Thinking about getting some ducks...would like some opinions.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Anna-MN, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am currently buying duck eggs from a friend and had an epiphany the other day- "I have chickens, why can't I have ducks?". I like baking with duck eggs (especially meringues and custards). My only worry is; I've never had experience with waterfowl. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but I would like to hear from my BYC friends about the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY when it comes to raising ducks (especially in MN). I am thinking about getting a Blue Swedish, Buff, Cayuga, and a Khaki Campbell from McMurray next spring.
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The Pros:

    Slug Control

    Great Tasting Eggs

    Personality. You can't stay sad when you're in the company of ducks [​IMG].

    They are vary hardy fowl

    Plenty more than just aren't coming to mind at the moment

    The Cons:

    They are messy, Whatever mess you are imagining you will probably have to multiple times 2.

    The females can be very loud depending on the breed. If you live in town that can be a problem.

    The Drakes have to be separated if they try to breed your chickens.
     
  3. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    We ventured into ducks just this year. We went into it with a little knowledge but not all that much, I am sad to say. But have learned a lot and BYC has helped bunches. All our birds are grouped in little cliques within the pen, the two older chickens, 4 ducks, and then 4 younger chickens. They pretty much live in harmony together.

    Pros
    -They always keep an eye to the sky. So everyone will know if a hawk is flying around (planes too [​IMG])
    -They are hilarious and fun. Ours loved the summer showers when they were small because they got to go outside and play in the rain and mud while I stood by looking like a crazy woman in a rain coat watching them play.
    -They are great watch dogs. Even when not loose in the yard they will let you know when something/someone is coming for a visit. (Ours is in the pen with our chickens in the back corner of our yard, we only have 1/2 acre, and they let us know if someone is in the driveway still.
    -Just like chickens each one is an individual with his/her own quirks.
    -They are protective of each other and their space (personal space/yard/enclosure).


    Cons
    -They poop a lot.
    -If you provide a pool, you will have to change the water at least once a day. They potty in the swimming water and drink from it. They can get sick drinking poopy water.
    -They poop a lot.
    -Like Kevin565 said depending on breed they can be noisy. We have 1 Pekin and 2 Rouens, right now only 1 quacks loudly. She is the watch duck.
    -They poop a lot
    -Did I mention the poop, cause there is a lot of it. We were amazed at how much more than chickens they do it. Because ours is in a pen area I usually wash the poop into the grass once a day, but that is just me.

    Even with all the mess we wouldn't trade them for anything. I can not wait till ours starts to lay eggs.
     
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  4. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your worried about a loud duck then get a muscovy, they are amazing in every way, and they don't need as much water as other ducks as their oil glands are under developed and they don't decend from the mallard.
    My aunty has a lot of ducks, I keep suggesting to her to get some muscovies but she is put off by the idea (as most people are) by their red comb that forms around their eyes and beak. But this is just a materialistic thing, and can you really hold something against them that they can't control? It's like getting mad at a dog for having 4 legs, well sooorrryy...
    Khaki Campbells are good, especially when they play in mud as you can't really see it due to their colour. I have 2 khaki campbell's and a pekin, and when I change their water, I let them out to play in the puddle, they all sit down together, but when they get up, the campbell's look normal, but the pekin, wow, he ends up looking more like second hand food then a duck.

    Pros of ducks:
    > Males are quiet, females will wake you up if there is a fox, eagle, dingo, evil guy in your yard
    > They lay eggs, mine lay everyday (no, the ducks don't mine like digging for diamonds)
    > You can end up making a bit of money, I don't use duck eggs and they fill up my fridge, so once my Khaki Campbell's start laying I can get a dozen in a week, then I'll sell them by the side of the road.
    > GREAT fertilizer for gardens, just like chicken poop, but, the bigger the poultry, the bigger the poop, the bigger the plant :p
    > Weed, snail, bettle, spider, cockroach, you-name-it-insect control. Once when I was cleaning out their house, there was a huntsman under the paper, so I tried to chase him out with some paper, when he got outside one of the duck gobbled him up and looked at me as if to say got any more?
    > If you decide to breed it will be sooo rewarding to see little fluffy bundles wandering around your yard/pen
    > Mossie control, I had a flodded pot-plant full of mossie larvae, I put it in the duck pen and all of the dead leaves and mossies were gone. So not only do they get rid of bugs, but they get fed while doing so! What more could you ask for?
    > You can train them to come when called (well, not really training), when I raised my ducklings, every time I fed them I heard them call out "QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK" so when I fed them I'd mock them and yell out "DUCK DUCK DUCK DUCK" and now they associate "DUCK DUCK DUCK DUCK" with being fed, so they come running to me and stand at my feet. You'll impress your friends as you show them a big flock of ducks come running towards you and have them hault at your feet eargerly awaiting your reaction.
    > You don't have to buy fancy bedding for them, I use newspapers that I get for free at supermarkets and places like that, and the ducks are non the wiser.
    > Have a look at how many pros there are compared to cons, and yes, I am counting this as another pro, so you do too.
    > The like cuddles (I'm assuming), I picked up Ms Fav (Daffy) this arvo, and she huddled under my neck, aww...

    Cons of ducks:
    > They can't control when they poop so you can't toilet-train them
    > They are happy to poop in their beds
    > They do have a pecking order and will express this to the poor duck at the bottom of this order, but they arn't as bad as chickens. nooo way. I've seen chickens peck to death this one chicken who had a broken leg, when I saw what they were doing, it ruined my view of chickens, and I can never really see a good side in them now. Sad to say.
    They don't clean up after themselves, which means you'll have to.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2012
  5. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd like to add one more to the cons section. As Muscovies live in South Florida, the temp can get down to -15 or so, and in Australia, it gets up to 40, and no matter what, they know how to keep warm/hot. Weather it is cuddling uptogether in the corner of their house to putting cool dirt and water in their feather.

    p.s. I win for having the longest post :D heh heh heh >:D
     
  6. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lots of great info so far! Thank you- keep it coming [​IMG]
     
  7. Blondiega1

    Blondiega1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did anyone mention the amount of poop yet? [​IMG]
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Oh, right, the much-coveted duck-made fertilizer. Wonderful material! The gardeners, your compost pile, and your plants will love you for it!

    As with anything, proper management makes all the difference.
     
  9. new2ducks

    new2ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good company and funny to watch! They each have thier own little personality...and YES I agree for the fertilizer...the poo is fantastic! I'll even rake up the dirty straw and put it around my trees. And it's such a special thing for them to come up and eat right out of your hands.
     
  10. new2ducks

    new2ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yeah if you love ducks you have to love mud! I refer to them as my littlepigs with feathers! I wouldn't trade them for anything though!
     

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