Talk to me about Ancona ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kara_leigh, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found two 1-week-old Ancona ducklings on Craigslist, so we are picking them up on Sunday. We are getting them mainly for pets. We live on 5 acres, and our chickens free range all day long, so I think that ducks will be happy here. We also get TONS of banana slugs, so they will be happy. lol I've always wanted to get some ducks, but I wanted to get used to chickens first. We've had chickens for almost a full year, so I think we are ready.

    Are they as friendly as I've read they are? We are becoming foster parents and will have little ones around and people coming and going a lot, so we need a breed that won't be aggressive with strangers.

    Is there anything else you can tell me about them?? Any tips about raising ducklings? Is one week old (actually they will be close to 2 weeks when we pick them up) too old for them to imprint?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  2. Rosepath Garden

    Rosepath Garden Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2012
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    Lucky you I love the Anconas. At two weeks they will need to be in a brooder, I prefer inside with a heat lamp for the extra contact with my three sons who are 6,3 and one (they get handled alot early on) and they get used to the sounds of a busy family.
     
  3. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love my anconas. I have 2 (a breeding pair) my hen came from a hatchery, so she doesnt have very nice markings, but she is one of my sweetest ducks in the yard. However, my drake came from a large farm in GA, so he isnt as friendly. I love them both to bits. My hen was my best layer last year as well.

    As rosepath said, they need to be in a brooder, with a heat lamp, and if they are kept outside, they need to have a brooder where no draft can get in. inside would be best so they get bonded to you. They will still bond to you I think, as long as you hold and cuddle them daily :love

    Anconas come in lots of colors, blue, black, silver, chocolate, lavender, lilac (i think), and tricolor, theres probably more that I missed. They are beautiful creatures, very rare, and docile. A good breed for people starting out.
     
  4. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2011
    Bradleyville, MO
    We have a brooder from our chicks, and we usually keep them in our house until they are around 4 weeks old, then I move them to my husband's shop until they are old enough to go in the coop. I'll probably do something similar with the ducks, but I may keep them inside longer since there will only be two of them. I am a stay at home mom, so I'm home all day, and I like to spend a lot of time holding and talking to my animals throughout the day.

    This is the picture of them, but I'm not sure which ones I will get.

    [​IMG]

    Can they eat regular non-medicated (I know that is a MUST) chick feed, or do they need duck specific feed?

    I know they need to be able to submerge their heads in the water, but not get into it until they are older. How old do they have to be until they can swim?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  5. Rosepath Garden

    Rosepath Garden Out Of The Brooder

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    I use non medicated chick feed because thats what me feed store carries.
    Swimming I thinks isn't possible till fully feathered. The ducklings lack an oil gland.
    In the wild mama oils her ducklings.
     
  6. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use the same as rose path. And I will let my ducklings swin once a day, for a few minutes. And I stay by them 24/7 so they dont sink.
     
  7. lovin my birds

    lovin my birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh anconas are so lovely! They where my first ever ducks and although I now have other breeds I love them the most still. They are so sweet and loving. I would recomend them to anyone in a heart beat. Will you get a choice on those ducklings? Or will the seller just pick 2 out for you? If you get to choose go for the ones with the most splochy look, well I guess you dont have to since you arent wanting to breed them. But the ones with the irregular patterns are better quality. The ones with the black on the head and back like you see on most of them is not a good trait for showing. But they are all cute just reach on it and take you some ducklings. Trust me once you see them you will want them all. Lol!
     
  8. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducklings have different nutritional requirements than chicks. I'd recommend getting Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread (I really should get a commission, I recommend this book so much!). [​IMG] It covers everything from nutrition and health, diseases, breeding, etc.
     
  9. toadbriar

    toadbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on the ducklings and foster parenting, it sounds exciting over at your place!

    here's a simple brooder setup:
    [​IMG]
    (
    boxer nanny is not strictly necessary but don't tell him I said that)

    They grow so doggone fast though, and stop needing the lamp a lot sooner than books say. I don't think the books assume I am raising them inside the house but in a barn. Anyhow their behavior tells me when they're done needing extra heat.
    After a few days I upgrade them to a simple cardboard corral:
    [​IMG]
    I use the incontinence pads to catch the inevitable mess, and as the cardboard gets gross, it gets composted & replaced with fresh..

    here's how we do the water, gladware with hole cut in lid:
    [​IMG]
    make sure you enlarge the hole as needed... or you'll come in to find someone wearing the lid as a collar. Guess how I learned that!

    Mine are very chill but are more inclined to get out of your way, than suffer being picked up. But they will happily take peas and green beans from anyone who's offering.

    [​IMG]
    Bramlet loves me because OOO SNACKS!

    I use Mazuri waterfowl starter for mine. If I couldn't get that I'd choose gamebird starter. Start giving treats of fine chopped greens and peas and some of those lovely slugs, these will help give them the niacin they need, and they'll associate you with awesome snacktime. Call them the same way every time you bring treats, and you'll be able to call them in whenever you need to later on.

    Here's how they look at 11 days:
    [​IMG]

    and then three weeks:
    [​IMG]

    I let mine swim in warm water after the first week but I carefully dry them off. I think it stimulates them to preen and get the oil worked through their feathers. Make sure the water is warm. Expect to get splashed ;)
    [​IMG]

    You are in for some fun. And mess ;) The chickens don't do mess like ducks do mess. For instance this took about four minutes from clean fresh and new:
    [​IMG]
    They poop like projectile liquid pooping were an Olympic sport and they were being judged for distance, quantity, and frequency. They're all gold medalists. Everyone is a winner.

    You're gonna have fun ;)
     
  10. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are some of my Ancona ducklings that hatched this weekend:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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