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New duck owner here

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by YakLady, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. YakLady

    YakLady Songster

    Jul 8, 2009
    Detroit area
    I was recently notified that a member on here was going through some bad luck and needed to get rid of his birds. He lives close to me, so I took a drive out the next day (a few days ago). I really had no idea what I was going to walk out with, but took a coupld of crates just in case. I picked up some more laying hens, and 5 ducks. I've never had ducks before, but I fell in love while watching his ducks play in their little wading pool. On the way home, I called my husband and said, "Well, we have some ducks now". He said, "Cute. What do we do with them?" I said, "Guess we'll figure it out".

    One duck is a female (so I guess called a duck, right?) Pekin named Daisy. She's adorable! The other four are Cayuga's-one drake, 2 females, and one young undetermined (looks like a drake to me, but what do I know). Hubby made a little duck house yesterday and put it in the outside portion of the chicken coop. The ducks are too big to get in the door to the henhouse, so he put the little duck house in there so they would have shelter if they need it. The last two nights, I've shoo'ed them in so I can lock the door to the coop. They don't seem to go in the duck house, but it makes me feel better knowing they can if they need to.

    In the morning, I open the door to the outside portion of the coop, and they all run out together. They share 1/4 acre grassy area with 6 sheep and 27 chickens. That area is fenced in with goat panels so no one can get out. I put a galvanized steel tub out for now, and filled it with water so that they can play in it. Everyone drinks out of it, too. I have a smaller rubber tub with water in it near the duckhouse, in the coop. I also put a small rubber tub in there with some layer pellets, and they have been eating.

    So in addition to what I've done, is there anything else I should do? Special feed? Vaccinations? What are their egglaying habits? Do they need any kind of heat during Winter? And are they going to be ok without anyplace to swim during Winter? Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.


  2. jmsim93

    jmsim93 In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2009
    East Texas
    Sounds like you have a very happy home for your animals. :) I would raise one concern though. Ducks are notorious poopers and they will be pooping alot in that water! That may not be very healthy if that is everyone's drinking water. Just a thought.
  3. KellyandKatie

    KellyandKatie Songster

    Aug 29, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I like your attitude- 'we will figure it out'
    it sounds like they have a nice new home
    I think laying habits depend on the type of duck, and I don't know much about those breeds, but I know some ducks lay all year, but like mine ( scovies) they dont lay much right now, but will lay an egg a day during their season. Sorry I am not too helpful - actually I dont think I can answer any of your questions LOL -- but it does sound like you are off to a great start and have the right out look [​IMG]
  4. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I would try to keep the ducks out of the other animals' drinking water. Which may be nearly impossible, but they will poop and mate in the water, and they like to pick up food and sand in their bills and then run to get a drink of water. Everyday my ducks' water bowl has a layer of mud in the bottom.

    Ducks are more disease resistant than chickens, and need no vaccinations. The best feed for them is waterfowl feed or gamebird feed, but they do just fine on chicken feed.

    Ducks are extremely cold resistant and do not need any heat lamps or anything. Last winter, in -20 degree weather, my ducks were outside sleeping on snowbanks while the chickens refused to leave their coop. They won't need a place to swim in the winter. I use a 3 gallon black rubber bowl for their water. Every morning I turn it over, kick the ice out, and fill it up with warm water. The black rubber keeps the water from freezing for a long time.

    Cayugas will usually lay one (huge!) egg everyday in the spring and summer. My Cayuga is actually one of my best layers.
  5. YakLady

    YakLady Songster

    Jul 8, 2009
    Detroit area
    Awesome! Thanks for the advice.

    Yes, the rubber tub thing that I'm using for their water bowl next to their duck house is a black rubber one. I'll hold onto that since you mentioned it's good for Winter.

    The gentleman who I got them from told me that Daisy, the Pekin, lays almost every day. I haven't gotten any eggs yet from any of them, but it's only been a couple of days. Since they're out there on 1/4 acre during the day, I'm probably going to have to go on egg hunts. The chickens go in and out of the coop all day at will, but the ducks don't seem to go back in until I shoo them in at dusk.

    As far as the waterer situation for the rest of the animals, I think I'll get a small stock tank for the sheep. The ducks can keep the galvanized tub for awhile for swimming in, and the chickens have various waterers, including the one inside their henhouse where the ducks do not go.

    Thanks again for the input. I'm sure I'll learn alot more as I go along, but I'm sure I'll be back on here with questions.
  6. LauraSBale

    LauraSBale Songster

    Congrats on the ducks, you will have fun with them,
    my chickens will drink from the duck pool to, in the summer i was using, pool sanitizer Chlorine for Kiddie pools, it would help keep the pool clean if your kid pees in the pool. i would put in about 3 tables spoon in their pool water, and that really helped with keeping it clean and sanitized i would change it every other day, I ran out so i have been using ACV, i put in a 2 cups. and i have 4 other waters out there so they don't always try to drink out of the pool water.

    they may not lay for a couple weeks do to the change of moving, or they just may wait until spring, so far i have lucky, mine will lay their eggs, in the coop, for i let them out, though i did fine a couple times eggs by the pool.

    they will get use to going in their there coop, just keep pushing them in there at night, and they will finally go on there own. i know with the time change, my guys don't want to go in for the night, until about 8:30 and it gets dark at 6:30. so i know that will take time for them to adjust to the time change.

    if you can get duck pellets that would be great, I have a hard time getting them so I use, Multi flock, and mix half layer with it, now that winter is coming, i have been mixing Multi with scratch mix, i got some Black East indies and call ducks from a lady in Battle creek, and she said in fall she using more scratch and corn, so they don't lay in the winter, so they will save all there energy for the winter, and not trying to make eggs, then when spring comes she starts them back up on all duck pellets.

    have Fun with your ducky's [​IMG]

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