Newbie... Questions on raising wood ducks

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by Minnesotahobby, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Minnesotahobby

    Minnesotahobby Just Hatched

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    Hey all, I'm completely new to raising ducks, actually don't even have any yet but would love to raise a pair of silver wood ducks that I plan on acquiring next fall from a good source. The ducks will be a proven pair and will be ready for me sometime next October and will be raised on my 5 plus acre hobby farm. I have been doing a lot of research about how to raise these ducks and have read a lot of mixed things on ways people raise them. First question I would really like to know is, is it absolutely necessary to have a full on aviary for these types of ducks? I do plan on getting these ducks pinioned so they don't fly away. There will be a shelter provided for them to sleep in at night, and also a pond for them to swing in. Are these ducks possible to have as free range ducks and can just be put away at night or is an aviary a must for these guys. Also is it better to buy these as juveniles so you can raise them and get them use to the property so they know it's a good place to stay or is getting them as an adult pair just fine. I'd like to get these as free range ducks and then just provide whatever shelter and water they need and food. I figured if provided all that and also being pinioned they wouldnt want to take off. I know predators can be an issue which is why an enclosed shelter would be provided for them at night.


    Basically if someone or all of you could just give me the every bit of info on raising these and to have them stay around would be great.

    Also providing a pen of some sort wouldnt be an issue at all. I would just rather have them more as free rangers then just raising them in an enclosed aviary. There will also be some other Swedish blue farm ducks on the property as well.

    I live in Central Minnesota so the winters do get very cold.

    Thank you so much.

    Oh and also could someone provide a source to get wood ducks as juveniles? The place I've been looking into is Mallard Lane farms and they only sell their silver wood ducks as pairs.
     
  2. Roy31

    Roy31 Out Of The Brooder

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    So for your first question if the they can free range, the problem with them free ranging is that they are wild birds not to say that they can't get attached to you but they are not like demestics that you can let them go and they will come back at night. I would definitely make some type of enclosure but I know I have heard of people fence in an area for pinioned ducks but that also leaves it open for critters and hawks to get after them which you don't want to spend all that money for them to just get hurt or killed.

    Wood ducks are pretty easy to take care of. A swimming area is necessary for them and they are perching ducks so maybe throw in a branch or something that they can perch on. As long as you have food, water, and a place for them to swim they are not bad. Also I do recommend that you get a pair and not just one because they will get really lonely and stressed if they don't have another to be with all day, they are social birds.
    You said you had swedish blues, I probably wouldn't let the wood ducks and the blues interact since the swedish blues are demestic and a lot bigger then wood ducks are. They can be very aggressive to new ducks that are a lot smaller then they are.

    If you are looking for another place for silver wood ducks there are not a lot of places that sell them every year but you can still find them. White feather farms might have some. I would just keep an eye out for them on a website called softbills.com. people post birds for sell there every day.

    Let me know if you have any further questions you need answered, I know when I started out this website helped me a ton on finding answers
     
  3. Minnesotahobby

    Minnesotahobby Just Hatched

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    Ok so how big of fence are we talking here? Separating them from the Swedish blues and cayugas won't be an issue but what size fencing at minimum would be appropriate. Like I said earlier, I'd really rather stay away from having an aviary. And I'll look into getting two pairs then. Also, would it be best not to let them onto the pond then and just supply them with some sort of pool in their fenced in area? I'd supply them with a great environment with tall nesting beams, perching logs, water, pool, etc.
     
  4. Minnesotahobby

    Minnesotahobby Just Hatched

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    Ok so how big of fence are we talking here? Separating them from the Swedish blues and cayugas won't be an issue but what size fencing at minimum would be appropriate. Like I said earlier, I'd really rather stay away from having an aviary. And I'll look into getting two pairs then. Also, would it be best not to let them onto the pond then and just supply them with some sort of pool in their fenced in area? I'd supply them with a great environment with tall nesting beams, perching logs, water, pool, etc.

     
  5. Minnesotahobby

    Minnesotahobby Just Hatched

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    What type of other pair of ducks would be good with wood ducks? Should I just plan on getting the same kind or would a mandarin pair work with the silver wood ducks
     
  6. Roy31

    Roy31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wood ducks are usually great with others, mandarins would work well with wood ducks.
    A 10x10 area is what is recommended per a pair but the more area the better. The height of the fence should really matter if your not covering it as long as they can't get out. I do recommend barriering the fence in the ground about a foot so nothing can borrow underneath.
     
  7. PINOAK RIDGE

    PINOAK RIDGE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wood ducks are a wild species, even though they are captive raised and of all our exotic species, they remained the most "wild". We've had exotic waterfowl, including multiple colors of woodies for many years. We kept ours in enclosed aviaries with flight tops. We built "fort knox" type pens, as we seem to have about every predator around except bears and badgers. While the woodies were inside their pens, several would become accustomed to us, over the years, to eat out of our hands & sometimes hop up on our leg if we were sitting inside the pen. BUT if they ever escaped from their aviary, they wouldn't come within 10 feet of us. Some would walk the fenceline trying to get back in & others would head for a pasture pond or the tree line with a ditch or creek. Even pinioned woodies have been known to walk away into the wild. I highly recommend a fence & preferably an aviary. You are ordering the woodies pinioned as day olds correct?

    If the birds are pinioned, they will not be able to fly out of the fence, but how are you going to keep predators from the ducks? Silver woodies are not cheap & in our experience predators have a price list/menu and seem to pick out the most expensive or rarest birds to kill first. [​IMG] Woodies will not seek out a house or shelter to go into like chickens do. If they have access to a pond, I'm afraid you will not be able to coax them off the water, much less herd them into an enclosure for the night. Their natural instincts tell them to stay on the water and to not allow other animals within their safety zone, as they are a prey species. You would be better off providing a safe enclosure and a kiddie pool, tub or etc for them, rather than allowing them to free range. Afraid you would experience frustration and heart break if you allowed them to free range.

    Wood ducklings are challenging to raise. They are not as simple as raising domestic ducklings. Breeders rarely offer ducklings for many reasons. Standard "protocol" is we offer pairs or singles in the fall, once they have molted and temps are conducive for shipping. Exotic duck breeds, in general, pair bond. Hence, there isn't any reason to buy them in trios. Wood ducks do well in mixed collections. We've kept them with call ducks, mandarins, teal, wigeons, pintails, porchards, shelducks and tree ducks. As long as there is ample space, water and food sources, multiple breeds can live in the same enclosure.

    Another thing you may want to check on... A reputable breeder (USFW permittee) will supply you with a Federal Waterfowl Sale and Disposal form. A completed Form 3-186, Notice of Waterfowl Transfer or Sale, providing all information required by the form and method or methods by which individual birds are marked. You may wish to check with your state agency--USFW, DNR or etc to see if you are required to first possess a state permit to legally own &/or propagate wood ducks. You may also wish to inquire if you need to obtain an "importation" permit to have birds shipped in to Minnesota. Some states, like Tennessee, require a buyer to purchase an "importation permit" prior to having birds shipped from outside the state lines. It's better to ask beforehand as, in our experience, they are not lenient of people that are not aware of all the laws pertaining to legally possessing migratory waterfowl. If you plan to raise wood ducks for sale, trade, barter or give away, you will be required to become a USFW permittee (and state permittee, if required in MN) and provide the necessary paperwork with any birds you transfer.

    Hope this helps. Welcome to the wonderful hobby of waterfowl. Enjoy your ducks.
     
  8. JJRS

    JJRS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You cannot free range them, it will not work unless the birds are imprinted, even then...only slight chance.

    I do not recommend pinioning cavity nesters.
     

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