Newbie to ducks

cleofish

In the Brooder
May 30, 2017
5
0
29
Hi everyone im a newbie here from the UK. I just wanted to say hi and ask for some advice.

Im thinking of either having chickens or ducks but after reading im more leaning towards ducks.

We have a fairly large garden, with a lawn and lots of flower beds but im not too precious about them :)

I do have neighbours either side of me though, walled boundaries and we have good relationships.

I wanted to ask:

-In your opinion are chickens or ducks easier as a 'first' back garden bird to get?

-Ive read that chickens are more likely to tear up the garden and that you need to move their run around often?
I was planning on having a static duck coop with an attached run with a kiddie pool inside to begin with, with the view of having a permanent pond with some sort of drainage later on. Would this be ok or would i need to move the set up every so often?
When im out the back i would let the ducks have the run of the garden then as much as i can and put them to bed for the night at the end of the day.

-are ducks loudier than chickens? ive been reading conflicting advice about it.
Ive been looking at breeds of ducks and i think welsh harlequinns would probably be more suited to my situation.

-Does anyone have any experience of welsh harlequinns, can they fly at all? When i looked at flightless birds i then found conflicting advice about that- i suppose its all to do with the indivual personality of the bird? :)

Sorry for all the questions, thanks in advance!
 

yoopergirl1211

Songster
Dec 12, 2016
1,981
1,071
237
Erie PA
Hi and welcome! Ducks are my favorite! Although I will say my chickens are easier to take care of. They are less messy and you dont have to change their water 2 or 3 times a day lol. Although I might just be over obsessive about doing it. They aslo stay closer to their coop... normaly.. You can clip wings of ducks easily so it doesn't really matter if they are a breed that can fly. Its not permanent, doesn't hurt them, and you can easily do it yourself.
Noise factor kinda depends on if you want males. Female ducks are much louder then the males. And roosters are much louder then the hens. There are Muscovy ducks (my personal favorite) that don't quack.
I prefer duck eggs over chickens but both are great! And honestly it probably doesn't matter which ones you get because you'll definitely want more soon enough and will end up with a mixed flock!:p
 

dan26552

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Oct 28, 2014
23,505
22,503
756
Waiting for epicness.
My Coop
My Coop
I personally prefer ducks. They're so much more hardier and resilient than chickens, I've never had a sick duck and last year I had about 5 chickens get sick. Ducks also lay better than chickens in my opinion where a chicken will lay about 5 or 6 eggs a week I've had ducks lay for nearly four months before taking a break. As to the coop question that sounds fine but if it's permanent you will have to clean it more often than if it were mobile. The water that ducks make in their swimming pools (after they've pooped in it a day or two.) makes incredible plant fertilizer. Now are ducks louder then chickens, well that depends on the duck and time of day. I have pekins (who are usually said to be the loudest) and they only really make lots of noise at feeding time, morning and evening they're usually fairly quite during the rest of the day.
 

Bills vs Beaks

Duck Duck Goose
Aug 31, 2016
2,830
11,304
601
NJ USA
My Coop
My Coop
-In your opinion are chickens or ducks easier as a 'first' back garden bird to get?
Ducks. Chickens are just tougher to deal with, with pecking orders, sickness, and so on. You need more coop space for chickens, because if they dont get their personal space.....My chickens beat each other up, Ive had to deal with blood, i actually have a sick BR now, theyve had bubble eye, (and we try our very best for them, really! Its not they are neglected and get sick....) but ducks? Never anything. Most i had was a broken toenail that bled for 2 minutes.

-Ive read that chickens are more likely to tear up the garden and that you need to move their run around often?
Thats true. Ducks will make mud if they get water to mix dirt with, this can mostly be avoided by (ahem) not accidentally leaving the hose running.....
I was planning on having a static duck coop with an attached run with a kiddie pool inside to begin with, with the view of having a permanent pond with some sort of drainage later on. Would this be ok or would i need to move the set up every so often?
I move my set up, Ive never tried static, so I cant really help ;)
When im out the back i would let the ducks have the run of the garden then as much as i can and put them to bed for the night at the end of the day.
I free range my ducks, so that sounds like a good plan to me!

-are ducks loudier than chickens? ive been reading conflicting advice about it.
Ive been looking at breeds of ducks and i think welsh harlequinns would probably be more suited to my situation.
Ducks can be as loud as chickens, but they make noise less, if that makes sense. So sometimes they will get excited (mostly around feeding time) and quack a lot, but mostly they keep it down. Chickens will squawk a ton, especially when someone laid an egg (do not ask me why they do this...) and that can be annoying after a while.

-Does anyone have any experience of welsh harlequinns, can they fly at all? When i looked at flightless birds i then found conflicting advice about that- i suppose its all to do with the individual personality of the bird? :)
Welsh cannot fly. They could jump and flap a bit, but they will not pick up and head for the pond down the road. My khakis, smaller than welsh, can only get 4 feet up. So no, they cant fly ;)
 

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