new to forum and ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wackwack, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. wackwack

    wackwack Out Of The Brooder

    74
    2
    41
    Oct 24, 2011
    south east ireland
    Hi!
    I have had my 4 ducks for a whole week now!
    I have 2 indian runner ducks and 2 aylsbury's, a duck and a drake, they may be pekin crosses as they have orange feet and beak.....either way, i love them!! As i never had ducks or chickens before i got older ducks, they are about 14 months old, and came from a local breeder who local people seem to trust.
    I did weeks of research and serious thinking and went with ducks because everyone has chickens! (around here anyway!)

    However...................
    having spent a long week with many hours duck watching, I am not sure that both my indian runner ducks are..well..ducks..
    One of them does not seem to quack like the other one. Now I do have an aylsbury drake, so the difference between his sound and the duck is very obvious, but the runner in question seems to make little or no noise...... i did give them a bit of a chase (without scaring them) to get them moving and making some noise to see if he/she would get as noise as the other runner but no...
    There is definatly no curly feathers, and the two runners appear to be the same size wise etc.....
    can an indian runner be 'quiet'?? I will watch again tomorrow...what drew my attention today was his/her behaviour, especially towards the other drake....he/she was crouching low and bending his/her neck around at him and sorta chasing him, but i also noticed him/her do it with the other ayslbury duck a little too......to me it looked a bit threatening, nothing came of it, but they seemed to be all a bit on edge today....i was in their pen for ages just watching them as wel as from a distance but could not figure it out....
    I also noticed him/her a few times in the week open her beak and appear to 'gag' is that normal? i didnt notice the others do it...
    sorry to be new with mad hard to answer questions! I only want the very best for my ducks!!
    Thanks!!!!
    I would post a pic but i have no idea how!!
     
  2. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    You can upload pics in the Upload area, then copy/paste the IMG tag so we can see your ducks. Sounds like typical mating behavior, I'd be interested in learning more about how you're keeping them (i.e. what kind of waterers, etc.).

    I'd very much recommend you get a copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks.
     
  3. wackwack

    wackwack Out Of The Brooder

    74
    2
    41
    Oct 24, 2011
    south east ireland
    mating...i was thinking maybe it was some sort of ritual, but would a duck be making the moves?? I dont want 2 out of 4 to be drakes.....i only took the other drake as they were going to eat him [​IMG]
    I am in Ireland by the way!! so it is wet wet wet and averages 12 dec C by day at the moment, not expecting any eggs for several weeks from aylsbury but months for the runners...thats why i got them now so i could get to know them etc before eggs, so i can make sure i am getting feeding etc right...
    Books are really hard to get over here about ducks, i have had to rely on the internet a lot
    At the moment they have a totally enclosed area in the garden until weget used to each other, I live in the country where there are a lot of duck predators! They have 2 small ponds in there-kids paddling pools, not great but they had NO water where i got them...hence my lack of confidene in the breeders advice and therefore showing up here with lots of questions!!! [​IMG]
    Their run is 15x15 meters, and once we are all settled and we know each other they will be in the garden which is apprix 1/3rd acre, and will ahve a bigger proper pond there, i would love to let them roam free but its not safe as i live on a farm, with cats and too many places for ducks to hide.
    They are on layers pellets and get corn as a treat. they have lots of grass and bugs etc and keep bust rooting in the ground for hours every day. they put themselves to bed about a half hour before dark!!! that was a surprise i wasnt expecting!

    do duck like treats? veg or fruit?
     
  4. wackwack

    wackwack Out Of The Brooder

    74
    2
    41
    Oct 24, 2011
    south east ireland
    [​IMG]

    this is the duck in question, typically i lot the end of her tail in the pic, but no curly feathers

    [​IMG]

    this is my drake....i was told hes aylsbury...what do you think...i'm not so sure having been looking at lots of pekin pics...
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,097
    5,885
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Quote:[​IMG] and your whites look like Pekins, I understand they are reaaly neat ducks. I only have muscovy so can't say too much about other breeds. but your runner if 14 months should have the curly tail feather if a drake. Maybe she is just inviting the drake for a swim! [get my drift.] lol and yes ducks do make the moves sometimes. If you have pools for them to get into you'll probably see them in there together before long. Congrats on your ducks they are lovely and so much fun to be around. The part about the runner not making much noise makes me wonder. when you pick it up does it make any noise then?
    and as far as everything else, food, housing, sounds like you've done your homework. I congratulate you and so happy to see your concerned about Predators and protecting your new charges.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  6. wackwack

    wackwack Out Of The Brooder

    74
    2
    41
    Oct 24, 2011
    south east ireland
    would they be mating outside of laying season??????????

    i cant pick her up yet....they were not handled before i had them, i have been spending lots of time and they are really starting to relax around me but i dont want to upset her so soon after arriving by trying to pick her up yet....

    i was thinking they look like pekin too....... I'm not bothered really! I love them, i went to buy 3 runner ducks and fell in love with the white ones! If i had planned to get them i would have done more homework on them, but when he said they were going to eat him (probably just a sales ploy!!) how could i let him there!!!

    we have foxes, living on our farm but the ducks are as close to the house as i could put them and the dog runs are close too that they will help scare off the foxes, we also have things like mink.....grrr.... but they have chicken wire, with netting inside that, all pinned down, theres electric fence along the top of those and netting all the way over the top in case anything tried to jump in, my cats were my biggest worry but they have not even looked at them yet, the cats tend to know what they cant get at though as i also have guinea pigs and rabbits and they gave up on them after a day.....

    (i found the post about treats!!)


    heres the other runner, so she doesnt feel left out!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  7. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Quote:Mating season on ducks can vary wildly, courting behavior can occur year-round. We've had ducklings hatch into November.

    Are the ladies laying eggs?
     
  8. wackwack

    wackwack Out Of The Brooder

    74
    2
    41
    Oct 24, 2011
    south east ireland
    no, no eggs at the moment, he told me the runners start laying around feb and the white one he said should start laying around november....
    i'm not holding my breath!!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    My Runners laid year-round, with minimal light support (given that many birds stop laying when the daylight hours get shorter) and appropriate protein levels in their feed. Generally ducks begin laying around 6 months of age, give or take for light weight breeds like Runners who may begin earlier. Which is likely where that February date comes from.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,097
    5,885
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Quote:they are very pretty, and pekins are meat birds so they probably were going to eat them, so you did good. not that i have a problem with people eating their ducks, It's just who could resist those adorable faces. [​IMG] Sounds like you have a good set up, treats, most on her have found that frozen little english peas is the way to a ducks stomach. I put my ducks peas into their fresh water, mixing tub every moring and they all stand around and bob for peas it's so cute. and my ducks aren't mating right now it's done for the year. I just don't know what could be going on with your one runner. but if she was acting like she was gaging she could have eaten something that got stuck, I'd keep an eye on that. Ducks are very hardy, given good food and place to wash their nares and faces and a safe house and they should be healthy animals. And most likely what you could be seeing is maybe some from of pecking order dominance going on, maybe someone else will be able to give some more ideas.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by