New to ducks and will have some 4 weekers soon. Advice needed

ldutch123

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
440
2
101
Illinois
A lady is selling some 4 week old hatchery ducks. I need to know where to start for duck care. I have 71 free range chickens and they have 2 very large coops . I have a medium sized pond in a fenced 3 acres. I thought the ducks when they are full size would really be a good fit here?? What do you guys think? And what kind of housing should I provide for them. I'm thinkin of getting a pair . Also do you lock them up at night like you do chickens?
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
602
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A lady is selling some 4 week old hatchery ducks. I need to know where to start for duck care. I have 71 free range chickens and they have 2 very large coops . I have a medium sized pond in a fenced 3 acres. I thought the ducks when they are full size would really be a good fit here?? I'm sure they'll enjoy it
They need similar housing to chickens but they will make a mess quicker
Also do you lock them up at night like you do chickens?
Yes
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,780
531
Southern New England
Welcome to the threshold of Duckdom!

With ducks, a general guideline is three to six females per drake. Otherwise, there is a risk that the ducks will be harmed by too much "attention."

Ducks are quite susceptible to predator attacks. They need to be securely sheltered at night, and while many people let their ducks wander free range during the day, some of us keep a much closer handle on them (we have foxes, coyotes, hawks and wandering domestic animals during the day).

A 4'x8' duck house would be fine, with an enclosed "porch" area for food and water, to keep the house bedding cleaner and reduce maintenance. Ducks - with the exception of Muscovies - do not roost.

They do get enthusiastic with their water. So just setting out a waterer or pan will result in water all over the place, and lots of extra cleanup.

Ducks need to be able to wash their entire heads to avoid serious eye, ear and sinus infections. A kiddie pool is a good idea.
 

ldutch123

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
440
2
101
Illinois
I keep a close eye on the pond and I have seen only painted turtles in there. Quite a few of them and a ton of frogs lol
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
602
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I keep a close eye on the pond and I have seen only painted turtles in there. Quite a few of them and a ton of frogs lol
You might want to consider trapping them because Painteds can still be deadly to younger ducks
 

thepregnantgod

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 11, 2012
33
0
32
We have 15 Muscovies on our back two ponds. We have predators as well. In fact, a few have gone missing from either a raccoon or fox. That being said, if the pond is big enough, it is their safety. Though safety is in numbers. They sleep near the water's edge with one on each side awake - soft of sentry duty. Once startled they all wake and hit the water for safety.

We have snapping turtles that are larger than the wheel on my van. They do not harm the full grown ducks. They do gobble up babies though. So, if your ducks are the size of chickens or so, they should be fine.

If you can bring them in at night, they prefer that. The last batch of Muscovies I raised would come peck at the window on my door to come in at night. And watching them, they seemed much more relaxed/slept better inside safe than I witness when I see them outside at the pond's edge.
 

ldutch123

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
440
2
101
Illinois
Is it not a good idea to have ducks in a pond that has fish and whatever else in it? We had some mallards here for a good while but they decided to move on. I hope it wasnt cause of the turtles
 

ldutch123

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
440
2
101
Illinois
I'm starting lm scratch here on duckies!! Any advice is appreciated! Also I really just want them as pets. Do they hatch out their own eggs r do u take them from them? Lord knows I don't need any more eggs around this house lol. I get 30 a day so far
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
602
486
Is it not a good idea to have ducks in a pond that has fish and whatever else in it? We had some mallards here for a good while but they decided to move on. I hope it wasnt cause of the turtles
Fish are fine. It's usually more turtles that cause issues.
I'm starting lm scratch here on duckies!! Any advice is appreciated! Also I really just want them as pets. Do they hatch out their own eggs r do u take them from them? Lord knows I don't need any more eggs around this house lol. I get 30 a day so far
Depends on the breed but alot of breeds go broody and make great moms.
 

ldutch123

Songster
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
440
2
101
Illinois
We have 15 Muscovies on our back two ponds.  We have predators as well.  In fact, a few have gone missing from either a raccoon or fox.  That being said, if the pond is big enough, it is their safety.  Though safety is in numbers.  They sleep near the water's edge with one on each side awake - soft of sentry duty.  Once startled they all wake and hit the water for safety.  

We have snapping turtles that are larger than the wheel on my van.  They do not harm the full grown ducks.  They do gobble up babies though.  So, if your ducks are the size of chickens or so, they should be fine.

If you can bring them in at night, they prefer that.  The last batch of Muscovies I raised would come peck at the window on my door to come in at night.  And watching them, they seemed much more relaxed/slept better inside safe than I witness when I see them outside at the pond's edge.

When u say bring them inside like what do you mean? I was planning to build them like a large dog house if there is only 2 and making it close up at night. Is this a good plan? They could always decide to go sleep with the chickens too lol. They have huge coops. I'm just worried how will they know to come to me to get closed up at night?

I'm really excited
 

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