The Duck Thread

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ZakoHero, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    You don't need a drake for eggs, or for anything but fertilizing them (and some extra drama from time to time!). The drake should be close in size to the ducks - not too big.

    If you just want a drake, first, realize he could spend too much time mating with one or more of the ducks, harming them. Not real likely, but it can happen and you need to know to look out for that.

    Also a drake can be trouble with chickens - he could seriously harm them if he tries to mate with them.

    When they start laying depends on their age, food, environment, and the season. So many variables. How old are they? Are they getting layer feed yet? What is the temperature in their environment?
  2. GAIL328

    GAIL328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2012
    Neptune, NJ USA
    I did the same with a milk jug. It works great.
  3. minmin1258

    minmin1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello Everybody, I just found this thread. Wanted to stop by, say Hello AND show you all my babies (well they're adults now but they're MY babies) and my Duck box set up. Hold on pics to follow...
    That's Darcy- I believe he's a Khaki Cambell
    This is Dingo, also a Khaki Cambell.
    These pics are about 9 months ago.
    My Dog "Chickee" enjoying the duck pond.
    This is my set up. You can see there's a pond in front and a "box"/coop behind.
    And these are my hens:
    Waddle a Khaki Cambell and Blinky a Black Swedish I believe. They were 5 mo old in this picture.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  4. minmin1258

    minmin1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Now my question:
    I have heard that ducks mate for life. Is this true?
    Blinky has issues with her eggs, they have never been good. The ones she lays are soft, and I've seen her "drop" them while walking around the yard as if she were pooing. The girls have free choice oyster shell and I've bn mixing some in their feed to try t get her more. Is this "normal" when they just start laying? She has only lain 6 eggs about 3-4 weeks apart. Can anyone help me figure out what her issue might be, please?
    There have bn NO eggs from her since late Sept. My Khaki Cambelll, Waddle has been laying daily maybe missing one day every other week or so. How can I tell if her eggs are fertile or not and are Khaki Cambells known t go broody?
  5. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    First, no, ducks, unlike geese, do not mate for life. While the female can physiologically choose who "fathers" her offspring ( the male is going to attempt to mate with any female around.

    For Blinky, what type of feed is she getting? A good mixed flock feed or a feed formulated for ducks, with available oyster shell free choice should be adequate What breed is she? She may have just stopped laying due to the shorter days and cold weather.

    Khaki Campbells will lay profusely year round. Laying eggs is their religion and is what their breed was developed for. And, while the odd Khaki Campbell may occasionally go broody and sit a clutch of eggs it is pretty rare. If you are wanting to breed Khakis you will probably need to incubate them or to have a breed available that does go broody and use her to hatch out the Khaki eggs.
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

    I have a flock of Runners and a trio of Buffs. There is one Buff with the Runners, but she is so much a part of that tribe, I forget she's a Buff!

    Anyway, when my Runners were beginning to lay, we regularly saw soft eggs. I think part of that was from how much they were playing hop on top, but I have read that it is not unusual at first.

    My flock is now five years old, and we were still getting up to three soft eggs a day between the two groups. I found that calcium gluconate, 23% solution, added to a couple of tablespoons of mashed peas (about a half teaspoon of the gluconate) helped, but that means separating the soft egg girl and giving her "special." And that's fine, but I felt it was not the best solution. Worked well short term, though.

    For the flock, I added a teaspoon of Ca gluconate per half cup of water added to their feed to make it oatmeal consistency. Yup, some folks will say the feed will mold if you add water, but my Runners generally finish their feed long before it has a chance to mold. I mean, in a few hours. I make small batches. Anyway...

    I also decided recently to try dissolving calcium citrate tablets in water, then adding that to their feed. I started slowly, with 500 mg for the flock per day. We would get a little improvement once a week, so I recently increased to a gram (1,000 mg) for the entire flock per day, most days (I have also recently read that fluctuating the amount of calcium in their feed keeps up their ability to hold on to and release their own internal calcium reserves).

    Since doing that, we have had fewer soft eggs and more regular eggs.

    And here is another thing that has been happening, and I realized last night there is a possibility it might have a small positive effect. I spent very much time with the ducklings, and the ducks their first year or two. Then I wanted to reclaim a place in human society, and reduced the amount of time spent among the flock. Last week I was missing my flock time, so I parked myself with them for an hour, a few times during the week just to enjoy their company. Once I had my laptop, once I just napped on top of some bales of shavings.

    The next day I would see eggs. Once, three, and once, two.

    Maybe it's coincidence. I know that I have not had that time the last few days and I have not seen eggs. . . . Hmmmmmmm….

    Even if it has nothing to do with their laying, I recommend flock time - it is therapeutic for me, and probably for many of us.


    Regarding her not laying, if this is her first year, I might be a little concerned. Do make sure she is getting enough calcium, properly balanced with phosphorus (the ratio numbers are posted somewhere online - I know they're in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks). Watch her - if she is bobbing her tail up and down she may be egg bound. If she seems lethargic, or walks stiff-legged, anything out of the ordinary, she needs help.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  7. minmin1258

    minmin1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow great information from both who responded I really appreciate it.
    First to answer questions in your responses. Blinky is a Black Swedish, this is her first year she's approximately 10months old. She is the one laying soft eggs. I feed them a mixed combination of the following - Layer pellets, Scratch grains, BOSS, Oyster shell, chick grit.
    With the major ingredient being the layer pellet then next most is grain etc. plus between the four of my spoiled babies they get 2cups of dried meal worms (morning and night). They free range all day but are locked up in their box at dusk. I have a flock of 36 chickens that includes 7 roosters/cockerels but these ducks are the flock protectors. The chickens only get left out to Freerange from 3p-dusk because the neighbors dog gets out occasionally and terrorizes them but he's learned not to chase the ducks the hard way!
    I will try the Calcium Carbonate for them and see if that helps Blinky. It probably wouldn't hurt any of the ducks to supplement some calcium so may try putting it in their waterer inside the duck pen.
    This is my first year with ducks, I love their personalities!!! Boy do I get cussed at (by them) if I don't get out t let them out of their pen before 9a. Which happens about three times a week, because I babysit a tiny baby and have t wait til she is down for her morning nap to do it. The 19 month old and 3yr old love helping with the "Chicken Chores" and the ducks love waddling around them as if the babies are a part of THEIR flock. Lol.
  8. FelicitysFarm

    FelicitysFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2014
    Tucson, Az
    Thanks, I think ill stick with my 3 females for now. They are all different breeds.
  9. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2014
    Round Rock, TX
    My little girls are sounding very much female and got a nice warm bath. So much for outside time when it only got into the low 40's today and it's dropping. Here is a pic of them from yesterday too.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  10. minmin1258

    minmin1258 Chillin' With My Peeps


    Happy New Year from Dingo, Waddles, Blinky and Darcy!

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