offered free ducks- should I ?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lethalfire, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. lethalfire

    lethalfire Out Of The Brooder

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    ok I was already considering adding a couple ducks to my backyard flock, took me forever to decided between them and guinea keets but in my situation I figured it would be best to get ducks. figured it would be nice to watch them waddle around and maybe play in a small plastic kiddie pool, plus the fact that they like to eat mosquitoes is a HUGE plus. Was figuring on letting them share the coop with my 4 chickens (hubby is building me a big walk-in coop) However I have a neighbor person who was going to let me try to hatch some of his duck eggs and raise the ducks (not sure what kind of ducks he has hadn't made it that far yet, just talked to him quick while passing by and he stated he was going on vacation).
    Then this morning I had a friend text me asking me if I wanted any ducks, she said she knew a guy giving a way some ducks and they were 3-4 months old. By the picture she sent me I am going to guess and say they are Pekin ducks. If I got ducks, I did want eggs also I don't want them for meat, but was looking forward to raising them and have them follow me around.
    So I was thinking maybe getting 2 of these "older ones" and then if my neighbor comes through I can get 2 baby ones sometime. Are the 3-4 month old ones too old? Will it be difficult to get them to stay here? How long would I have to coop them up before I could let them free range like my chickens?
    If they are indeed Pekins, are they good ducks for eggs and friendliness?


    ANY advice, tips, or any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I can't add the picture here because she texted it to me and my computer doesn't recognize my phone :(
     
  2. emmajane07

    emmajane07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi!

    I am also new to ducks---mine are now 5 months old. I have one female Pekin and one male Rouen. I raised them from babies but they still won't let me touch them. They do however, walk right up to me and have no issue hanging around or following me. So with that being said, I wouldn't worry that these ducks you might get are already 4 months old. I believe mine are getting more and more use to be as they get older. They are now coming up to me when I holler for them. As far as them staying around---they are much like chickens, they know where their home and their food is :) So they stay put. Mine were raised with chickens but as far as how long to keep them in the coop before letting them roam--I left mine in the coop for 2 solid days and then on the 3rd they were let out by themselves while I was at work and I had no problems ever since. I have never introduced new flock members, but from reading it is best to keep the new guys in some sort of pin or enclosure so the older flock can smell and get use to them before you just let them all out and be friends.

    My Pekin started laying 3 weeks ago and has given me one egg every morning, so as far as egg's go--good producer.

    Things I have learned about the ducks vs. chickens---they consume a lot of water, therefore their stool is almost never hard. They are very messy with their bowel movements and their food. If you have any muddy spots around--they will surely tare it up further :)

    The ducks are quite the forgers---I now only feed them in the evening before I put them to bed. Also, good to note--since I started feeding them before they go in the coop, the coop is A LOT cleaner in the morning :)

    Hope this helps a little :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  3. lethalfire

    lethalfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the tips and info. I won't worry about these ducks being older then, just that much less time to wait til eggs :) Will definitely coop them up separate till they can get "acquainted" and will heed the tip of feeding them before bed time. So you actually feed them outside of the coop, and the food isn't actually inside of the coop?

    What about water? Do you have water inside the coop?
     
  4. jannakaye

    jannakaye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only con I've found is that they're messy! (My runner slings food everywhere when she eats) but it's worth the mess to have them! It's so much fun to watch them waddle around and splash in their pool. Pekins are very friendly ducks, if they're handled when they're young. Normally pekins lay around 200 egg a year, so I say, yes, they are good layers! I'd keep new ducks locked up for a couple days, let them know you're going to be their source of food and water, then let them out and see how it goes. In my opinion, ducks are never too old! Even if you get them at an older age and they're completely wild, you can alway game them down to some extent. Good luck!
     
  5. jannakaye

    jannakaye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My food and water are inside the coop, but that's just me. :)
     
  6. emmajane07

    emmajane07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I actually feed them outside of the coop along with their fresh water. I have recently been reading on how to keep a duck enclosure more clean and have read that ducks do not need food or water throughout the night. I do feed them a little over an hour before it is time to go into the coop, that way they can roam around and swim and drink some more. A side of me does feel guilty for not having food and water in there for them--but, I'm sure it is better for them to not have food and water than for them to be running around in a coop full of runny poo :)
     
  7. lethalfire

    lethalfire Out Of The Brooder

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    I do kinda like that idea, after all when "sleeping" they should be doing just that Sleeping, I know my chickens don't eat or drink when they go in their coop for the night, they do that during the day. then again I also don't keep the food/water in the actual coop it's in the attached run but they can access it at any time they just don't at night. I'm ALL for keeping mess down especially during winter time because this girl does NOT like the cold and the less I have to go out in it, the better.
     
  8. emmajane07

    emmajane07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was a drastic difference in the mess! :) I did read that ducks aren't like chickens as far as their sleeping habits go. The chickens actually go to sleep during the night where ducks sleep throughout the day when they feel like it. None the less--the ducks will no that they get dinner and then shortly after they go in for the night and occasionally get some yummy breakfast. So, it's not like they are in there all night wondering when they will get to eat next, they get use to the routine.

    So, when do you get these new duckies?
     
  9. lethalfire

    lethalfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2014
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    It sounds like next weekend. She said she has some out of town guests this weekend but I could get ahold of her after the weekend and we could talk "birds" lol. So sometime next week
    or next weekend I should have my new addition, which is good because that will give hubby time to build my new coop and make a couple adjustments on the "temporary" coop I will use
    for the ducks.
     
  10. emmajane07

    emmajane07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, best of luck to you [​IMG]
     

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