thinking about ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lisa lees, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. lisa lees

    lisa lees Out Of The Brooder

    I have been thinking about raising ducks right now I have about 15 hens and 1 rooster anybody have any advise for me . I don't want to get started in tell I know more of what I'm doing. I would love to see some pics if anybody has some
     
  2. emilyrose

    emilyrose Out Of The Brooder

    I'm not sure what exactly to tell you but I do have one peice of advice - don't just chuck them all together and expect them to get along! My parents made the mistake of this many, many years ago when introducing new ducks to their already established flock of chickens and roosters. The roosters become very aggressive as did their drake because they weren't introduced properly. My parents ended up giving a rooster away, eating another and only had one rooster left. Eventually things were okay between them all but that was after many injuries from fights. I also recommend getting the ducks as young as possible, this can decrease the chance of drakes being aggressive but it can sometimes have the opposite effect and make them aggressive. Good luck! :)
     
  3. Mama Ducker

    Mama Ducker Out Of The Brooder

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    Last spring, a fun family project landed us with 8 mallards. I had no experience with ducks or chickens so it proved to be very interesting! We all learned a lot and fell in love! Our 17 year old and our 5 year old have had a great time! We raised them in our kitchen until 5 weeks then put them in a temporary pen inside our fenced in back yard with just a small kiddie pool and a dog house ( which they used maybe twice).
    A few things to consider, do you want flyers? our flew at about 4 months and it was so scary! They always came back but after an over night trip a pair came back and we clipped them that afternoon! Hunting season was coming and we didn't want to take any chance.
    Ducks can be loud! Mallards aren't to bad but I've heard some other breeds are really loud.
    Also, you should have 4 ducks to every 1 drake. This will help reduce fighting between the drakes during mating season. We have 2 drakes and 4 ducks and we really should get a few more females before the spring.
    All in all, out ducks have brought so much joy and laughter to our home, I wouldn't trade them for anything! Good luck!
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I think the first thing to be aware of is how the mess load is compared to chickens, ducks need water not only to eat but to bathe and water brings mud, chickens will come in usually to roost(or flop in the case of our silkies lol) but ducks sometimes need a bit more encouragement to do so.

    Mixing them together is tricky, mainly the mess factor.. my chickens free range and do go into the ducks domain(they free range too) but don't stay around that long due to the mud factor, i wouldn't say they don't get along but they aren't best buds either. Plus one does have to watch roos and drakes, drakes could try and mate hens which can worse case result in death and roos can be aggressive going after ducks, i only have bantam roos here every now & then they try to take on a scovie female? lol that they cannot hold their own too but a larger rooster i can see being a problem.

    As also said you cannot take birds into an established flock without issues, chickens peck and can harm young ducks, mine have all just blended over time but house separate and generally move in differing directions since they free range.

    I'll give you the raising ducklings sticky to give you an idea on the differences... ducks are a great addition, i am actually more duck than chicken here but for some the extra mess is more than they care to deal with, it's not exaggerated and is something that is probably the biggest trade off for ducks, i would also recommend Storey's guide to ducks.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  5. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My only advice is do your research. Sure we can all tell you our experiences and our set ups, but that doesn't mean your experience or set up will work like ours. It doesn't meant either side is wrong , its just what works for one may not for another. Ducks are a great addition, IF you can handle the needs of the ducks, the mess, and additional feed (ducks eat WAY more than chickens). You also need to decide what you want in your ducks. Are they for pets, meat, egg laying, looks, ect. Do you want large ducks or small. Do you want them to be able to fly. I would make a list of the things you want versus do not want. Then research breeds that fit your general criteria. Also take into consideration and predators you may have. I have lost ducks to Bald Eagles.

    Within my flock I have mallards, Rouens, Pekin, and a few mixed breeds. I've had ducks that like to sit on our lap, some that will only come near when we have food, and some that want nothing to do with us. The mallards fly but mostly walk since they stay near some on the flock that doesn't fly.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. lisa lees

    lisa lees Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for the advise everyone its really helpful and gives me a lot more to think about we are planning on moving in march and getting some property and my chickens take a lot of room so I think I'm going to wait in tell we move plus the hole relocation thing does not sound appealing to me since I already have the chore of some how moving my 11 hens and my aggressive rooster I also have 3 baby silkies . I was thinking I would house my ducks with my chickens but it sounds like that is not a good idea lol (I'm new at this :) ) do they even go in at night like chickens do ? Anyway when I get my property I will build a separate place for the ducks away from the chickens hopefully that will work. Waiting gives me more time to learn more about what I'm doing but I'm so excited to get ducks and I will have 2 flocks ducks and chickens lol
     
  7. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they will go in at night, but ducks are so super messy, I would never house ducks & chickens together. Ducks= Mess! Apyl gave you good advice about research.
     
  8. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I currently house my ducks, geese, and chickens together. There hasn't been issues, but come spring when we re-build I do plan to house them separate only because I like to free range and I am wanting to pen the chickens next year. I also have not had issues with adding ducks to the chickens as long as at least 3 are added and they are fully feathered. The chickens just ignore the ducks for the most part.
     

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