New to ducks. Help Please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kmwahoo, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. kmwahoo

    kmwahoo New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2011
    Hi all. I am a newbie to ducks and this forum. I recently purchased a new home on 10 acres with a little pond, fed from runoff and my water source heat pump. My wife and I thought it would be a good Idea to have some ducks for our boys and us to watch. A doctor who my wife works with brought us over 3 domestic mallards. I have 2 drakes and 1 hen. I built a floating duck coop and cannot seem to get the ducks to go in. We live in Nebraska so it has been getting cold. How do I get the ducks in the coop? Also what should I expect with ducks? How much do they eat and what do they eat? What should I do with the eggs I have been finding all over the place? We have had 4 other ducks land and join our three. I am trying to up load a picture of my floating coop.



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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  2. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Domestic Mallards FLY. They may not stay. As far as the floating house...very nice, BUT..... the ducks don't "trust it".

    The only way you will be able to keep them from freezing (if they stay) will be to net them and put them in an enclosure that is predator and escape proof. Inside a garage would be nice.

    They have been foraging on their own (If I read your post correctly). If you contain them, you will need to feed them GAME BIRD GROWER pellets. It can be found at Agway and TSC stores, etc.

    Ducks need niacin, so don't try just plain chicken food or worse crumbled corn. They will need water up to their nostrils so they can drink and clear their nostrils of "stuff". They will need bedding. I use straw. They will need to have their "home" maintained, meaning cleaning and refreshing the water, etc.

    BTW, 2 drakes and one female is NOT a good combination, The poor hen may be killed because of over jealous mates.

    That's the facts. Sorry for the wet blanket on your parade, but you should know ASAP. Good Luck! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  3. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, two drakes is not a good idea. Need at least 3 more females to make it safe for the girls.
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    If you want them to stay and be safe, I'd build them a secure pen and only let them free range when you can supervise. They will need a clean unfrozen bowl of water for drinking and it would be nice if they had something to bathe in. Heated dog bowls work great for the drinking water, put a piece of wood across it to discourage bathing in that. A small bird bath heater will help keep the bathing water ice free. Definitely start feeding them, and thawed frozen peas are a great treat.
    Do some looking around on this site, there is a list of food that you should feed duck, and one that lists foods that are harmful to them. Also a list of treats.
    Enjoy them, ducks are sooooo fun!!!
     
  4. kmwahoo

    kmwahoo New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2011
    I had some crushed corn that they have been eating. My pond does not freeze due to my heat pump and my neighbor’s heat pump flowing in it. Are you also saying there is no way the ducks will go in the floating coop. I can take it out. I do not plan on penning them up; I was hoping that they would survive in the hut. I may have to rethink my plans. If they do leave and or die how many baby ducks should I start with? Keep in mind they are basically pets.
     
  5. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly, I think you need to get them some sort of secure shelter. You can buy a large 6 ft dog kennel to confine them at night, but it needs to be predator proofed, there is info on her as to how to do that. If they are not going in the floating coop, they are coming out of the pond and are in danger of being killed by a predator. If they are domestic ducks, it is not fair to not properly care for them. This forum has a wealth of information on duckkeeping. You just need to weed through it all. Daunting, I know, but if we take an animal as a pet, we are responsible for it's welfare and safety.
    You do need to feed them more than cracked corn. They need some sort of nutrition. And females need additional calcium if they are laying. If you are finding eggs all over, maybe you don't have two drakes and a duck, maybe the opposite? A duck only lays one egg a day. So, if you are picking them up and are finding more than one a day, you have more than one hen.
    If you do end up getting ducklings, please do a lot more research. They are a lot of work. That is why I get adult ducks, much easier.
    Good luck to you. I hope you get things figured out.[​IMG]
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How easy is it for you to get to the hut?
    Are they friendly toward you, or do they bolt when you get near?


    If they are friendly and you can get to the shelter....
    find a treat they like (peas is a good starter) and get them hooked on peas (easy to do).
    Then start tossing the peas in their shelter.

    If you can, find a way to put some food out there too - cover it from the weather too so it doesn't get nasty.
    Make that hut a pretty enticing place for them to be and maybe they will start using it on their own.
     

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