1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Ruddy ducks

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by destinduck, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    2,622
    39
    213
    Mar 20, 2008
    n.w.FLORIDA
    Hello all. Im planning on getting some ruddies next week for my son and of course me LOL! I was hoping for others to post some pics of these neat little ducks. Or maybe share some knowledge or helpful insight about them. Anything goes on this thread!!! You dont hear much about them often and if you research on here there isnt much about them. If you have kept them or presently keep them all the better. If you are a novice and want to learn hopefully this thread will help you. Now yall get to posting please! [​IMG]
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Don't have any...but want too.... : (
     
  3. fancyfowl4ever

    fancyfowl4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,283
    14
    181
    Mar 17, 2008
    Cranbrook, BC, Canada
    I love my ruddies, got my pair when they were still little in 2011, he was 6 weeks old and she was 4 weeks. Threw them in my brooder with my australian spotted ducklings(domestics) so that they can bond a bit.
    So they learned from the aussies not to go too far and come to me for food. Very calm around people these 2(from what i have been told not so usually, they are generally a bit more spooky).

    Then this spring(March) they were getting a bit hormonal, the tiny pair of Ruddies had my much larger domestic geese beaten into a corner and bloody, so out they went back to free ranging in the yard. Still nice to people, like to be around us, but he gets a bit offended if you immitate his calls and he puffs up to strut around you yelling the whole time [​IMG], if he were bigger I would worry.
    Both are wing clipped so they do not take off on me if spooked. Right now they are full winged wintering with my domestic waterfowl in an open top pen and dont even think of going anywhere(but gotta clip soon before the hormones go rampant).

    They are very agressive and territorial during breeding season and dont take well to ANY other fowl, even the dogs(LGDs) avoided them. They staked claim to any part of the yard that has nice green lawn, which was nice because I had a handful of free range chickens which the family disapproves of fiercly since they tear up the lawn. Well the Ruddy Shelducks took it upon them selfs to be keepers of the grass and kept every other bird off it! Very funny to watch when you see the ruddy pair do the 200 meter dash to nip the chicken across the yard in the tailfeathers and chase it back into the mucky paddocks. You know they are about to dish out hurt when you see them hunch their shoulders up, head down and tail feathers fanned.

    They can breed in their first year, most dont. Mine didnt. Burrow nesters, but will make do with a nice dark tunnel-like hide-out. I see a merry ruddy nest search in the 2013 season for me, they were intently looking everywhere this summer already, got into every shed and barn etc.

    Once breeding season is over they go all mellow again with other fowl and do fine co-habitating with others in the winter.

    My favorit exotics I had so far, very unique characters, for all their fowl-agression I find them very easy to deal with. Seem nice and winter hardy. Over all just easy to keep. Most entertaining waterfowl I have too I think, they are just funny, in the summer when they hear people they have to come hollering off the top of their lungs and then just hang around a 10 ft circle quietly mumbling away to themselfs.

    *edit - I am talking about Ruddy Shelducks, it just dawned on me there are other Ruddy ducks out there.
    Had a friend in Germany years ago who had Ruddy Ducks, he only had them for 2 yrs last time I spoke with him but he always talked positively about them, appearantly the drake loved showing off to anything.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  4. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    4
    101
    Oct 5, 2010
    Michigan
    Hi Destin,
    We have kept them for about 15 years now, very enjoyable little duck especially during breeding season when the little drakes repeatedly slap their chest with their bill, you can kind of see this in the second picture they have a very unique very cool courtship. Ours spend 90% of the time on the water as their legs are placed so far back for diving they don't maneuver on land to well. The hens will nest about anywhere we have one hen that nest behind the door of a shed next to the pond every year, we also have had good luck with 12" x 12" nest boxes that we cut a 4" hole in and place about a 16" piece of 4" corrugated drain pipe in the hole, we then cover the pipe with sand we do this so the end of the pipe is near the pond. The hens will also "dump" nest in with other birds as well and when they do this they can be prolific layers we have gotten over twenty eggs from hen before. We "wet brooder" our ruddies in a 32" x 32" brooder which we have a metal paint tray that is sunk in so it is level with brooder floor this seems to help strengthen the little ruddies legs as opposed to a dry brooder. I hope this was of some help and I am sure you will enjoy them!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    What do you feed them....?
     
  6. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    2,622
    39
    213
    Mar 20, 2008
    n.w.FLORIDA
    Im very glad you both shared your stories of your ruddies.Thats what Im talking about.[​IMG] And yes Im guilty in the first degree of not saying what kind of ruddy. LOL! Doesnt matter though because I like both kinds. And i said anything goes here Right? ! Now for new ornamental duck fans. Fancyfowl4ever is talking about the larger{ Ruddy Shelduck.} A fine bird indeed. And as was mentioned , can however get aggressive at times. but they do make some neat sounds and are pretty as well. I used to have them a long while ago.I have a fellow bird friend that still raises these .I will try and get some photos of my buddies also. Waterdog. Great pics of your birds.Thanks so much for sharing these. Everyone, These are {North American Ruddy ducks.}Waterdog has photos of and I cant wait to get them. That bright blue bill is amazing. If you would please share with everyone wanting to learn a little more about that. Me and my son were fortunate enough to see a little courtship dance a long while back with the birds they have at Busch Gardens.Now Im ready to see it in my backyard!!! The eggs of these little guys are unreal everyone.You wouldnt believe how big they are for their size compared to the hen that lays them. . Ive rambled long enough. On with the discussion and the birds! Thanks all Shawn
     
  7. BYC-user-174785

    BYC-user-174785 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,723
    84
    178
    Nov 23, 2012
    When you get your birds be sure to share some pictures of them!
     
  8. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    2,622
    39
    213
    Mar 20, 2008
    n.w.FLORIDA
    You know I will Ha ha. Waterdogs birds are great! I built an addition on my largest pen complete with a nice pond for their enjoyment as well. I had planned on getting just one pair but some how it always turns into more.And with these more is a good thing.
     
  9. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    4
    101
    Oct 5, 2010
    Michigan
    We feed them a 16% duck pellet, and the blue bill is quite something its hard to show with pictures, but we have had people visit who ask if we painted them because it is so bright. Another interesting thing with ruddies is the drakes don't color out until March or April and molt in mid summer so the beautiful plumage and bright blue bill only stay a few months the rest of the year the drakes look like the hens except the drakes have white face instead of brown. The eggs like Destin stated are very large compared to the size of the duck as large or larger than a x-large chicken egg. I added a few more pics of some young ones and two drakes. Thats all the pics I could find and they are not in color right now to take any new ones.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    2,622
    39
    213
    Mar 20, 2008
    n.w.FLORIDA
    Waterdog. Mine are going into a mixed collection. As of now I just set all the food out in the middle of the pen. Knowing of course that Ruddies dont like to leave the water much what would you suggest? I can start feeding all the ducks closer to the water if this would solve the problem. I want them to be fat and happy and not get bullied.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by