Should I get ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chickenmomma16, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need the load down on duck ownership. It seems to be more difficult to find info on their care than chickens so I would like to ask people who have ducks.

    I have a decent sized pond in full view of the house they can play in.

    What feed is recommended for them? I don't recall seeing "duck food" at my local feed store.
    What is their housing requirements?

    I came across a few bonded 1yr old mix breed drakes who don't look to be in that great of a situation and thought I can offer them something better. But, I don't want to jump into something I know nothing about.

    So give me ducks 101, and I can see if duckies are right for me!
     
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  2. lmatvey

    lmatvey Out Of The Brooder

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    I love my ducks! They have great personality. It is unusual for the drakes(males) to fight the way chickens do. They are stay healthier and are less prone to disease.
    Ducks love to play in water, but will make it muddy and gross unless it is huge!

    I buy "duck grower" at my local feed store for them in winter. About $13 for 50lbs. Scratch grains in summer for treats.

    As far as housing, my ducks don't do ramps or perches or anything, I have a 10 1/2 by 12 1/2 coop for chickens, ducks, and geese. (they all eat the same stuff) The ducks like to be seperate from the chickens and need some water to wash in. (they also have a strong mud smell in the winter)

    best wishes

    P.S. your library should have some good books about it.
     
  3. sanndd

    sanndd New Egg

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    I have Peking ducks and have a love hate relationship with them. I love them because they have such a great personality, but they are stinky and oh sooo messy! I have 20 right now. 2 drakes and 3 hens are my breeding stock. the rest are the offspring 2 mommas hatched this year that will be fattened up and put in the freezer. They all free range during the day and are put in their own pen in the barn at night. It is the worst chore of the day cleaning the mess they make. But they are just as easy to keep as chickens. they are supplemented at night with hen scratch and in the morning its whatever the treat of the day is. They are Always the first up in the am and the last to go to bed at night. Next year i plan on building them a little "house" that i can clean easier and use a hose to help clean better. so theres my 2cents...lol...good luck in your decision. I always say to at least try everything once....if its not for you well you can at least say you tried!
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Not all feed supplies sell a dedicated duck/waterfowl feed but do check, that varies. Mind you since i own both ducks and chickens i opt for a flock raiser that simplifies the feeding.

    My ducks are out daily and locked up at night, i know some leave their birds on open ponds but i would not feel comfortable with that. Now compared to chickens ducks are definitely messier, they are waterfowl after all lol They love mud, water and burying their bills into the ground.

    On the whole ducks are pretty personable, great foragers and offer a different twist than chickens. Ours are kept for the purpose of eggs and pest control.
     
  5. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will stop in next time I'm in town and see if they have any books.



    I don't mind cleaning poop, I've done it my whole life, but the ducks probably wouldn't do well in the chicken house so they would need a little something to snuggle in by the pond as the chicken house is in the back away from the water and it takes quite a jump for the girls to get in. Haha, also I don't plan on having 20 ducks, my husband already thinks I'm a crazy chicken lady with 20 chickens. :lol: The ducks would only be lawn ornaments.
    Would drakes need a house? I dont need more eggs and all the lady was selling was her males.
     
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Definitely, all ducks need shelter from poor weather and most importantly predators.... I am a strong believer in providing shelter.
     
  7. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The pond is fenced on three sides and the house is situated in front of it. The ducks would have a couple acers of empty pasture to sink their bills into.

    Looks like I will be doing research on duck houses... And large enough to lock them in at night if I choose, and spend time in during poor weather right? How different are they than chicken coop?
     
  8. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Ducks are good but the are really messy! The tip water and poop a lot!
    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  9. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Buckley, Washington
    So does a XXL dog house type building with a longish ramp and enough room for feed and beds (and some opening to make cleaning easier) sound like adequate shelter for 4 bachelors? And maybe a wire mesh lockable door? Is this kinda the right idea for a duck house?
    Do drakes sleep in a "nest" or just where ever they want in a general area?
     
  10. lmatvey

    lmatvey Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in northern minnesota so I provide a substantial shelter, especially when the pond freezes, but I think that set-up would work fine in a little warmer area.
     

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