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One Male; One Female; One Cage. Trouble?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Barry Natchitoches, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My family rescued two three day old ducklings from certain culling, but all we can give them for a home is a mobile Quackmobile made out of a large wire dog cage, about 3 feet long, 2 feet wide and about 2 feet high. We move it daily, so they don't stay in the same place long.


    They are about 8 weeks old now. One duck is clearly larger than the other, and I read that that usually means one is male while the other is female.


    They are the only two ducks we have, and they live in that small Quackmobile. Thus far, it has not been a problem to house them together, but then again, they are little children right now.


    When they get older, will it be a problem to have only one female for the male?


    What can we expect with this arrangement?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:I'm surprised you haven't had predators visiting and dragging your precious ones thru the wire dog crate, if nothing else till you can make them a proper duck lot, why not get 1/2" hardware cloth to cover the crate so they at least have protection. what breed of ducks are they? Do you give them time outside with supervision so they can forage? Do they have a waterer where they can dunk their heads to wash out their nares and eyes? And unless you have tiny ducks like calls I don't think the size of your crate will be sufficient when they are adults. as far as the ratio it would be better if there were 2 females for the male but it would probably be okay just the 2 of them. It was great that you were able to rescue them.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm surprised you haven't had predators visiting and dragging your precious ones thru the wire dog crate, if nothing else till you can make them a proper duck lot, why not get 1/2" hardware cloth to cover the crate so they at least have protection. what breed of ducks are they? Do you give them time outside with supervision so they can forage? Do they have a waterer where they can dunk their heads to wash out their nares and eyes? And unless you have tiny ducks like calls I don't think the size of your crate will be sufficient when they are adults. as far as the ratio it would be better if there were 2 females for the male but it would probably be okay just the 2 of them. It was great that you were able to rescue them.

    X2
     
  4. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We made a large PVC frame covered in hardware cloth on all sides and a wide mesh on the bottom and we move it around the yard so they get new forage all the time (they even have a mini pool inside.) For "shelter" I cut a door hole out of a heavy tree pot. Its an extremely inexpensive, mobile, and safe setup for a good half a dozen birds. I'm currently only using it for a night-time enclosure because my fenced back yard is a pretty good place to wander during the day.

    If you're asking about aggression issues? a male/female pair of ducks get along fine usually. Its when you have multiple males competing to breed a small number of females that the poor critters start to get torn up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  5. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Their water bowls are 2 quart size, and there is one on each side of the QuackMobile. I've seen them dunk their heads in the bowls and then throw water all over the place. As a result, we have to fill their water bowls two or three times every day. I'm thinking of hooking a third 2 quart sized water bowl in the cage, because they seem to need so much water.


    As for foraging, they occasionally get to do that with supervision. Because of the extensive food gardens, I can't let them out as often as they would probably like. Either my wife or I have to be out there to make sure they don't tear up the garden.


    I have not gotten them a small pool, but I'm thinking about it. Of course, they could only use that during their supervised time out, because that QuackMobile is not big enough for two ducks AND a small pool...


    As for predators, they live inside our fenced in suburban yard. We don't have a problem with foxes, or coyotes, or raccoons or even dogs in our yard... We do have cats, but our two cats are both used to chickens and ducks, and have no problem with them. Even when the chickens or ducks were babies, our cats would only look at them. They would never mess with them, or attack them.
     
  6. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, yeah -- they are Muscovy ducklings. About 9 or 10 weeks old now.


    And one is definitely bigger than the other, which is why I figure that the big one must be male and the smaller one a female.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that they'll need more space as they grow, although I think you'll be able to tell whether they're happy or not if you're paying attention (and it's clear you do pay attention). One thing to consider for next summer--if you plant cucurbits (pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, etc.) around the perimeter of your garden, ducks and geese (even goats) won't want to go through it and will stay out once the cucurbits are established. No fence necessary, and they can forage all summer in the lawn.

    However, about predators. You may think you don't have raccoons, but you're probably wrong. Most suburban areas have raccoons, and you've just been lucky they haven't discovered your ducks yet. I don't mean to be ugly about this, but I have more than once made the mistake of thinking, "Oh, but I haven't had *that* predator problem, so I don't have to worry about it." And paid for it with bird lives. Raccoons are incredibly common, incredibly clever, and incredibly brutal. They can and WILL reach through any opening large enough for a paw, and pull any body part of any creature they can through the wire and eat it off. I have personally witnessed the bodies of a duck missing its head and a quail missing its leg (bled to death from the injury) due to raccoon activity where I thought I had adequately protected my birds. I'm not trying to scare you, but I firmly believe that if you do not cover that crate with hardware mesh (it's called hardware cloth, but it's actually wire) you are going to be back on the boards in a few days or weeks, horrified because of what has happened to your ducks.

    As a general rule, more space is better for just about any creature. What your ducks have is about 6 square feet for two ducks. For full-time living conditions, they really need at least that much *each.* A lot of folks keep them in chain link enclosures (with hardware mesh around the bottom 18 inches), or you can build something custom. It doesn't have to be complicated, but it does need to be a little larger. Also, for winter they'll need some form of shelter.

    Congrats on the ducks. They're very lucky to have been rescued, and you obviously care about their care. One male one female shouldn't be a problem at all. Good luck with them! [​IMG]
     

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