Newbie Here

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AlexandElizasmom, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. AlexandElizasmom

    AlexandElizasmom In the Brooder

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    My daughter and I picked out some mallard ducklings (Alexander and Eliza) in April and what an adventure it has been! They went from living in a brooder in the house to them taking over the back yard. We live very close to a lake, so I honestly thought they would fly away. I guess they like it here! We put in a pond for them and gave them an extra large dog crate with a tarp on the top to keep them dry and safe at night.

    We lucked out by getting a hen and a drake. They are inseparable and are such an adorable pair, although, I have to admit, Alexander is the sweeter one. He let's me hold him and he follows me around like a puppy. Eliza is now laying eggs and has been for a month. 18 of her eggs were donated to the school's Science program where they are being incubated. She has a few nests in the yard, but her favorite is under a fern in my raised bed against the fence. That is now her "go to" nest to lay eggs. She only nests for an hour in the AM and then she gets bored, so we have decided to start eating the eggs. That was a really hard decision to make!

    I do have a few questions about these sweet babies that I hope someone can answer:
    • I thought mallard hens only lay a clutch of 12 eggs. We are on egg 30... What is making Eliza such an overachiever?
    • Her eggs are now swirled which I think is a calcium deficiency. They both eat organic egg layer pellets and kale, dandelions and snails are some of their favorite snacks. What else should I add?
    • Is the layer food OK for the drake? They graze all day, so I wouldn't know how to separate their food.
     
  2. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

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    with a drake in the mix, put them on an all flock feed, name varies by manufacture, all flock flock raiser are the 2 available here. you can add a little oyster shell on the side not mixed in as the calcium while needed in small amounts by all in excess can hurt non layers.I am not sure even laying hen of my friends duck flock ate very little of the laying feed they preferred the flock raiser crumbles

    I will defer to the ducksperts here for the other questions
    @Miss Lydia
    @WVduckchick
     
  3. penny1960

    penny1960 Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay!

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    Welcome to Backyard Chickens we do have a large duck group here Forums and ducks will let you see them it is wonderful site for all birds
     
  4. AlexandElizasmom

    AlexandElizasmom In the Brooder

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    Thank you! Any advice would be appreciated. They both like the food, but I am sure they will like whatever I give them. They are not picky eaters.
     
    WVduckchick, slordaz and penny1960 like this.
  5. quackiemama

    quackiemama Free Ranging

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    :welcome
    You have some really good questions. I have heard not to have your drake on layer food since the calcium is too high for them. I would put them on something like a flock raiser and provide oyster shell on the side in another little dish. The ladies will eat it as needed. @slordaz gave good duck advice!
    I am not knowledgeable on the size of the clutches they normally lay on since I gather the eggs everyday.
    Enjoy your ducks! Oh and where the heck are the pics? We need pics! :love
     
    LilyLoo, Texag87, DuckyDonna and 3 others like this.
  6. Magnolia Ducks

    Magnolia Ducks Crowing

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    This was good advice and most of us feed an all flock with oyster on the side. The swirls you see are normal and natural. I have had several swirly egg layers. If you are eating them and the shells are thicker than bought eggs you should be just right. I never had Mallards but my ducks lay all year but almost never go broody. Maybe someone with Mallards can weigh in on your laying question.
     
  7. TomZilla43

    TomZilla43 Songster

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    Hiya and :welcome. Hope you enjoy your time here:thumbsup
     
    LilyLoo, WVduckchick, slordaz and 2 others like this.
  8. AlexandElizasmom

    AlexandElizasmom In the Brooder

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    alexander and eliza.jpg alexander.jpg chico with ducks.jpg
     
  9. AlexandElizasmom

    AlexandElizasmom In the Brooder

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    Thank you! I will get flock feeder at TSC today. I added some pictures of them in their pond and when we first brought them home. Our dog was such a good protector of them when they lived in the house! Now the ducks chase him around- poor little guy.
     
  10. AlexandElizasmom

    AlexandElizasmom In the Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2019
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    Good to know! Yes, the shells are very strong! It is impossible to peel the hard boiled ones, so we just scramble them or have an omelette.
     

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