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Should I get ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ldutch123, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. ldutch123

    ldutch123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a large pond on my property and it happens to be in a 1 acre fenced area. I'm new to chickens and I have about 39 of them and love them. I thought hmm I wonder if I should raise ducks just to have? Is there a Reason people raise ducks other than for meat? Any and all advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are lots of reasons for keeping ducks and/or chickens. I don't raise mine for meat. I have Golden 300 hybrids and they are awesome egg layers, outlaying a chicken. I like the taste of their eggs better too. I also have them for slug and snail control in my garden.
    Maybe someone else and give advice on the pond thing. Seems to me that it would be great as long as you can get them locked up at night. Too many predators would love a ducky snack to leave them unprotected in most areas. Raccoons, opossums, bobcats, and mountain lions in my area and I have seen them all next to the coop over the years. Just the scent of chickens or ducks is enough to lure them to your birds. And all of those have no problem getting over or under a normal fence.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Welcome to the brink of Duckdom!

    [​IMG]

    First, may I offer the stickie, 101 Reasons We Love Ducks [​IMG]

    Next, from my limited experience and from reading a number of posts here on the Duck Forum, ponds are not needed for ducks (though some seem to feel that ducks are needed for ponds), and in fact may be dangerous places, depending on the pond.

    Ponds attract all kinds of predators, and ducks are just as susceptible, if not more, to predation. Snapping turtles as well as land mammals attracted to the water can injure or kill ducks.

    That said, if your pond is really well protected and does not have snapping turtles, your ducks might do well during the day. They would still need a very secure place for nighttime, and you'd need to figure out how to get them into that secure place before sundown.

    It can be done, but it needs to be done.

    I love ducks. My runners are happy with mud puddles and kiddie pools.

    Domestic ducks, many of them, cannot fly, so being out in the open they are potential targets. I have read a couple of stories the last few weeks of hawk attacks.

    From here, perhaps you can think about (and share if you'd like) what you'd like from the ducks. Eggs? Pest control? Beauty? Low maintenance? And then see which breeds match up with your wants and preferred level of management.

    Enjoy the journey!
     
  4. ldutch123

    ldutch123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't believe there are snappers on our pond but I can totally see how this would be a problem if I needed to put them up at night. How the heck would I get them out of the pond. I sure wouldn't mind having pretty ducks swimming in there but I wouldn't wanna risk their lives.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Many of us use the bribe method to get ducks from one place to another [​IMG]

    I hope you can enjoy searching for topics about such things, because there have been some discussions on exactly that - how do I get my ducks to come into the safe house at night? Many of us manage to do that, usually with treats.

    Some don't feed their ducks much during the day, they make the night shelter, or the area right next to it, the place the ducks get to eat at the end of the day, so that brings them in.

    It's easier on you if you have a chance to think about this before the duckies arrive.

    As I wrote earlier, these things can be done, and there are dozens of ways people have found to do them.
     
  6. grawg

    grawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't wild type mallards be ok as pond "ornaments"? Assuming you provide adequate shelter/habitat I would think mallards would be capable of surviving on a pond. If they had plenty of plants growing along the shore to hide in and forage among they should be relatively safe from aerial predators. And I know there has been a thread on a floating duckhouse for a pond. Depending on how your pond is built, I've also seen islands made 10' or more off the shore for ducks.

    Here is a thread with someone asking a very similar question to yours.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=603911
     
  7. ldutch123

    ldutch123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was planning to provide shelter and food. I just wondered if they would enjoy a pond with the pond stuff ducks eat. Also we have wild ducks who come and even bring their babies. But haven't seen them this year at all .I just thought hmm ducks r so pretty I wonder if they would like the pond. But I'm not sure how I would coax them out.of there at.night lol
     
  8. LLCoyote

    LLCoyote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you got ducklings, and raise them (probably away from the pond) then they may be inclinded to come when you call for things like treats. Ducks are amazing set on rutine. Mine put themselves up at night and they are free range! All I did was feed them in the same place, at nearly the same time. If they weren't in there I herded them in. I think if you have the space and you're willing to learn, ducks are amazing creatures and a lot of fun to have around! I say do a lot of research, ask a lot of questions on here and find a good place to get them. I hope you get some and post some pictures if you do!
     
  9. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the others about "training" your ducks with bribes and a routine.
    Mine are such clock watchers that they start screaming and quacking LOUDLY at 6am when their normal breakfast time has arrived...Nothing like sitting quietly with your first cup of coffee and hearing a pair of ducks at the door screaming for their breakfast !

    I take mine for regular walks out away from the house to get them some exercise and let them play. If they are too distracted or won;t get out of the water...a small pouch of cabbage does the trick everytime. Cabbage is like crack for ducks. They can;t get enough and will drop anything to get a bite. Of course mine seem to think its better when they get it from my hand, and will ignore whats been dropped so they can eat out of my hand. Once I get their attention with the treats, they will follow or allow me to pick them up and go home.

    Same routine for dinner....about 5pm each day. I have no need for a clock. The ducks will let me know when its 5. Some folks do not think that ducks have much going on upstairs....but I'm here to tell ya that they can figure out things and they DO learn beyond routine. Mine learn new things all the time. If I hold one the other sits by my foot waiting his/her turn. My drake loves to ride on my shoulder and hang his head in a shirt pocket. he knows that a bump against my head gets me to rub his...He knows to fly off and into his pen at night, and to step down when I place my hands a certain way as to catch him when he steps off....My female has a certain sound she makes when she wants down, and they both will attempt to "hold it" while I'm holding them. Too often they "go" just after I set them down.

    So my advice is to raise them by hand the first couple months, and find what they like and spend the time with them. They are loyal and affectionate as pets and a comedy show all by themselves.
     
  10. RLipinski10

    RLipinski10 Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband and I have four ducks (two Pekins and two Rouens) and 12 chickens. The ducks are a lot more messy than the chickens. We can't keep our waterer inside because when the ducks drink, the water sprays out the side of their bills. BUT, I. Love. Them! Then again, I've always loved ducks. They're goofy and funny quacking, watching them "waddle", the cute noises they make when they drink, and watching them play in our pond. [​IMG] I only wish we would have started out with just one Pekin and one Rouen but oh well. And actually, we plan on getting a couple more this spring. A runner and a call duck. So yes they're more messy but in my opinion, worth it. If you like eggs, our two Pekins lay eggs. (they're both female. The Rouens are males.) They're bigger than chicken eggs. But you can use duck eggs the same as you use chicken eggs and we don't notice a difference.
     

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