Thinking of aquiring ducks? Please advise.....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dkosh, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    111
    Jul 6, 2010
    Eastern MA
    Hello!
    I'm a farmer of sheep and chickens but over the past couple of years I've had more and more customers asking for duck eggs. I'm located in Southeastern MA. Over the past 6 months or so I've been giving it serious thought. I need to know a few things that I was hoping someone could help me with.

    1.)Do all ducks require water to swim in?

    2.)Do they lay all year like chickens?

    3.)Can they eat layer pellets or is it a special grain?

    4.)What kind of shelter do they need?

    5.)How winter hardy are they?

    6.)What breed is best for laying?

    7.)How much do you charge for eggs?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Aria

    Aria Chillin' With My Peeps

    957
    526
    210
    Oct 15, 2010
    We had Call Ducks and a POND. Ducks need LOTS OF WATER and they are messy.
    Same shelter as chickens. Same food as Chickens. Want to be out in Winter.
    You need to DRIVE them in.

    Chickens go in and out by themselves. Our Ducks only layed eggs once a year. Chickens lay every day.

    We had Call Ducks for many years. Now we have Silkie Chickens. WE PREFER CHICKENS. THEY ARE MUCH EASIER TO RAISE...AND YOU CAN TAKE A VACATION. Aria
     
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    6,636
    44
    258
    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Quote:
     
  4. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,086
    19
    166
    Feb 20, 2011
    Franktown
    I got a duck who got bored with the chooks and ran away after 2 days.
     
  5. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    111
    Jul 6, 2010
    Eastern MA
    Thank you for responding so quickly. I do have a pond type wet area but it isn't near the chickens. I need to think hard but I'm still interested in them. What type would be considered the most hardy?
     
  6. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    111
    Jul 6, 2010
    Eastern MA
    Sorry about my lack of duck knoweledge but what is a chook?
     
  7. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    6,636
    44
    258
    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    A chook is a chicken. My ducks seem hardier, they haven't needed to be wormed or got mites like my chickens yet. Ducks are messy, if you can feed and water them away from their coop it'll help a lot. Mine are with my chickens and follow them in at night generally. If not it takes me about 2 seconds to herd them in. Any duck besides maybe calls or silkie ducks are relatively hardy and can deal with most weather easily. Muscovies don't need water as much as other ducks, but I think are only seasonal layers.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,064
    2,094
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    [​IMG]

    to the Duck Forum!


    A chook is a chicken.

    Look into dual purpose ducks because where you live, it seems to me that meatier ducks will manage better in the winter without lots of extra effort. I have Runners and they lay beautifully, almost year 'round (breaks for molting), but these girls are muscle and not much insulation, so I keep them in the walkout unheated basement at night and on stormy days.

    Ditto about water to bathe in.

    Duck eggs sell around here for up to $1 an egg. Yes, $1 an egg. Don't know what your market would bear, but I am also in New England.

    Ducks really need extra help staying safe from predators. They do not seem to be as susceptible to many of the diseases that plague chickens.

    I have a flock of eleven, nine Runners and two Buff Orpingtons. They are all great layers. As I said, the Runners haven't read the books that tell me how hardy they are, so I keep them above 40F at night (saves a tad on feed bills, too, to keep them warmer). They are all quite healthy. I get rave reviews on their eggs.

    Look into breeds with different colored eggs, too, it appears people really enjoy "Easter eggs."

    Much success and healthy ducks!
     
  9. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    111
    Jul 6, 2010
    Eastern MA
    Thanks! I was thinking runners. They are very cute too. I have one goose (gander) that stays in with my chickens. The chickens don't bother him. Would the ducks be about the same with the chickens? What about the goose? Do geese and ducks get along? Sorry to sound so foolish with these questions but you guys are helping alot with your info.
     
  10. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    7,176
    10
    241
    Apr 28, 2011
    TN
    Quote:
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by