New to Ducks Need Some Questions Answered

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

  1. theturtlepond

    theturtlepond In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    I am planing on getting 13 ducks (3 pekin, 3 rouen, 3 cayugas and 4 khakies). I want to divide the breeds into runs that are 5 x 6 with a 4 x 3 house outside of the run.
    Can I use hardwood plywood for flooring or will that be to slick and hurt their feet?
    How many square feet does each duck need in the run, would 5 x 6 work for 3-4 ducks?
    Could they fly over a 6 foot fence?
    Can these breeds interbreed?
    How much water do they need?
    Can ducks live with chickens and other birds?
  2. crperdue

    crperdue Songster

    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    Quote:1. It would be OK if you put some bedding over it. Hope your using treated plywood.
    2. The more the better
    3. Doubt it
    4. They are all the same species so they can and will interbreed
    5. They need ALOT of water. What they don't actually drink they will play in a make a mess.
    consider an automatic watering system.
    6. My ducks live with chickens full time.
  3. br64

    br64 In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2010
    Quote:I can answer at least two of your questions, yes they can live with chickens and they can interbreed ( my aunt has a mallard cross drake) but I think it's kind of rare. Ducks like to " play" in water so I always made sure mine had a small childs wading pool as well as a smaller water pan for drinking. It's been a while since I've had ducks but I hope this helps.
  4. Tater n Beans

    Tater n Beans In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2010
    Extreme South Texas
    Quote:From everything I have read, the standard is 2-3 square feet per duck. However, I believe that is just coop space, may be a bit small to live in full time. IMO they need more space to move around, although I spoil mine lol.

    Unfortunately, I think that the plywood flooring is a bad idea. It will get disgusting. Duck poo is very watery and will soak the plywood and make it very hard to keep clean and sanitary, even if you plan on covering it with bedding like pine shavings.

    I have 10 blue swedish, and they cohabit-ate quite well with our chickens. Apart from some feisty roos which had to be separated for picking on the ducks. And yes, ducks will interbreed, they're not particular lol.

    Ours are in a 4 foot fence and have never shown the slightest inclination to fly over, although I believe that their desire/ ability to fly depends on the breed.

    Ducks need an unlimited supply of water, readily available. They use it to wash down their food and can choke if they don't have it. It is difficult to keep them watered with small poultry waterers because they are determined to get in the water and dabble. I recommend a "little giant's automatic water fount". These are automatic float valve waterers which you can hang at head level and it helps keep them from getting so much mud in the water.

    Hope this helps. Good luck, duckies are fun.
  5. theturtlepond

    theturtlepond In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    What should I use for the floor if not plywood? Wood tile or dirt work? Maybe some kind of plastic? Are the larger size concrete mixing tubs good or would the smaller size work (the ones at Homedepot)? And thanks for the help.
  6. Can I use hardwood plywood for flooring or will that be to slick and hurt their feet?
    bad idea, unless your going to cover plywood and first foot up the walls will vinyl. Otherwise leave it dirt or use rubber matting.

    How many square feet does each duck need in the run, would 5 x 6 work for 3-4 ducks?
    house : 2-3 sq ft per duck. run : its 10sq ft per chicken - so I'd say about the same per duck. so for 4 ducks you'd need 5X9 run.

    Could they fly over a 6 foot fence?
    most breeds of ducks aren't going to be able to as they are too heavy. Light breeds may be able to and especially if startled by something. If your making their runs that tall - i'd still cover the runs with a poultry net to deter birds of prey.

    Can these breeds interbreed? breeds can and will interbreed - they are anatomically the same as they are the same species - so the drakes will be happy to service any female duck they can - they aren't picky like someone else said - lol.

    How much water do they need?
    A bunch, they waste alot of water, they play in it if they can get in it, they get it filthy, and you'll have to clean out their dishes 1-2 times a day - to clean it of mud, dirt, and food debris.

    Can ducks live with chickens and other birds? yes - my ducks free range with chickens and guineas and get along just fine.

    P.S. if your looking for tamable ducks that you can interact with - I would only get no more than 4 ducks at a time so you can handle them and get them used to you - with 13 ducks, even seperated will be hard to tame or make trusting as your going to be stretched thin to spend the time with each one they require. If your just looking to breed ducks and have layers - then getting them all at once is fine. but with 4 seperate cages and pens and food/waterers your going to have your hands full. Ducks are 5X messier than chickens - especially as ducklings but even as adults they are messy - and require frequent cleanings of their waterers every day, their houses 1-2 times a week minimum, and their runs will need raked frequently as well. I also suggest if your going to keep them penned all the time - use sand instead of straight dirt.
  7. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Songster

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    I think plain dirt floor or a grassy area is best for ducks, they are very messy. I did have them sleeping with the chickens when they was smaller but moved them out of the coop cause OMG the smell was horrid, you will spend all your time cleaning if you do that. And it is hard to get that smell out of wood.

    They all free range together though .... I have a Pekin and a Rouen duck both are boys, and they can hold their own against the chickens once in a blue moon they get excited or I don't know what its called its kind of like watching a cat on cat nip racing around with their heads down running in circles, and they will pluck a feather or two out of the chickens tails in play.

    Its my understanding that Pekins and Rouens do not fly but the others I can't answer for. Mine are 3 months old they do stretch their wings after getting wet but I was told they will be to heavy for their wings to carry them. Be prepared for the Pekins to grow over night it was like every time I put my pekin to bed in the brooder when I woke up there was a different duck sitting there the same yet LARGER they grow very fast, literally they grow over night you will see a HUGE change each morning.

    I don't bother putting mine in a run or coop they sleep under the porch like they would in the wild sleep under bushes or under trees....I let them be natural. Unless your worried they will get into something and or predators. The only issue my husband had was they took his shoe strings and drug them all over the yard it took forever to find his shoe strings. He left his out going shoes on the front porch and well they had a party during the night playing with his shoe strings.....

    Good Luck, and have fun with them [​IMG]
  8. theturtlepond

    theturtlepond In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    Thanks for all the help. I am going to redesign my plan for a larger space. I think I will use those small sand boxes for their water. I have had turtles for a couple of years and I don't think a duck could out-dirty a turtle. I am still debating on what use I really want the ducks for but I think I want them for pets, eggs, and meat. With my rabbits I have had them for 9 months and they just started having babies and now I want to get more to breed. So i think I will start out with a couple ducks and get a few more about 2 months after that. Thanks again for all of the info it really helped. What breed do you recommend I start with or I should stay away from (I live in a city if that helps)?
  9. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Songster

    Apr 12, 2010
    I only have 2 small ducks, but I have a dirt floor with a healthy portion of river and tiny pebbles throughout the area. I have pebbles all around plants and larger ones all around the pond area. My ducks usually hang out on the pebbles around the pond, so it makes cleaning poop very easy. I just grab a handful or 2 of pebbles, toss them in their old water dish, rinse them off throw them back out and i'm done. I then replace the water dish with a clean one and then alternate/repeat every 12 hours.

    Also, I forgot to note for my area, Wherever i put pebbles, I put down a piece of folded Landscape cloth. The primary reason for doing this is that when the rocks and dirt get wet, the rocks and pebbles will naturally sink into the dirt and mud.

    The landscape cloth prevents this and mud from piling up.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010

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