Newbie researching

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ObsidianWinter, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. ObsidianWinter

    ObsidianWinter New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Jul 13, 2016
    Leeds
    Hi,

    My husband and I are buying our first house soon and we really want to get pet ducks to live in our back garden. That said, I don't want to be one of those people who rushed in to buy the cute new pet, can't cope, then leaves it at a shelter to be rehomed, so I'm doing tonnes of research. We haven't settled on a breed yet, simply because I don't want to get my heart set on one just to find we wouldn't be able to give it the life it deserves.

    So anyway, I have a few questions and I'm also looking for just general advice.

    My first question is about the coop. We would want to give any ducks free reign in the garden it I understand night time requires a secure coop, so would a large rabbit hutch like this be suitable? http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/35168567616...04&_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_mwBanner=1

    My second question is how much garden space per bird should we allow?

    Thirdly, like garden space, how much space should we add for the pond/pool?

    Fourth, what are the pros and cons of owning ducks?

    Also, if it matters at all, we have a son who is coming up on his 3rd birthday. Obviously we wouldn't allow him to torment any animal, but is there anything we should consider based on him?
     
  2. kseeley18

    kseeley18 Just Hatched

    21
    2
    14
    Jul 2, 2016
    I am a newbie also but I can say the only CON so far is how much mud they make, but at the same time they aren't like chickens digging up my yard. I do have a 4 year old son and 6 year old daughter and they love the ducks, my son is the duck wrangler he herds them back to the pen after they've been out to stretch and run the yard looking for bugs. Ive found it to be great to make them help me clean their pool, feed them and let them out, its a little bit more of a responsibility than our dogs a good chore for them. My ducks pen is probably 20x30 feet its got a coop in it and a kiddie pool and an raised garden bed and they have plenty of space and since I let them out during the day it gives me plenty of time for raking or cleaning up any messes they might make. I still have to put screens on the side vents but they love it and it was so simple. [​IMG]
     
  3. kseeley18

    kseeley18 Just Hatched

    21
    2
    14
    Jul 2, 2016
    oh and i would definitely recommend pea gravel for under their food and water and around there pool it keeps it cleaner i think. and the water doesn't pool up instead of drains through the pebbles.
     
  4. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    66
    88
    May 23, 2016
    New Hampshire
    Ducks also are not very good at climbing a narrow, steep incline like that on the hutch or a chicken coop. They do better with a wider ramp closer to the ground. Plus when they stand and stretch, they are taller than you might think, and a bunny hutch won't allow that. A large dog house would be better.
     
  5. CountryGirl1120

    CountryGirl1120 Out Of The Brooder

    I agree with the dog house bit. My dad built my ducks something similar to a dog house out of some scrap wood we had laying around. Only thing we had to buy for it was the hinges. I made out on that deal. I can't comment on how much space you should allow since I allow mine all out to free range for part of the day and I have never had any issues. I would say 10 sq feet minimum though is probably a good place to start since most breed are the size of a large chicken or bigger. So in that sense the larger you can build the house would be better. I would do no less than 5 sq ft in the house. For space in the pond Im not sure as my 5 share a kiddie pool and another black bin and seem to be fine.

    Pros:
    They have wonderful personalities. I love watching mine jump into their pools and swim around. They dont dig holes like the chickens do so more friendly on your yard. Great bug control. And they are cute :) Cant comment on laying abilities yet as mine are not quite there.
    As ducklings youll love watching them swim in water. So cute!!

    Cons:
    If getting as ducklings they are messy. Brooder has to be cleaned a couple times a day. I did pine shavings for my last batch but am going to try old bed sheets this time to try and save some money. Big ducks are still messy but I find now that they are outside its not as bad. They will dirty their water quickly and will need that changed multiple times a day. I would recommend for that to keep a waterer seperate from the pond so they always have clean water to drink.

    For your three year old, I would go with breeds that are supposed to be friendly. I'm sure he will love watching them swim around as I know my daughter did with ours and she is 5. Just make sure to introduce them slowly. Ducks can be wonderful companions and friends though. Good luck to you!
     
  6. mamaof2wi

    mamaof2wi Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    9
    58
    May 11, 2016
    West Central Wisconsin
    I was also on the fence about getting ducks. I did a lot of asking and weighing my options. I then went for it and I do not regret it at all! Yes the poop a lot, but it is not effecting us in any way. We have their pen set back into the woods so that they are not in the yard. We also made them a pond area again set back into the woods. They go from their pen to their pond. I was going to just get 2 but after talking with some people 4 made more sense. So that is what we have. I posted a pic of the duck house and pond (still working on pond area). My ducks are now 6 weeks old. So I am very new to ducks yet, but loving every min of them! My kids are 6 and 7 and are the ones that feed/water/ put them away and clean their house. They love it!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Resting area/easier to get out of pond
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    66
    88
    May 23, 2016
    New Hampshire
    So cute!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

    869
    75
    116
    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    1) Any coop or hutch is fine, as long as it is 3 feet tall and nice and ventilated. In your coop there must be 3 sqft/duck or more. Sometimes you can push it down to 2 sq ft per duck, but that's only if the run space is extra roomy. Call ducks only need 2 sq ft/duck.


    2) Garden space. Well, I wouldn't let ducks be in your garden all the time, sinply because they often dive after the plants too, if the plants are easy to rip off and tender or young. Even mature lettuce is at risk. I would suggest building them a run that doesn't include the garden. You should have 15+ sqft/duck, the absolute minimum is 10sqft/duck

    4) There are no cons besides poop, which as they age is less smelly and less runny. Duckling poop is horrible. And they may be loud, depending on the breed.

    For your son, you are not restricted to ANY breed. If handled often, many breeds are great with children, especially Muscovies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  9. mamaof2wi

    mamaof2wi Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    9
    58
    May 11, 2016
    West Central Wisconsin
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by