Now I want Ducks. Any pointers for me?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jody, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    I now want to get some ducks. At this point I'm leaning towards either: Pekin, Buff Orpington, or Rouen

    When I bought my chickens, I bought them as adults, but with my ducks, I'd like to start with a chick. I'm not so comfortable with hatching them, so any sources of where to buy duck chicks that don't have minimums would be helpful. I'm only interested in getting 2 or 3.. maybe 4 since their shelter don't need to be as big as the chickens.

    If I understand this correctly, Pekin and Rouen are flightless.. is this correct? If so, then it would be my choice to go with either of these rather than risk flight and loss as I do not wish to keep them cooped.


    If I build my ducks a nice shelter and they have a nice little pond, will they stay around or will they want to wander and disappear?


    What kind of preparations do I need to make for winter care? Is it similar to chickens, as in no heat needed?

    How big of a shelter do I need for say 4 ducks? My chicken coop I can walk into, but don't think I'm ready to build something that big for the ducks, so is a smaller rectangle box like shelter sufficient where I could just open it from a hinged roof, and allow them free range and lock them in at night?
     
  2. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Epping, NH
    I should add that chicks would be inside house pets until they've matured enough to go outside to their home. How much room do they need as chicks?
     
  3. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    I have

    1 Cayuga Duck Female (Quackers)
    1 Black and White Magpie Duck Female (Maggie)
    1 Khaki Campbell Duck Female (Chocolate)
    1 Muscovey Black Hen (Mabel)
    1 Black Runner Female
    1 White and Fawn Crested Runner Female
    2 Pekins Female

    All of these came here as ducklings. The Muscovey I purchased from a breeder. The Pekins I picked up at the feed store (had to purchase 3). The rest were ordered from Ideal Poultry.

    Mine all stay around. My Muscovey can fly and she does take trips from one field to the other, but she always stays at home.

    All the breeds you mentioned are flightless, so while I do think they will stay home, it is important that they have someplace to be safe from predators. Mine live in barn / pasture with horses and goats. The fence is tight to the ground and knock on wood, I have never lost any of them. However, a neighbor farm down the road that lets their ducks free range all time has a very difficult time with foxes.

    Once they get their feathers no heat required. In the winter, my ducks and Geese love to go out and lay in the snow.

    Shelter, I have 2 dog houses that are available to them for shelter. They never use them. They prefer to go in the horse stall with the horses and goats. One big happy family.
     
  4. speckles

    speckles Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Petersburg Alaska
    Also remember...ducks don't really do "pets". My two rouens run whenever I come near. They also hang close to the chicken coop (they think they are chickens:D) and they don't use there home at all. They do love their swimming pool however and are great fun to watch in it.
     
  5. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    Quote:Ducklings you will not want in the house for long. They are messy. They always make a mess in their water. I raised mine in a 100 gallon water trough for the first few weeks and then they were out with the adults and are all doing fine.
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Pekins and buffs are very friendly but LOUD. The buff I had ate from my hand and always ran TO me to see if I had treats. My rouen drake would also take treats, but he was more reserved. Buffs have a LOT of personality, but they also have a lot of opinions and like to share them. Allegedly pekins are similar.
     
  7. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Quote:I'm not sure why, but different ducks act differently. Some do act like pets, some don't.

    Jody, Most domestic ducks don't fly. I'd look into runners if I were you [​IMG] They are awesomeness! You can buy as few as 2 from Metzers and they are shipping through December I think and then pic back up in the spring.
     
  8. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Illinois
    Me personally, I would wait on a waiting list and get ones from a reputable breeder in the spring. It might cost you a bit more but I think you will get better quality ducks that way. It's possible you can locate one closer to your home than a hatchery, depending on where you live, and it might well be worth whatever extra you might pay in knowledge they might share. You will likely also have the benefit of knowing what the parents were like, and maybe even get to see them.
     
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    ducks need a lot of room


    And they make a mess.

    Wish I had room.
     
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I can easily keep 5 in my back yard. Any more than that and the mess gets to be too much. I have had as many as 7 at one time. Yessh! LOL
    They have a night pen and a large run about 6 feet deep that covers the length of my lot (about 30') on the back property line. I figure if my tiny yard can handle 5 ducks, most people with a yard and a hose can handle 3 [​IMG] .
     

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