Questions about a house duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PrintedPerfect, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. PrintedPerfect

    PrintedPerfect Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there,
    I have a very confused Dominique hen that went broody on me. To appease her I got some fertile Pekin eggs, of which she has perched on for 27 days today. It's getting exciting!!

    Am wondering if you can give me the scoop on having a house duck. There are things I am curious about that I'd like to see if anyone knows before I snag a duckling and bring it inside. The last thing I want to do is try it and then turn a duck into the flock that its never really known. I think that could be disastrous.


    1) One of the biggest things I wonder about is the diapering. Years ago, before the internet, before having a child and while I still had lots of patience, I worked with my pet duck to house train it. Seemed like she was catching on but had a devastating injury so I will never know. At any rate, if it's questionable, impossible or extremely hard to house train a duck then I presume people diaper them 100% of the time. This being the case, how much is realistically spent on diapers? I assume you buy disposable liners. Do you change it once, twice, ten times a day? What kind of financial investment are the diapers and liners? Tell me the truth, is the duck a foul little air bomb everywhere it goes?


    2) What happens if you get a duck instead of a drake? Just how does this diapering business go for the egg laying business? My hope is that if I did this I'd get a drake that I wouldn't have to worry about laying eggs so it could be diapered 24/7. I know they have a schedule down for egg laying but what happens if something comes up and you miss the schedule while she's wearing a diaper? Does she walk around with a diaper in her drawers all day? Will she bust the egg when she sits? What a precarious position to be in!

    3) Finally eating, they are bigger slobs about eating than my dog is! I need to ask this because my outside ducks/chickens free range and I don't remember how I fed the one I had years ago. Is is okay to feed them once or twice a day so they can be fed outside?


    Your input and advice is so very much appreciated!
    Jeanne
     
  2. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. PrintedPerfect

    PrintedPerfect Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2014
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  4. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know @Amykins (I hope you don't mind me tagging you) does diapers. I was just suggesting that thread since it's all about house ducks. I don't have a specific post to reference.
     
  5. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't mind at all!

    Yeah, as much as I wish Wobbles was house-trained, it's no dice with that little guy. There are other houseduck owners here on BYC whose ducks WERE successfully trained, but it seemed like a lucky set of circumstances. For example, one said her muscovy hen would lay an egg in her diaper and simply would not poop on it no matter what, so she'd take her into the bathroom, remove the diaper and off she'd go! From then on she'd just run to the bathroom to do her business and it was easy to clean up.

    As for diapering, Wobbles is a call duck, so I don't know if this is typical or if larger breeds don't have such a crazy metabolism but he needs to be changed about every 2-3 hours. I'm currently saving to buy some duck diapers from SewSammi's Etsy page, she's the best! I bet her diapers could hold a lot more than my homemade ones do. And they're waterproofed, making cleanup a cinch. Wish I'd thought of that...

    Anyway, as for the duck/drake thing, I don't think laying an egg in a diaper is too big a deal. You will learn to notice the subtle signs of when a duck (or chicken!) has to lay an egg so you can remove it. But as I mentioned above, it's not uncommon for them to just lay it in the diaper itself! Aside from that the only other gender difference is that drakes can be a bit nippy during mating season, so be careful. Hens are known for being more easygoing. My Wobbles is the sweetest thing ever, but he doesn't take to strangers and now that he's in season he's a hormonal tornado!

    The last thing I wanna bring up is, you keep using the singular when referring to your potential houseduck. That's fine, as long as you work from home or otherwise can spend 24/7 with it. They're like lovebirds, they'll bond VERY strongly to you, but you cannot ever leave a single duck alone. Two is an ideal number; minimal diapers to change, and you still get to have a social life. :p

    Having a house duck is a bit like a human infant - the diapers, the neediness, the constant need for attention, the inability to just go wherever you want (at least in my single-duck household), but I'd say it's also equal in the affection and love they give you, and the joy they bring into your life!
     
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  6. PrintedPerfect

    PrintedPerfect Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so very much for the information! I was wanting to just bring ONE in, but I have a dog too, so perhaps she would be enough company? But, I do work from home as well; however, I am widowed and have a pre-schooler, so there are times that we're not home - taking her to/from school, grocery shopping, church, etc.

    The ducks we have are Pekin. They seem to poop a lot! And as it turns out, only two eggs hatched, so I might be out of luck with regard to snagging one from this batch. I think my chicken (mama that hatched them) would be saddened and the second would be lonely if I took one away. Plus, God forbid if something happened to the remaining one if I did that.

    I will check out the diapers that you mentioned on Etsy. Wish there was a sure fire way to house train them and tend to the egg situation. I'd rather have a duck as opposed to a drake, but the egg is a concern. Does seem like they can hold it (both poop and egg) if they want to though. My hen sat on those eggs, leaving at best twice a day for less than five minutes each time and never once soiled on the eggs. And I have seen my chickens doing the egg dance, kind of like the pee pee dance, waiting for their favorite nesting box. I will try to look into that more.

    Again- thank you so much!!
    Jeanne
     
  7. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Heh, I was hoping the same with Wobbles: "Oh, I bet he'll bond with the kitties". Nnnnnope, hah! But I admit he does love car rides (like I said, he must go EVERYWHERE with me come hell or high water) and he really enjoys it! I myself enjoy the double-takes I often see at stop lights from other commuters. :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  8. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    There is a pic I want to see... Wobbles out styling in a travel bag [​IMG]
     
  9. ChicketyChick

    ChicketyChick New Egg

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    I have a lone duck (Indian Runner), by accident really we had 6 eggs in an incubator (brand new to this) 2 have hatched & the little lame one has died, heartbreaking. Original plan was to hatch the mini flock, keep them for about 6-8 weeks in the garden for the children to enjoy then send them off to live with my Sister-in-Law that lives in the country with pigs & chickens and a pond. Now we have the one little creature I was thinking ahh a little house Duck it can sleep with the Chihuawa (I was imagining they would bond maybe naively). Not sure I am loving the idea of Changing Duck Diapers, I have 2 small children so am at home all day mainly, but more nappies I don't know.

    I guess i'm wondering if we all bond with our Duck, its less than 24 hours old now but we are holding a lot and hes in the kitchen where we are all the time, if in a couple of months we wanted him to go and live on the farm as planned, will he just be tame and be happy to potter round a new house and family, or if they imprint its on one person/family and thats a bond that can't be changed? I know my Sister-in-Law would treat it as a pet and is at home with other animals...... I am kind of leaning towards keeping it anyway, but now I have read the thread I am a little scared of that level of commitment, what happens when we go on holiday, my dog goes to stay with grandma, can the Duck go too?
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Chickety Chick, good questions from a caring person [​IMG]

    There are a number of people here with house ducks. There is an Indoor Ducks thread, and one person I can think of quickly is @Amykins , but there are a bunch of others who can fill you in on the details. For those who can do it, it is apparently a great experience.
     

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