Thinking about ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Leonard4, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Leonard4

    Leonard4 New Egg

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    Hi everyone! I'm new here. Last year we tossed around the idea of getting a couple chickens for the backyard, but we put that on hold because we had just moved in.

    Recently I've been thinking about getting a couple ducks instead. My daughter loves ducks, they seems more sociable, and I've heard the eggs are delicious and very nutritious. We'd be raising them for pets and eggs. I am checking with my town to see if we are allowed to keep them, but in the meantime, I thought I'd do some research.

    If I order some ducklings or buy some, am I able to pick them sex of the duck (I'm not interested in breeding, so I'd only get females)? I read something about "sexing". Being a beginner, I have no idea what this means. I also read that Cayuga ducks are have good personalities, but do they lay well too?

    Also, and this is my major issue, we have a Brittany Spaniel, which is a bird dog. Our neighbors have a chicken coop in close proximity to our backyard, and at first she was interested in them, but mostly just ignores them now. She is on an aerial lead, so I'm thinking that if we put the duck house where she can't reach it, that would be best. Or should I even bother? In my head I'm thinking that if we get ducklings and she introduced to them, she will be used to them and ignore them.

    Any advice on this, and how to get started, would be so great. Thanks!!
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you only want females, you want to order sexed birds, otherwise you get the luck of the draw.
    Here's a good breed comparison chart
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm

    I brought in a few ducks to a doberman and a greyhound. My ducklings poked any noses that got close to them and the dogs haven't bothered them.
    We do have a new doberman puppy and he's still got a way to go. He's not out to eat them, but does want to play and loves it when they run. Still working on that.
    I free range my ducks and the dogs don't bother them. Hopefully the new pup will get there as well.
     
  3. Ren2014

    Ren2014 Blessed Beyond Hope Premium Member

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    [​IMG] check out this link about raising ducklings https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    Chickens can be sociable and make good pets also. My Buff Orpingtons are the most sociable. [​IMG] to you for doing your research. 'Sexing' means checking for gender. You definitely want to buy them sexed so you get all girls. I'm not familiar with Cayugas, but Khaki Campbells are top layers and have good personalities.

    A few things I wish I had paid more attention to before getting ducks.
    1. Ducks are very loud.
    2. Ducklings grow faster than weeds. Make sure you have your housing ready to go because they will out grow the brooder very quickly.
    3. Ducks poop A LOT... I read after buying mine, that they can not hold their bowels. I don't necessarily agree with this now that I've had broody mamas.... I've seen them come off the nests after sitting days straight and then KA-BOOM.. poop everywhere.
    4. Ducks love mud and love to make a muddy mess of their yard or any where they find a puddle of water.
    5. ONE and THREE need repeating... Ducks are LOUD and ducks poop A LOT

    Dogs can be trained to leave the flock alone. Only you know if yours is capable of doing so. Something to think about is if you plan to free range your ducks. Your dog may be on a lead but that doesn't keep the ducks from going into your dog's area.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  4. 2springers

    2springers New Egg

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    Hi, we have springer spaniels, they are very similar to a brittney. The instinct to hunt birds is very strong in spaniels so any birds you own should be caged away from your dog. It would not be fair to expect a bird dog to leave the ducks alone without a barrier.
    I have many chickens and a pair of grey call ducks. One of my dogs once got a hold of one of my chickens but I did not punish the dog. I told him to "drop it" and he did. It was my fault that he got the chicken, he was just doing what a bird dog does.
    Teaching your dog the drop it command might be a good idea, it is a useful tool.
    My bird was unharmed by my dog who is a duck hunting companion with a soft mouth.
    Good luck- ducks are super fun
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Ducks are a lot of fun. Very entertaining, they love to play and noodle around touching everything with their bills. They are and can be messy....I have 5 dogs and they all leave my Ducks and Chickens alone...They do quack so if that is an issue? Ducks might not be the right choice?
    Chickens can be noisy too though and not as fun as Ducks.....

    I love Ducks...Great pets..Feathered puppies ....

    Cheers!
     
  6. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello!
    Ducks are awesome! Glad you are considering them.

    I do not have Cayugas, so I can't tell you much about em. Sorry
    Khaki Campbell's are the best layers. I get an egg a day from each of mine. The are very funny birds, curious, inquisitive...they can be a bit skittish about big scary things, but they do get to trust big scary you if you bring them treats enough times [​IMG]

    Spaniel's are very smart, and I am of the belief that you can train any dog to leave something alone. If you dog is still a puppy, you may have a harder time, but once he grows up, he should learn. I have a saint Bernard (not at all a hunting dog), my ducklings had no qualms about running right up to her and tasting her nose. Lol

    Ducks will make mess if they have a water and dirt (water + dirt = MUD). I havent found their poop to be annoying at all, it seems to disappear into the ground faster than chicken's poop. The chickens are also noisier, especially when they lay an egg and then its "squawk squawk squaaaaaaawwwwwk". Ducks do not do that....

    Sexing is hard, I wouldn't recommend tryin to do it yourself. Best bet is to find a hatchery that does it, second best is to get unsexed and get rid of the drakes (male ducks).

    Good luck, let us know what you decide!
     
  7. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello @Leonard4 , and Welcome to BYC!
    Wanna know my opinion? Get ducks [​IMG]

    Most places that sell ducks will give you the option of buying all males, all girls, or straight run, which means that they'll toss in ducklings with random genders. Metzer's gives you the option of choosing the gender of your ducklings, and I think that there is a minimum of two - although, they may charge you extra, I'm not sure [​IMG] . Here's their website: http://www.metzerfarms.com/index.cfm

    Okay. I had two Cayuga ducks up until June of 2016. They were two girls, and they were very, very sweet. I loved them. They were very nice ducks, and pretty too! They wouldn't be exactly thrilled about being picked up, but once they were in your lap, they would snuggle right down and make happy qua. They were skittish sometimes, mostly of new things, or 'scary' things, like the hose [​IMG]...But overall, I loved them. And, both of them never missed a day, as far as egg laying went.

    I've never had a dog around my ducks - actually, the reason my parents let me convince them to get ducks was because we couldn't get a dog! And Brittany Spaniels are beautiful, congratulations... But, that could potentially be a problem - it really depends on your dog, and the precautions you take towards her and the ducks. Also, be sure to socialize ducklings a lot from an early age. Make sure they don't imprint on you, because then they would basically have to live inside, but hold them and regularly give them treats so they know that you and your family is a Good Thing, not Something To Be Afraid Of. Nevertheless, some ducks go through a phase where they will run. From. Everything. Don't be put off by this, just take it a bit slower, and win them over with treats. Hope this helped, and sorry for the Long Post [​IMG]
     
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  8. Leonard4

    Leonard4 New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2017
    Thank you everyone! How do you keep them from imprinting on you? While I would LOVE that, we aren't equipped to keep them in the house.

    The safety of the ducks would be of utmost importance. I would definitely make sure the area is secure. The fact that she doesn't pay much attention to the next door neighbors chickens gives me home.

    Again I so appreciate all the input and will definitely think everything through in full before getting the ducklings!
     
  9. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    They only really imprint when they are babies. They kinda lose it when they grow up. It's really cool though, if you put them out on the grass and walk around they will follow...
    A question: where would you brood them if not in the house?
     
  10. Leonard4

    Leonard4 New Egg

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    I would brood them in the house, in the basement where the dog can't get. Then we would put them outside when they are ready to be outside.
     

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