New member, hobby backyard duck owner.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Galaktion, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Galaktion

    Galaktion Hatching

    Jun 20, 2017
    You can call me Galaktion, for now.

    I own a small townhouse with a 30x30ft fenced-in backyard right on a nice 2 acre pond. About 50% of the pond has human access (homes, walking trail) and the other 50% is natural and basically undisturbed.

    When I bought this house 16 years ago, there was already a Pekin drake and a Muscovy female. The muscovy must've lived to about 18-20 years. She was a real character, typical of the breed. They had a drake and a female which, being a mule and a hinnie, were sterile. The drake was relocated to another pond and the female, Cher the Halfbreed, still happily resides on the pond.

    About 3 or 4 years ago, I realized that we were at the end of The Duck Line with no fertile females, so I rescued a Pekin drake and 2 females from a friend's backyard. They were quickly rehabilitated to the pond, but liked to base out of my fenced-in backyard. They were great layers, but they never brooded a nest. The females, slightly lame, were eventually lost to predators, but the Pekin drake, William, is still puttering around with his fat self....messing up my current hobby breeding plan with some recently introduced Cayugas.

    Since I was in need of some fertile female ducks to "keep the pond in ducks", I decided to try to set up a small hobby Cayuga duck breeding pool, in order to help that threatened species.

    So, a couple months ago I acquired 5 Cayugas from backyard hobby breeders: A breeding trio--male and 2 females with small topknots. And another breeding pair-- male with topknot and a female without.

    I started all these guys in my backyard, with a built-in duck pond, then released them out into the pond and surroundings where they settled in nicely, to the point that I have 3 nests with 4 clutches (2 ducks laid 24 eggs in one nest) all being brooded.

    I gave them some nice nesting options and materials, both in my yard and around the pond on mine and my neighbour's property. I threw some straw in an old tire back by the pond. They loved it. Kate and Cindy (topknotted and paired to Fred) both laid a total of 24 eggs in it. They both laid on it for a while, then Kate took over. The 24 eggs somehow whittled down to about 18. Of those, 4 recently hatched (3 slightly larger and obvious PekinxCayuga hybrids and little mostly black guy with an obvious topknot) and are already out and about around the pond and my backyard.

    I noticed alot of flies on the eggs in that nest, and saw maggots crawling amongst them today. I tested a couple eggs and they were a little smelly had something like mold in them and the ducklings were in an advanced state of development but dead. I emptied that nest of eggs and disposed of them. I'm not sure if Kate is taking the ducklings there anymore or not.

    Meanwhile, Petunia, the female mated with the topknotted Roy, has been laying on about 10 eggs for at least a couple weeks. Then, a couple days ago, I finally found where Cindy's been hiding--on a new nest with 11-and-counting eggs in it, right in front of my next door neighbor's house, under the hedges and a broad wave. Cindy doesn't seem to be quite as broody as Kate, so we'll see what happens there.

    So here's where I'm currently at:

    1... Hinnie
    1...Pekin drake
    5...Cayugas. 1 Topknotted male paired with a normal female. And 1 normal male paired with 2 topknotted females.
    4...probable CayugaxPekin hybrids ducklings.

    Plus, unfortunately, 3 juvenile "Easter Ducks" of dubious stock and unknown sex which my 4-doors-down neighbours recently added to the pond...along with their established backyard chickens.

    Long story short: I'm looking to find a new home for William, the semi tame Pekin drake...either on another suitable pond...or in my belly.
    dfalco likes this.

  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Must hatch more Premium Member Project Manager

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC.
    I'd make a meal.
  3. dfalco

    dfalco Songster

    Apr 30, 2014
    Howe, Oklahoma
    Sounds delightful! Before getting my pair of Pekins, I never realized how intelligent and entertaining ducks are.

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