new to duck raising: questions!


8 Years
Nov 16, 2011
Quebec, Canada
If there's a place on the forum about ''duckraising 101'' don't be shy to refer me to it!

I want to raise ducks (rouen AND muscovies) next spring/summer (for meat purpose), and I have some questions...
Here are my questions:

1. I was thinking of getting 10 ducks and 10 muscovies, is that a good number to start ?
2. can ducks and muscovies be put together?
3. What sex of ducks and muscovies should I get (how many males versus females) so that everybody gets along well?
4. can I raise them free range on a natural pond and make a platform for them to sleep and be protected from predators? I live in a forested area with all the predators you can think of.
5. If not, I was thinking of using some kind of fence with an electric wire device to keep them protected from predators. wich kind of fence would be best?
6. I don't have pasture, but around the pond where I would keep them it is growing wild with weeds and grasses and alot of clover, would that be ok for them?(with duck feed too of course) much space should there be within the fenced area for them to be comfortable (for 10 ducks and 10 muscovies)
8. do they make the ground get mucky fast? in other words, should I get a moveable fence or can i create 2 different areas and switch them from week to week to help the ground regenerate? I'm trying to find the best easiest and cheapest way (oh my is that even possible
9. What kind of moveable shelter should i provide for them? do they really need one in spring/summer?
10. If I get ducklings, when can they be moved outside from their brooder?

You can all just answer a few of my questions, at least it would help me get prepared for next spring!
Thanks alot in advance!
Just so you know muscovies ARE ducks.

1 thats a great number
2 yes they can but if they breed together and hatch babies, all the ducklings would be sterile...
3 I would have one drake to every four hens you get.
4 they must have a safe shelter and fence, otherwise you will loose many birds!
5 my mom uses netting for her chickens. It works great for ducks to!
6 thats exactly what im doing with my ducks.... Our yard is full of all that stuff and they love it.
7 I have no idea
I just built a huge fence for mine and they seem fine (12 ducks and 600 square feet)
8 mostly just where their water is and where they hang out the most.
9 they need a shelter for at night. I used old paalets to build mine.
10 when they are almost fully feahered. Unless you have a heated coop...
wow thanks alot for your answers! thanks amiga for the idea of having just drakes...and as for the strands of electric wire, do you combine that with another fence and put that on the outside for predators, or just 2 strands of electric wire?

After reading your answers I tought maybe for the first year I will raise either just muscovies or just rouen...or if I raise both, put them in seperate areas...

ducks and banny hens: is there a difference between male-female-drake and hens? 4 different terms?

And what do you mean by treating them like chickens whilst free-range? do you mean you would personnaly just free-range them without a fence?

and as for the mountain dog, I already have 2 dogs, a german shepherd dog and another mutt but they are in the house when we are not home so not too good to protect the flock
and I'm not really ready to have a 3rd dog!

I wish I could just fence around the whole pond but it is quite big and I think that would cost me alot in fencing!!
-There is no difference between drake = Males, and Ducks = females = hens.
-Personally, I couldn't imagine myself not free-ranging. What I meant, Is that, like chickens, ducks have homing traits (and are actually better than chickens. They can home from quite a distance, and are always in before dark. Like chickens, fence them for about a week, every night, see to it that they go inside, and after about a week, they do it automatically by themselves)
-My dog is 10 yrs. old, and hasn't spent a day in his life in a building. (he's a Mountain dog) I suggest mtn. dogs (i.e. St. Bernard, Pyrenese, and also Newfoundlanders), because they are very tolerant of birds, and have very deep heritage as saviours, serving to protect, well, basically whatever you tell them to. They do subsequently bark alot, (luckily, we don't have nearby neighbors).
At night in spring summer and fall the ducks are in a house (4'x8', all openings covered with half inch hardware cloth) and its attached porch, covered top bottom and sides with half inch hardware cloth. The porch has a door with a lock. At night I turn on the electric fence, the two equine tape strands circle the house/porch, and the attached day pen just to keep critters out of there, too (if they could get in there, they might be able to climb past the electric wire, so that's why I wired it even though the ducks are not in the outer pen at night.

By the way, in winter the ducks are housed in the walkout basement pen. It's quite convenient for me - the unheated basement stays above 40F, there's no snow to shovel to get to them, water doesn't freeze, no worries about electricity or fire hazards in the duck house.
If you don;t have a good duck house for night, that can be secured each nite and then opened each morning, you're going to have meat ducks alright....meat ducks for every predators that can crawl in, jump in, FLY in, or burrow in. They WILL. I have seen 'dillows, possums, even an Eagle attack our pond ducks. That was during the day. They need to be brought in at night, or you loose them. Once the predators learn that there is an easy meal there, you'll loose 1 a nite.

Ducks are NOT a low maint kind of farm animal. Not even close. They are the opposite and can be very time consuming, messy and costly if you are unfamiliar with their needs.


ALL Male birds (duck family) even of different breed are DRAKES. Females are DUCKS or hens.
Whether a muscovy, rouen or runner, the males are DRAKES and the females are DUCKS. Common error to call all birds of the "duck" family ....a duck.

Drakes are the textbook definition of testosterone. Too many drakes and there will be bloodshed. Drakes fight to establish dominance in the flock and who gets which duck as a mate. The ratio needs to be at least 3:1 maybe 4:1 or even more. Ducks lay and produce your next generation and drakes...are the product, if that is your goal. Just do yourself a favor, don;t name them and get attached to them if they are headed for the table.

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