Opinions needed please! What kind of duck?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Hangin Wit My Peeps, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    FINALLY able to get some ducks. I am looking at getting 3-4 (one of those being a male) ducks. What I am looking for is small, adorable (cute), good layers, and calm-ish around kids. I have lots of questions because I never owned a duck before so need some how to's/what do do from anyone willing to share some info please [​IMG] Thanks!!!!

    Some questions I'm curious about:

    Can they be housed with chickens?

    Do they NEED a pond? Or will a kiddie pool work?

    When do they start laying eggs?

    How often do ducks lay?

    Do they smell A LOT worse then chickens? Or is that just an exaggeration? I will only have 3-4

  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Quote:Yes ducks can smell, but if you keep there bedding clean it's not bad. Many folks use sand for bedding. I use shavings but I am going to try sand as well. [​IMG]
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Kiddie pools are just fine. They only need water deep enough to get their heads fully submerged but will be much happier with enough to play in. I have seen ducks housed with chickens, they seemed just fine. As for what kind, I can't help there. Runners are smallish and good layers but not known for being calm. Pekins are pretty calm but are pretty big and only so-so in the laying department. Khaki Campbells are great layers but I don't know anything about their personalities.

    edited for perceptual difficulties [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  4. ruffledfeathers1234

    ruffledfeathers1234 Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    Athens, GA
    Khaki Campbells are great layers, Runners are also good layers from what I am told ( mine aren't laying yet ). They are both small breeds of ducks that are IMO cute. The Campbells seem to be the calmest of the two, letting me get near them and coming to me when I give them food.
  5. Southernchickens

    Southernchickens Chirping

    Jun 30, 2010
    Mobile, Alabama
    Before I built the duck pen, all my ducks lived with my chickens for about a year. The only problem that I had was that the ducks would make the pen messy with their water
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Ok do they NEED water? I mean obviously they need water to drink lol BUT do they need to be able to swim? The reason I ask this is because in the middle of winter when it's -30 degrees I'm not going to be able to provide them with a pool of water [​IMG] How do they handle cold weather? I have a non insulated coop that sits empty but I could possibly insulate it for winter. Do they need heat lamps ect?
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Ducks are MADE out of insulation. So if you give them a warm, dry place out of the wind to huddle together in winter they will be fine. I use an xl dog igloo inside a covered pen.

    As for swimming water, it isn't necessary all the time. They will look better and have healthier feathers if they have it, but in winter that cold, you can skip the swimming. If they start looking really scruffy, fill a kiddie pool on a sunny day and let them at it. Then dump it at night so you don't end up with a giant iceberg in the pool. Repeat in a couple of weeks. It's a little bucket hauling, but since it isn't an every day thing it shouldn't make you nuts. Then when things thaw out you can give them bathing water more often.

  8. Pretty Birdie

    Pretty Birdie In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    Quote:Yes, they can be housed with chickens, although you might want to consider a separate water source. They filthify the water. [​IMG] (I don't care if that is not a word. It becomes one when you have ducks.)

    Technically, ducks don't need any sort of water to swim in, but they are a bit happier with something. On a side note, if you start with babies, you want to make sure that they do not get into their waterer. If they get into their water before they have waterproof feathers, they can get sick from exposure. Make sure you dry them off if you see them wet.

    They start laying at about 14-17 weeks of age

    They lay about as often as chickens do. It really depends on the individual. If a duck is a good layer, one a day. If a not so good layer, then you can expect maybe once every other day or once every two days.

    We have had 3 ducks before, and although the ducks themselves were no smellier than chickens, their poop and bedding are a lot worse [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As for species, the ones we had were Cayuga ducks. Really pretty and friendly. Sort of aloof, but nice, not mean.
  9. ruffledfeathers1234

    ruffledfeathers1234 Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    Athens, GA
    they dont need water to swim in they just need water deep enough to submerge their head in. I don't know much about cold tolerance as it doesn't get near as cold here.
  10. Theeggboxtoo

    Theeggboxtoo Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Have you seen welsh harlequins? They are a fairly small duck that lays lots of of eggs. I've also heard that they are very calm and don't fly.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by