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Questions on wild duck care

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Blob Chicken, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. Blob Chicken

    Blob Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm interested in some wild ducks ,more specifically buffleheads ,smews ,hottentott teals ,ringed teals and biakel teals.

    What should I feed ?? I was thinking Mazuri sea duck diet and and Mazuri waterfowl maintenance ,with Mazuri waterfowl breeder during the spring and summer. I would suppliment with mealworms ,fish and other suck critters.

    Could they all get along ??

    Anything else I need to know about any of these birds thats special ?? I've picked 'em as their all small (from what I can gather) ,good looking ducks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  2. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
  3. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    you've picked some beautiful species. Like KansaKid said, in that thread I have out lined pretty much what you need to know on them.
    As for feed, the sea duck diet would be over kill (but fine if you wanted the expense) The normal waterfowl diet or just a good gamebird or waterfowl diet from Purina would be just fine (they make Mazuir anyway)

    For the divers, your smew and bufflehead, they will needed an added source of protein. Easiest way to do this is feed a few handfuls of floating catfish food daily to them. All the ducks love it and will benefit from it. I also went the extra mile with mine, I have a large swamp here and put minow traps in it. Pretty much anything that it catches would go in the ponds. Minnows, small fish, crayfish, small eels, tadpoles, various crustaceans, all of it, they LOVE it when you put some actual live stuff in there for them to chace down, and it's cool to actually watch them do what they were designed to do.
    Meal worms are only used to start new ducklings, not needed once they start eating prepared rations.
    Yes, those are all docile species, they will all get along, though the baikals are a very shy bird when it comes to breeding and really do best in a heavily planted aviary of their own if sucessful breeding is your goal with them. They'll be your tuffest ones to get to reproduce, for some reason they just tend to be picky about their nesting and do not like being disturbed. Just going in to feed up can and often does shut them down.

    Read over that thread and let us know if you have any more questions
     
  4. Blob Chicken

    Blob Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks BBB [​IMG]

    Now out of those ,which are the most winter hardy ?? Thats a HUGE factor for me. We get around 5 months of snow every year ,and
    -25 to -30 celcius is not uncommon. I can do open water and winter shelters ,but want birds that dont mind being outside most of the time.

    Also I meant ringed teals ,not cape.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  5. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    well the smew and baikals are native to Russia, so they are good, the bufflehead is a northern sea duck of sorts so they are good. Your hottentot will need winter protection, they are so tiny and are from Madagascar where it stays tropical, so they will be your biggest concern. The ring are South American, they'd bare a little watching in the most extreme winter, but have never heard of anyone having trouble with them.
    Open water and all is key in the winter. Those that have the ability to keep it open, winter their birds much better. Heaters and strong areators are key for doing that.
    But even with that, hottentots cant take that extreme of cold. Of the normal ducks, they and all the treeducks are about the only ones who actually dont love the cold. All the other common species actually really like it, some being more tolerate of it than others.
    Most all the North American species take it really well, as do the Asian and most Australian ones, The African and South American species are ones that can go either way.
     
  6. Blob Chicken

    Blob Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    O.k ,awsome !!

    Also this is another big one ,who is the quietest ?? Where I live having a bird that loves to be loud is no good.
     
  7. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion and what I have read I would go with the hottentott teals or Baikal.. I am not sure about the noise level on them but if noise is a problem then the requirements for the buffleheads and smews would. Those two breeds require a nice size pen and lots of water if you want to be successful in breeding them. My avairy is a125x75 and half of that is water because I have those breeders and several other divers. I am just saying on those two species becaus if you are goignt o spend that kind of money on a pair of birds then you want them to be happy. They also require permit to sale/dispose of so that is something else to think of.

    I also have the ring teal which I believe can be kept in a small say 10x10 and don't require alot of water but they make noises that sound like a cat. They are really cool and out of about 25 species that we have are my dads favorites. the ring teal don't currently require the permit and as just neat little birds..

    I love my divers though so I would have a hard time saying.

    I am hoping to get the two species after this breeding season but like BBB I will be building the Baikal teal their own pen
     
  8. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:smew are the quitest, nearly mute followed by the bufflehead and teal
    The baikals will be your loudest, with a good cluck cluck sound, but still none of these are what I would call nosie birds, nothing like domestics. Hottentots dont make much noise either, they're too darn small, LOL
    Like Kanga said, outside the teal, the smew and buffleheads do need much more water space being divers, and clean water at that, they dont do well ata ll in green muddy stagnate ponds, so be prepared for the up keep. If you just got a pair or so of each though, It's going to take a long time for them to dirty up a pond.
     
  9. fancyfowl4ever

    fancyfowl4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you the same Blob chicken as on the ACE forum?

    If so, in Canada you need a permit to keep any kind of wild waterfowl native to north America(mute swans and european widgeons for some reason as well). The permit has to be in place before you get the birds(well, breeders generally don't sell to non-permit holders anyways, can't get'em without it).

    The permit can be kind of a pain to get(totally worth it tho [​IMG] ).
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  10. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like Boggy said, the Hottentots are from Africa, so they are in a nice and warm climate.

    I have a pair of them and they do fine with freezing temps (right at freezing) and were mad when i covered their pond.

    The breeder i bought mine from and several people here recommended building sight barriers along the aviary so that wind and predators are not much of a factor.

    Fortunately, my aviary is small enough that i can cover it with tarps if it gets real windy, but if you live up north and got them, I would look into providing some heat for them somehow if it was frequently under freezing temps.

    At the very least with Hottentots, I would think you would want to shield them. I think my setup is pretty decent even if it was colder, but if it was, I would probably invest in a heat lamp or something.


    The breeder i bought them from (Mallard Lane Farms) gets a lot more snow than me and she said that usually they just need windbreaks (hay bales, etc.) in her aviary and that is pretty much all they need for her climate.

    In my area, it's pretty much perfect for them, because to get snow to actually cover and stay on the ground would take a miracle.


    Still, i cover my aviary on the top and one large side when it gets down to subfreezing temps and cover their pond.

    I feed mine the Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance, but you can feed them the regular Purina Waterfowl Maintenance. They are the same brand. I think one of the primary differences is that the Mazuri food brand from Purina is made somewhere in the US. I believe someone told me that when i asked and joined the forum.


    My Hottentots are pretty quiet. The male makes a very small chirping sound. It sounds like he is whispering "click-click-click-click-click."
    I have noticed he usually makes this sound when i am about to enter the cage to feed them.

    The female makes a "cluck-cluck-cluck-cluck-cluck" cluck-screeching sound and that one is definitely audible, but fortunately she doesn't make it all day long. Usually, i don't hear it but once or twice a day, generally at night before they go to sleep.

    I'd recommend reading Boggy's Waterfowl thread that has been linked here. You can also check out my Hottentot thread from my signature. I have some questions answered in there by Boggy and 1lpoock and others when i originally planned to buy them or ringed teals.
     

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