Questions about adding some ducks (maybe a goose)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mtcougar832, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. mtcougar832

    mtcougar832 In the Brooder

    May 7, 2008
    Northwest Montana
    Hello everyone!

    I am thinking about purchasing some ducks - for eggs, weeding (if they do that) and eating bugs/mosquitoes. I have raised chicks, but never ducks. I am thinking about getting 5 khaki campbells (straight run at the feed store). I looked yesterday and DH didn't say no, so I assume that means yes.

    My duck questions:
    1 - I'd like to end up with 2+ ducks and a drake - is 5 straight run a good number of ducklings?
    2 - Do khakis fly (I found conflicting answers online - my garden has a 5' fence, the yard about a 4' fence)?
    3 - Are khakis flighty? I have 3 kids and 3 dogs (dogs will be kenneled when the ducks are out).
    4 - It seems ducks like staying out, I was going to put up a little pen with a shed/dog house for shutting them in at night time - is that adequate? I'll probably let them out during the day to eat bugs.

    Their are predators where I live, including birds. I have never had an issues with wild animals in my yard, probably because of the dogs [​IMG]

    If I want to have the ducks be in the yard most of the day, would it be good to get a goose as well to protect them? (I would never trust my dogs with birds). If I got a goose I would want a nice, friendly one (at least to people). But I'd love to have fewer mosquitoes / flys / bees.

  2. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row

    I'm curious too.
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    With 5 straight run, you should get at least 1 duck.

    Khakis do not fly. Well, they try to fly, but can only get about 3 feet off the ground.

    My Khakis are flighty because I did not handle them enough when they were ducklings. If you handle them and play with them from day one, they should be well socialized and calm.

    A dog house is perfect for ducks. Anything will work as long as it will protect them from predators.

    I'm not sure about a goose protecting ducks. Certain predators, like owls, are certainly big enough to take on a goose.
  4. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    [​IMG] I'm in similar question mode and await a knowledgeable waterfowl owner.

    I have chickens and just started a couple turkey babies. I'd love to do ducks, and a friend's geese intrigue me. Thankfully I have a new poultry barn coming in 4 weeks.
  5. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    I bought some random assorted ducks from the feed store and ended up with 2 Khaki Campbells (1 boy, 1 girl) and 1 female Rouen.

    I tried handling them when they were little, but I guess I didn't handle them enough because they are not at all tame. But they are still really easy to work with as they don't fly and they don't move very fast so it's easy to just herd them wherever I want them to go.

    I kept them in a brooder until they were fairly large, then in an outdoor run until they were full-sized. Now, they free-range all day and at night I pen them into a wire dog crate that is covered with a tarp in case of rain. The kennel is up against the goat fence where my livestock guardian dog lives so predators don't go anywhere near the ducks while they are sleeping.

    My one caution for anyone thinking of getting ducks for the first time is to be VERY careful about what you use to allow them to swim. Make sure, absolutely sure, that they can easily climb out of any container because they can and will drown. I learned this lesson the hard way as my other rouen drowned the first night after I moved them from the brooder to the outdoor run. I had put a mortar-mixing tub in the run and filled it with water for them to play in, and I checked to see if they could climb back out. They were able to get out with a bit of a struggle so I assumed it was safe.

    That night, one of the ducks staying in and swam until he was too tired to make the climb back out. I found him in the bottom of the little pond when I went out to check on them in the morning. After that I put some bricks in the bottom of the tub and on the outside next to it so that I could make sure it was easy for them to just walk in and out. [​IMG]
  6. mtcougar832

    mtcougar832 In the Brooder

    May 7, 2008
    Northwest Montana
    Thanks for the info! I'll remember to put ramps in the water.

    The feed store is supposed to have birds come in weekly through April, so I think I'll get 5 of them in a few weeks. I hope they eat bugs like mad [​IMG]
  7. mtcougar832

    mtcougar832 In the Brooder

    May 7, 2008
    Northwest Montana
    Darn it - I wandered into the feed store and 5 indian runner ducklings followed me home! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I had them playing in the sink when DH woke up (he works graveyards) and he looked at them and said "you're noisy" then went to play on his computer. So far the kids love 'em and I think they are SO CUTE! Much more interactive than the chicks. Big too.

    Thanks everyone! I can't wait to watch them grow up. [​IMG]

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