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OMG - I've got ducks ** UPDATE W/ PICS **

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by midget_farms, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I'm more of a chicken person & have never owned a duck. This evening we brought home 3 one day old baby ducks. I have no idea why breed. Two have orange bills & one has a black bill - all have black feet. One is mostly black with a yellow line around its neck & the other two are black & yellow with black lines going across the eyes.

    I'll post some pics tomorrow if I can get them uploaded.

    Now what? I've set them up in the brooder for my chicks - I think they will be OK for the night until I can get some wood shavings tomorrow (have them on shredded newspaper at the moment).

    I have them on the chick starter too (non medicated). Do they sell baby duck feed? Does it matter?

    What about housing. I read the mother earth article & it said they need 45degrees in winter. Is this true? my chickens do fine in the cold.

    How much space do they need inside the coop? I heard they need more space than hens.

    Boy am I in for it now!

    Should I pinion them?? How is that done?

    I plan to keep them in the garden - I have my polish hens in there now but am planning to move them out soon.

    Here are the pics




    I'm guessing they are Mallards or Moens. What do you think?

    By the way - I've got them on wood shavings now.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010

  2. Snakeman

    Snakeman In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2010
    I hatched a group of 3 eggs from a pair of wild Mallards once. I was very familiar with the pair and I do happen to know they were all Mallard. The three ducklings looked exactly as you describe. Growing up I spent my summers on the creek where these came from and we often saw black Mallard ducklings with a yellow or white ring around the neck. They seemed to always be female but were usually normal as adults. The other 2 you describe sound like typical Mallard ducklings. Unless they have 2 lines across the eyes on either side. In that case it's more likely you have Rouen or some other duck that is very similar.
    The place where you get your chick feed should also have a game bird starter in crumbles or mash. This would be better than chick feed as ducks do have slightly different nutritional needs. This also should come in a non-medicated formula, which I would prefer. They may have a feed billed as duck feed but In the area where I live, they only have gamebird starter for ducks, Muscovy and an assortment of other birds. I really like Blue Seal. My ducks seem to as well.
    As far as winter, I don't know exactly where you are but I'm in southern Maryland and my ducks do the winter just fine. They are closed up in a sheltered enclosure at night and have access to it all day. Even in the snow we've had no problems. That's in temps down in the teens. I layer straw in the bottom and make sure they are well protected from wind and storms and they've done just fine. I keep the ones that aren't yet fully feathered in a heated area when it gets cool out.

    Don't take any of this as gospel as it is mostly opinion based on my experience and someone may have better ideas but it's worked for me so far.
  3. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Yup, sounds like mallards.

    I fed mine game stater because it has niacin and is non medicated. Then I switched to game grower pellets when they were about 2 months old. I also give them peas and chopped tomatoes as a treat.

    Mine are kept indoors at night, but taken out to the kiddie pools during the day (if it's nice out). They stay indoors during the winter, but I set up a "water park" in the garage for an occasional swim.

    Their bedding is straw and once in a while I'll toss in a handful of hay. They like rummaging through it.

    I personally do not clip their wings. I like to allow them the right to fly (if they need to). Mine are so well adjusted, they don't go anywhere.
  4. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Songster

    Aug 31, 2009
    I have adult ducks and live in ME. It gets COLD here and mine live outside just fine. I have a weather proof shed for them to live in and they have plenty of food and a heated dog bowl for water in winter and I have not had any problems in the 8 years I've had ducks. I also put a bird bath heater in my duck pool and it keeps it ice free so they can bathe year round.
    I have 2 runners, a pekin and a one winged cross of some sort and no one is clipped. Their large exercise area has a 3 foot fence around it and they never fly over it. They are only in that for play and exercise. They have a secure area for night and if we are gone for a while.
  5. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Can I house my ducks with my chickens? I have an 8x10 coop for the chickens w/a 25ft x 25ft run (though I leave the gate open all the time for them to free range).

    I am thinking it best that they live in the garden, but I don't have a 'winter' type coop in there & the chicken coop is set up really nice with electricity etc. That way I can keep it warm.

    Of course I can't have any open water near the chickens - they just don't know what to do with it & sink like rocks.
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Many people raise ducks and chickens together. Just remember ducks make a mess out of the water. If you have a way to make sure the chickens don't get wet it will work.

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