new to ducks - tell me everything I need to know!!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ourlittleflock, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. ourlittleflock

    ourlittleflock Songster

    776
    12
    131
    May 28, 2009
    North Carolina
    Ok I am thinking of getting a pair/trio of ducks - tell me everything I need to know (and of course I will continue to research)

    sq ft. per duck
    ramp or no ramp
    water pool - year around? what happens when it freezes
    best food
    best bedding
    nest box sizes
    run size for a pair/trio


    thanks for your time
     
  2. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Songster

    292
    0
    109
    Jun 28, 2010
    Michigan
    Quote:I don't know about square footage - I free range 24/7, 365. I would NOT keep ducks any other way, but that's just me. They're too messy. Mine tend to sleep outside if they have the choice. You will want their water outside (and far from their housing) so they don't get their bedding wet or make a mess inside. Mine can get in the barn, in truck bed caps, or in the coop to get out of bad weather.

    I don't use a ramp - mine hop into the coop and do fine.

    I use cement mixing bins for my geese/ducks. I have two, and since I have a bunch of waterfowl I dump and refill every day. The ice just dumps out. In the summer I hope to get swimming pools for them. But in the winter, I just want them to be able to clean and the cement mixing bins are adequate.

    I feed a custom 18% minimum feed to all of my poultry (guaranteed at at least 18%, but may be as high as 21%) Corn, oats, soybean meal, mineral mix, alfalfa meal, and a little cocosoya to keep the ground mix from being too dusty. In the winter when nobody is laying I decrease the amount of this mix and offer whole corn on the side as a 'hot' feed to help keep them warm. They stay a good weight, too. Since they aren't laying, growing, or breeding they don't need top notch nutrition. They also get scraps from the house and free range all year often cleaning up under rabbit cages and in pastures with the goats. I also offer oystershell free choice on the side. I switch them back to a breeding ration before they are due to start laying again, at least a couple weeks in advance.

    I will NEVER use straw for poultry again - especially ducks. I will always use pine shavings or paper shavings (not strips, but chunks). Straw will get a layer of poo slime on top, whereas shavings will act like kitty litter and is easy to rake to keep 'clean' for longer. And you can spot clean easily.

    My ducks don't use nestboxes. I have 'scovies, and my young Welsh Harlequins will be laying this year. I expect them to lay in the barn, on the coop floor, in dog houses, or under truck bed caps that we use as poultry housing. [​IMG]

    Run size I can't help with either. As I said, I free range and wouldn't own ducks if I couldn't free range them. [​IMG]
     
  3. priss

    priss Songster

    722
    8
    131
    Sep 13, 2009
    Isle of Wight
    As a treat, get some frozen peas, pour boiling water on them and swirl them round for a couple of seconds til the water cools. Once they work out they are supposed to eat them, they will go mad for them. Aaaand be bribed into going to bed nice and easily every night with them!!
     
  4. ourlittleflock

    ourlittleflock Songster

    776
    12
    131
    May 28, 2009
    North Carolina
    thanks
     
  5. cozycritters

    cozycritters Songster

    585
    1
    161
    Mar 4, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Just a note-- Muscovies like water, but they don't need it to breed, so it's not essential for them...
     
  6. ourlittleflock

    ourlittleflock Songster

    776
    12
    131
    May 28, 2009
    North Carolina
    I am hoping to get some call ducks - I am really wanting magpie call ducks!!!

    oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh do i want magpie call ducks
     
  7. priss

    priss Songster

    722
    8
    131
    Sep 13, 2009
    Isle of Wight
    Awwww my Rory is a call duck! You would love her, she is very snoogley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ourlittleflock

    ourlittleflock Songster

    776
    12
    131
    May 28, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:now you are just showing off!!! [​IMG] I wannnnntttt her and along with a few more- they are the cutest little ducks
    do a have a drake that you pair her with or do you have just mixed breed call ducks... How many do you have? Do they all have great personalities?

    May I just say again - She is pretty.
     
  9. ourlittleflock

    ourlittleflock Songster

    776
    12
    131
    May 28, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:you said whole corn - is that scratch or a deer corn? thanks for the info
     
  10. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    7,934
    24
    278
    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
    Can I show pictures of my duckys? [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by