Ratios if drakes to ducks

Aussie dog

Hatching
Feb 18, 2020
2
1
3
My brother and I are looking in to getting a small flock of ducks this spring. He wants to sell fertile duck eggs for hatching so we want to be sure that we get the right ratio of drakes to ducks. I have had bad experiences with cock fights in the past with chickens so I would rather have just one drake. I know they tend to be nicer that roosters but I don't want to take any chances. I've also tossed around the idea of getting some hens (chickens) for the sake of eating their eggs. Without a rooster will the drake leave the chickens alone?
Also we don't have a coop yet but I think it'll be 4'x8'.
Thanks for your help!
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,148
18,077
622
South Park, Colorado, USA
I would not count on your chickens and ducks to get along or to be able to live in the same coop. They might be able to, but the might not. If you want to sell fertile eggs and have eggs for eating, your best bet would be to just have enough ducks that you are able to have enough eggs to do both. If you are concerned about having a single drake cover that many hens you can always divide him off with just a few for a few days or a week so you can be sure the eggs you are collecting for sale as fertile are in fact fertile. I would not have fewer than 3 duck hens for your drake and I would get all the same breed if you want to sell fertile eggs.
 

DuckyDonna

Free Ranging
Aug 26, 2018
3,893
14,245
706
Dallas, Georgia
I had 6 girls to 1 drake and all their eggs were fertile too. Since you want to sell fertile eggs what are you going to do if something happens to that drake? I was in that situation once a couple years ago but found one of Craig's list.

I'm assuming you're in Australia by your avatar name? I hope the market for fertile eggs is better there than it is here because it's not a moneymaker for us. I won't even do it anymore because of the way people took care of the ducklings. It was not good and like they were disposable items. Not cool with me at all!
 

2 many chickens

Crowing
Jan 14, 2017
1,626
3,867
282
I would separate the ducks from the chickens. Have two separate pens.
Drakes don't mix with female chickens. Drakes can really damage a hen if he tries to breed it. They aren't made the same.

I have 2 drakes and 7 hens. Plenty of fertile eggs. I would get at least 2 hens if you get a drake.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,148
18,077
622
South Park, Colorado, USA
My duck hens are pretty mean to my chickens too. I think they are worse than the drake. They go out together on occasion, and I have to break things up once in awhile. They are particularly nasty around the water bowl or if someone gets too close to a favorite nesting spot.
 

Aussie dog

Hatching
Feb 18, 2020
2
1
3
Thanks for all the great replies.
I'm definitely leaning toward Indian runner ducks for my breed. For three reasons 1) their laying abilities, 2) their foraging abilities, and 3) I plan to work my Australian Shepherd on them and from what I've read about duck herding runners are the best. FYI my dog has been to herding classes and I am aware of the dangers of herding female ducks during breeding season. So I will be very careful about that.
As far as profiting from selling eggs we are in America my user name is because of my dog 😊. We would be happy with anything that helps cover the costs of keeping the ducks. And if it doesn't cover the costs oh well 🤷‍♀️. They will be primarily pets.
What do you guys think of 1 drake and 5 or 6 ducks? If we lose the drake well just have to stop selling eggs until we get another one.
 

johntfs

Songster
Dec 1, 2019
427
768
121
Jackson, Tennessee
I had 6 girls to 1 drake and all their eggs were fertile too. Since you want to sell fertile eggs what are you going to do if something happens to that drake? I was in that situation once a couple years ago but found one of Craig's list.

I'm assuming you're in Australia by your avatar name? I hope the market for fertile eggs is better there than it is here because it's not a moneymaker for us. I won't even do it anymore because of the way people took care of the ducklings. It was not good and like they were disposable items. Not cool with me at all!
I think a lot of people just don't fully "grok" the idea that ducklings are still birds and as such are very different from mammalian pets like dogs, cats, rabbits or other rodents. You can, with varying degrees of effort, "potty-train" dogs, cats and even rabbits. You can't do that with ducklings.

Once they're housebroken and as long as they have some food/water, you can leave puppies, kitten and rabbits (in cage) alone in a house for hours at a time. That's psychological torture for imprinted ducklings.

You buy a guinea at the pet store and four-five years later it dies and you get another one. You hatch a duckling, you have a cute fuzzy little duckling for 30-60 days and then you have a duck for the next 15-20 years. That's the main stopper for me in terms of ducks.

If I could get a duckling and have it basically top out in development at, say two-three weeks and live a lifespan of three-four years, that would be doable. But there's no way I'm set up to be able to take care of a grown duck for 15+ years.
 

DuckyDonna

Free Ranging
Aug 26, 2018
3,893
14,245
706
Dallas, Georgia
Thanks for all the great replies.
I'm definitely leaning toward Indian runner ducks for my breed. For three reasons 1) their laying abilities, 2) their foraging abilities, and 3) I plan to work my Australian Shepherd on them and from what I've read about duck herding runners are the best. FYI my dog has been to herding classes and I am aware of the dangers of herding female ducks during breeding season. So I will be very careful about that.
As far as profiting from selling eggs we are in America my user name is because of my dog 😊. We would be happy with anything that helps cover the costs of keeping the ducks. And if it doesn't cover the costs oh well 🤷‍♀️. They will be primarily pets.
What do you guys think of 1 drake and 5 or 6 ducks? If we lose the drake well just have to stop selling eggs until we get another one.
I've got 11 runners and 2 border collies. My dogs are both so good with the ducks and the ducks like them pretty much too.

I only have one problem with my girl dog. She loves to eat duck poop. She can't focus on much of anything else. I don't have a worry in the world about the dogs being in the duck run except for that small detail. It makes me gag to watch her with pooped hay sticking out of her mouth. No doggie kisses from her!
 
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