Quick Question for all the Ducky People here!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Wisher1000, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I have a small creek on my property. If I were to accidently include some duck eggs in my hatch, would the little duckies find their way to the creek and back to the coop to sleep? The creek is about 100 yards from the coop and the area between is wooded. I would not want the ducks to spend much time in the woods due to predators but the creek would be delightful for them. How far do free range ducks go?
     
  2. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    Yes, ducks have awesome homing ability. The answer to the very last question depends on how well adapted a bird is to landranging, and then on how fertile the environment is. Ducks like pekins are generally pretty bad at landranging, but Swedes, Shetlands, Welsh Harlequins, BOs and similar breeds are excellent at landranging (finding food even if it means going all over the place to gather it). Ducks love water, so they may spend alot of time by the creek. Are you using an incubator or a Setting hen?
     
  3. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I am using an incubator and actually it is pretty full. I am only in the "thinking about getting ducks" stage. I had some big beautiful white ducks (Peking?) when I was a kid and they made such a mess in the yard that my parents made me give them away. I don't know the breeds but will research more before I make the final decision. I wouldn't mind them spending time at the creek except that it if further from the house and closer to the wild predators. Which breeds are more predator savvy?
     
  4. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    The Smaller ones are more wiley. The breeds in the 'Medium' and 'Light' class are (I find) the smartest, fastest ones. Flying Mallards (which, although are considered a bantam, I think they should be considered a light breed just because of their size), and Spotteds are two good bantam breeds. The reason I asked about the setting hen is an incubator wont teach a clutch of ducklings which direction home is in, if you get my drift. Herding ducklings is actually pretty easy. I would suggest if they are orphan that you keep them fenced in until they feather out. Ducks don't make much of a mess during free range, and hardly make anything of a mess during landrange.
    If you have any more questions feel free to ask. That's why we're here!
     
  5. agregg15

    agregg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Connecticut
    Duck eggs take about 28 days to incubate for mallard derived ducks and 30 or so for muscovys plus the humidity needs to be higher for waterfowl so that could cause issues trying to incubate chicken and duck eggs together. When they're ducklings they don't produce oil so they aren't water proof and may chill or drown. I personally would be a little wary of them going through the woods that often and would just buy a rubber tub for them and keep them penned off from the woods. They should stay near their coop/feeding dish. I hoped this helped :)
     
  6. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    Eggs take 28 days for all but muscovy ducks.

    I'd say Khakis are shy and smart, and can fly. DItto Cayugas and Mallards. BIg ducks like pekings and some of the other heavy ducks may be bad choices.

    I would NOT let me ducks in the creek unless:
    1 - your part is fenced very well
    2 - there aren't snapping turles (which eat young ducks)
    3 - You are prepared to go get them. When I was a kid, we had to run the ducks off the pond, and up from the creek every single day. They never just came home.

    good luck
     
  7. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Thank you for the information, everyone. The creek is shallow and runs pretty fast most of the time. I don't think there would be any big turtles in there and if the ducks could find a place deep enough to actually swim, it wouldn't be very big! I don't think they would be tempted to sleep there but I don't know ducks. I was thinking that they would enjoy the clean running water and shade to splash around in. Do ducks sleep on the ground or on the water? Do they like to be inside at night or do they prefer the open?
     
  8. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!


    Sleep on ground or water. Both. (sorry) I think domestics probobly should be shut up at night. don't think a hoot owl wouldn't take one.
     
  9. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Yea, I agree, inside is safest. I was wondering if they would like to be in the safety of the barn or coop at night or if I would have to make them go in there. If I got them young, raised them inside at night and let them wander during the evening hours, would they be looking to go to bed in the same place that they were raised?
     
  10. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!


    They might. I do that, and I turn on a light every night, until the go to bed in summer. In winter, I leave the light on becasue mine are egg flocks, and w/o light, no eggs.
     

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