School Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Emmaxx, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Emmaxx

    Emmaxx Songster

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    I am keeping my fingers crossed that my daughters school will be re-homing my ducks (3 ducks, 1 drake, all black east indies) - the headteacher seems keen on the idea and I am going in to see him tomorrow to have a chat with him about it. They already have chickens so I'm hoping it wont' be too far a leap for them to add some ducks.

    Do you guys (with far more experience than me) think ducks would be happy at a school? Are there any issues, or questions I should be asking tomorrow, that you can think of that I may not have considered?

    Also, when given complete free range during the day, and this probably differs with breed, how much of the time do think they would spend waddling about and foraging and how much time on or in the water?

    Any opinions and advice will be appreciated, thank you!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Well keeping ducks is different in a few ways from chickens. They need to know the ducks will need drinking water in buckets or deep bowls to keep their eyes and nares cleaned. Water to bath in and feed like an all flock if at all possible. Safe secure housing also.

    Do your EI fly then they might need a pen with a top on it to keep them safe and home.

    Who will be caring for the ducks? the students. Any time I rehome a duck I print out a care page especially if the new family hasn't ever had ducks.

    Free ranging is something they can do all the time if it's possible as long as they have fenced in area to do it in or predators maybe a problem.
     
    Julie Birb and cheezenkwackers like this.
  3. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Songster

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    Is someone going to care for them over weekends and holidays?
     
  4. Emmaxx

    Emmaxx Songster

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    Thanks for such quick responses! I tried to keep it as concise as possible as I have a tendency to waffle on, but I probably should have added these ducks were hatched around June last year so I can pass on the basics that I know about food and water etc. but having it written down for reference is a good idea, especially when care givers may change about a bit, thank you.

    We are in the UK so the only real predators I can think of is foxes and maybe a large pet cat, but I think they could probably scare off a cat, I need to ask if they've ever had any trouble with foxes, ,not sure how prevalent they are in this particular area.
    I also need to find out tomorrow what they do with the chickens over weekends/holidays as I would think it would be the same arrangement for the ducks. I think there's a team of older students (it's a UK primary school so kids attending range from 4-11 years old) that do the mucking out of the chicken coop, feeding and so on during term time so it would just mean a bit more work for them with the ducks too or a few extra children roped in :D also I believe a staff member that supervises/coordinates the team, and I would be available to get involved if needed.

    If I am allowed to take some photos to share with you I will show you what there is to work with, it might be quite lengthy to try to describe the set up they have and Im not sure how similar our schools are to the ones you have as I notice you are both in the US.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    I think I have seen here in the US school adopting chickens raising gardens etc. so it is happening here to and I think it's a wonderful Idea to teach kids where their food comes from and also teaching them to care for animals. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity for you to get involved [if you would want to] even if just to get them off to a good start on a different poultry.
    If you get opportunity to take pics of their set up that would be great.
     
    Julie Birb likes this.
  6. Emmaxx

    Emmaxx Songster

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    Sorry for the delay but things have been a bit a big sluggish with the school. All I have is a photo of the pond they already have there but a bit clueless as to what their intentions are regarding housing etc, hopefully things will move along nicely after the Easter break :fl I'm sure I will have lots more questions and info then!

    The reason I'm coming here now though is for some advice with our current situation - two broody ducks!! What are my options should either still be sitting if/when the time comes to move them to the school? What's the kindest thing to do if there are any ducklings that I've decided to leave with mum(s)? I don't want to stress the birds with the move and then add on the stress of snatching ducklings or emptying the nest or (even trying to move it?) :/ at the same time, but I also don't want to act prematurely and then find out that they had plenty of time to sit hatch and say goodbye in their own time, not to mention the stress to me of incubating brooding etc if not necessary.

    I'm hoping that it wont be long before we start talking dates etc at the school and that will no doubt make a difference to what my options with the eggs are, but the kids don't go back for another week and I'm sure the Head will have more important things to do then than to get in touch about the ducks immediately, but I don't want to let then carry on brooding if that's actually the crueler thing to do.....:confused:

    ETA: The eggs, at least some, are definitely fertile so I know I'm not stressing over nothing! Well I say that, I realise that I'm probably stressing far too soon before really knowing what the timescale with the school is, but I just like to be prepared for what my options are, and also if there's anything extra I need to prepare them for i.e. the added pitter patter of tiny webbed feet!

    And thank you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  7. Emmaxx

    Emmaxx Songster

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    UPDATE: Had another quick chat with the Head today and it sounds like he's just going to take my lead on housing and everything. He said if I give him a list of what they need he will get it. I would like to give him a few options if I can, sort of a budget minimum option, mid-range option, higher-end higher-spec option, so then he can choose how much he wants to spend on it all (and I'm at less risk of pricing them out of favour by going with what I would WANT if I had free reign of the purse strings! haha) He hasn't told me a limit to how much he's willing to spend, he has said he is willing to spend a bit more if it means they will have a better environment, but obviously I don't want to take advantage.

    I have also found out the area he intends to put them which is a grassy are. More field grass than lawn. I know this could get messy quickly with ducks so any options with that regard would be good. Not sure he would be willing to go as far as digging it all out and replacing it with something else or anything like that though.... :lol:

    I thought I had addressed the questions above after my initial meeting but it seems not, sorry.

    I will ask to see the specific area again and get some photos when I can for you all.

    Housing is my first priority as I'm sure there would be no harm in leaving some things until after they have moved in. They would be confined here for the first couple of weeks or so while they settle anyway.

    So, given the choice would you rather have a) a large, secure run area with a smaller nest box type coop inside and areas for shade/shelter etc dotted around or b) a large coop area with a run attached, and why? I'm sure there are pros and cons for both options. We don't really have an predators bigger than a fox and no racoons to worry about.


    The broodiness issue is being covered here now: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/broody-duck-questions.1234108/#post-19804410
     

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