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New Duck Owner -- Need Any Advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by honeydoll, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Well, a year ago I got chickens and now....do I need to go on. SO I got two ducks, a mallard and a rouen. So, I put them in an extra pen for tonite with a large tub of water. So tell me what I got myself into. It was a kind of impulse buy. The man's wife has breast cancer and we wanted ducks but just not this soon so we bought them from him to help him out more than anything. But I've got them now. I need proper pen ideas, will they leave my home after they are used to it. THat kind of info. Best feed, how often and how much. The guy gave us some info but I need to know how to BEST care for them. We take alot of pride in the care we take of even our meat animals, and I would love to get some Khaki Campbells asap so this is good prep/practice for me and my boys. Thanks. I am a duck owner now, I am so EXCITED!! I love this stuff!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. percyj

    percyj Songster

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    Jun 20, 2010
    I like Mazuri and Purina foodÂ… how old are they??? Are you housing them w/ chickens? What's their gender???
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners 8 Years

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Welcome to Duckdom!

    How old are they? Sounds like adults? Many on the forum use Flock Raiser, I use Blue Seal Poultry grower/maintenance feed plus free choice oyster shell and extras (slugs, salads, weeds, a few peas, a little cat kibble).

    They need water with their food always, they are considered messy (I think it is quite manageable once you get used to their habits). They are quite susceptible to predators, so they need a secure place especially at night. Mine tend to sleep against the fence, making them vulnerable to attack through the fence, so I use half inch hardware cloth for their night pen.

    Using treats like peas can help them get comfortable with you.

    They need to be able to bathe, but don't really need a pond. I use two concrete mixing pans for my eleven runners, people use kiddie pools, stock tanks . . . they need to be able to easily get out of the water.

    They sleep on the ground, so they do not need a roost.

    Watch for any signs of foot problems, they can get bumblefoot, but caught early is easily treated.

    They are less likely to get some poultry diseases than are chickens, from what I read.

    They love salad. Too much spinach can rob them of calcium, though.

    If you let them out on the lawn, and it is wet, they will make mudholes.

    They are adorable, and have more personality than one might believe at first.

    Mine lay between 5 and 6 a.m. I have read that ducks are done laying by 8 or 9 a.m.

    There are already some nice pen threads here on the duck forum. The search should turn up some good pictures and designs for you.

    Take a look at the stickies for treats and first aid kit suggestions.

    Enjoy!
     
  4. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Quote:The Rouen is a female, 1 year. The Mallard is male about 10 months. They have their own pen.
     
  5. percyj

    percyj Songster

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    Jun 20, 2010
    So are you going to try to breed them , or are you ready for any "accidents" that may happen? Unless the wings are pinioned, a mallard can fly over an uncovered pen. Sorry, just making sure.[​IMG]
     
  6. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Quote:NOt really concerned about any accidents, I don't mind that so much. The pen is fully enclosed, my husband really did a great job on our chicken coop and extra pen he built me. All my neighbors chickens have been killed by predators, they lost 12 in two days. But my chickens were unharmed. He made very secure pens for us.
     
  7. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    Congrat's on your duck's.I will say even tame mallard's can fly I have 17 young and one drake and they exercise daily now flying trying out theier wing's.My young are about 4 month's old.I have 5 pekin with them and one Cayuga and one adult mallard drake.I feed mine a ration of cracked and whole corn scratch grain and out a little grower finisher in a few time's a week.I give mine bread treats or cracker's I know it not good on tummy but it's small portion's and they love it.Summer month's and they free range all day so they get plenty of fresh green's bug's and natural protien sources so not really a lot of hand food.They will do just fine and enjoy them .
     
  8. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Boy that's great advice. THe guy we got them from is selling his house so he needs to get rid of his ducks. He offered a special to us if we bought all 13. Like I said, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and he wants to simplify his life. I really feel for himand would like to help him out. Out oldest boy is a cancer survivor and I know what it's like. I cannot keep 13 mallards/rouen on my property. If we did buy them all, could we process them at any age? I am assuming it's pretty much like processing chickens. IF they are older ducks, do we have to slow cook them so they aren't tough? Hope I am not offending anyone by asking this, we do raise for meat as well as breeding. Also, I really want to get into Khaki campbells, are they good egg layers? I have heard they are but would like personal accounts if possible. Wonder what the market is like for duck eggs? Thanks for all the tips so far, I am really excited about our new venture here and wonder how to make a little profit with them. ANd again, I want to say thanks for all the advice, it is so nice to get advice and help from the nice people on this website. So many friendly people, so patient with newbie questions. [​IMG]
     

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