens stuck on their brain... it could be bad for the chicken hen
    3 - not sure
    4 - Do you lock your girls up at night? You should do the same for the ducks. They need enough space for everybody to not be cramped. If they free range, they don't need huge night time housing, but they still need secure night time housing
  3. CrazedCowgirl

    CrazedCowgirl Chirping

    Jan 17, 2016
    Eugene Oregon

    Thanks for all the info!

    I don't lock my girls up at night, they go to roost about 20 minutes before complete sundown and my dogs are pretty good at keeping the weird critters we have around here away from the chickens.

    I was planning on building a simple hut for them that's up off the ground a little to keep rats out but I probably won't lock them up at night either.

  4. 2) also around 6 months of age male ducks will have a one or a few curly feathers on their tail.
    4) my ducks have their own metal coop the stay in, I don't know anyone that's had free range ducks in my area. I think I would be ok as long as you lock them up at night, I agree with @TLWR. If you can try to have a pool for them to swim in, nothing fancy, I just use a kiddie pool and they just jump right in.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  5. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chirping

    May 23, 2016
    New Hampshire
    Ducks lie on the ground at night, making them, well, sitting ducks for any predator. If you don't lock them up at night, I predict they'll be dead in a week. Sorry to say.

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