1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Thinking About Getting Ducks, Looking For Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by WalkerNom, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. WalkerNom

    WalkerNom Chillin' With My Peeps

    147
    30
    66
    Mar 15, 2017
    Delaware, USA
    Hey everyone! I'm new to ducks and chickens, I've never owned either before. However, I'm interested in getting a few Indian Runner Ducklings.

    I haven't found anyone local with runners so I will most likely have to have them shipped to me. So I'd like to know:

    1. Have you ever had ducklings shipped to you? If so, from where?

    Me and my grandma were thinking about ordering some together since we both want some as pets. BUT we don't want too many so we will probably settle on about four (two for her, two for me).

    2. Is it worth it to ship just four ducklings?

    3. To be sure the ducklings survive, should I order more and then try and find homes for the extras?

    Ok, now that I've got that out of the way, I'm still trying to learn everything I can about caring for ducks and specifics about the breed...

    4. In your opinion, do Runners make good pets?

    5. What are some common health issues I should look out for?

    That's all the questions I can think of for now, but I'll add more if I think of some. Thank you to anyone that can provide answers for me!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,616
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It's worth it if that's what you want to do. Perhaps the place you are ordering from will include a heat pack. If they don't, most places won't ship just a few birds.
    I know that ducklings need more thiamine than chicks.

    Haven't had runners so I don't know about the pet aspect.

    Metzer farms website has great information on waterfowl raising.
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/RearingInstructions.cfm?affiliate=undef&CustID=14851985
     
  3. mlh328

    mlh328 Out Of The Brooder

    66
    14
    37
    Sep 2, 2016
    Butte, MT
    I ordered just 3 ducklings from Metzer's Farm. I would recommend them. They are in California. They shipped on Monday and arrived to me safe and healthy to Montana super early Wednesday morning. To me it was worth it because for a little extra charge you can pick which sex you want so you don't end up with too many boys. They do charge extra for small orders, can't remember how much I paid. They included a heat pack and gro gel. I don't have experience with runners but they are cute! Check out the runner thread on here for more on that particular breed. I have Cayugas only. I have not had any health problems with mine, so no advice on that. Good luck!!
     
  4. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,548
    205
    186
    Mar 31, 2015
    North Idaho
    Hi, i think if you only want pets its definatly worth ordering so that you can buy sexed girls. If you wont be breeding you dont want any males. They can hurt the girls if there is too few. And they males will fight amongst themselves.
    I recently ordered 10- female runner ducklings from metzer farms. They are 1 1/2 weeks old. Shipped on a monday, arrived at post office wednesday.
    Very healthy, all alive, and active.
    I only have runner ducklings and a couple khaki campbells.
    They are so far fantastic pets. You have to spend alot of time with them so they arent afraid of you . Ducklings can be very skittish if you dont spend enuf time with them.
    The runners are so friendly. They love climbing up on my lap and they will fall asleep. :)
    [​IMG]
    Thats my little blue runner duckling- olivia
     
  5. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    When we ordered our original ducklings from Meyers Hatchery, I wanted to end up with four, so I ordered six females. From everything I had read, I assumed that we would probably lose two, either from inexperience, predators, sickness, not actually being female, etc. As it turned out, the ducks are now seven months old and the only one who has died had some kind of genetic disorder that we couldn't do anything about.

    Personally, I think people should get no fewer than 3 ducks because that way if one dies, the other two still have each other.

    I think that having a proper diet appropriate for each age group will help avoid a lot of problems because a well-feed duckling is going to be stronger, etc. And niacin. Make sure they get enough niacin when they are little.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. WalkerNom

    WalkerNom Chillin' With My Peeps

    147
    30
    66
    Mar 15, 2017
    Delaware, USA
    Sounds like Metzers is the place to go, which is good because I was already looking at their site. However, it's in California...I'm all the way on the other side of the country (east coast). Is that too far??

    @Ducks4us - Ahhh! What a cutie! How did you know that I was looking for a picture of a blue duckling?? I like the blues and blacks the most and I think you just drove the final nail in my decision :b

    @Krazyquilts - Thats a new place, I'll have to check them out! Ok, good to know, I'll talk to my grandma and we will consider getting trio's instead. I was just worried about getting overwhelmed with too many ducks. Everyone I've talked to said they'd rather get chickens because ducks are messy.
     
  7. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,548
    205
    186
    Mar 31, 2015
    North Idaho
    Oh i read lots of reviews from others ordering just as far as you, and they still did great. Another couple weeks and the weather will prob be a little better too. Best to get on and pick the date you want while they are still available. They have shipping dates and availability for the next 3 or 4 months.
    And i agree, 3 is better just in case. And runner ducks are small compared to like pekins and such. So a 3rd prob wont be much different when it comes to mess.
    I also love the little blue ones!! I ordered 10- so i got 2 blue, 2 chocolate, 2 black, and 4 fawn and white. I wanted to be sure to get each color lol:)
    They are sooo cute i love them so much!! But my little blue olivia is one of my favorites, she always has to be on me when im in with them. I will try to get some better pics of them today:) and of the 2 blacks! Just to convince you even more haha:)
     
  8. WalkerNom

    WalkerNom Chillin' With My Peeps

    147
    30
    66
    Mar 15, 2017
    Delaware, USA
    @Ducks4us - Oh ok, those little ducks will be better traveled then me! That's really good to know though since I will be a wreck worrying about them. Can you get them shipped to your house or do you need to pick them up at the post office? I know with reptiles they can be delivered right to your doorstep (signature required though). We still need to go shopping, I don't have anything for brooding yet. I will hurry and pick a date. I think we will try and get a mix as well, I like all the colors truthfully but my grandma likes the fawn/whites. I can't wait to see more pictures of your guys :)

    I will most likely be raising the ducklings since I have more time to spend with them then my grandma.

    For a brooding pen I was going to order an xpen for dogs and line it with a tarp or plastic. That way I can add/take away panels as they need it. Is that a good plan?
     
  9. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,548
    205
    186
    Mar 31, 2015
    North Idaho
    They go to the post office and have you come pick up asap in the morning. That way you get them as soon as possible and they dont have any xtra time in the delivery vehicle.
    The fawn and white are super adorable too! Well they all are:)
    Your xpen sounds like a fantastic way to brood them!!
    [​IMG] here is one of my fawn and whites last night. Behind her is a khaki campbell:)
     
  10. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,835
    180
    224
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    As has been suggested, I'd get 3 each for you and your grandmother, just in case.
    I ordered from Metzer Farms a couple of times and have been happy with their service and my ducklings.
    You will pay a premium since you are ordering a small number, but a heat pack and growgel will help get them to you with no issues.

    I have runners. You will need to make sure to spend as much time with them as you can to keep them friendly - get on their level and just hang with them. Once they are old enough, bribe them with peas. Even if they only see you as a source of peas, they will come to you!

    I've not had issues with sick ducklings or ducks. I had one duck die from an injury and others due to predators. So as long as you are feeding them correctly (they do need extra niacin as ducklings - brewers yeast in their food or straight niacin tablets crushed into their water) and keeping their night house and area clean, they should be fine.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by