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thinking of getting ducks! a few questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by birdbrain5, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2010
    i havent gotten any ducks yet, but here are a few questions!

    are ducks like chickens and range during the day and come back to the coop at night to roost?

    can you keep them in a coop and run situation with guineas or chickens? right now i only let my older chickens out for a couple hours a day, once my whole flock catches up in age id like to let them out for most of the days, we'll see. would that be ok if i continued that?

    we have a pond down back, is that where they will spend most of thier time?

    are they loud? louder than guinea hens?

    are they messy? people have told me ducks poop everywhere worse than chickens. i only plan to have 3.

    i have young guinea keets and chicks i am raising together, once old enough id like to see them all range together rather than go off in seperate groups. i know this is just what im hoping not what will definetly happen, but will ducks stick with the flock or go off to seek the water rather than range around the yard?

    what breed of duck would i be best off getting? i do not plan to eat them. just looking for some colorful cute ducks to have around. friendly and that will stick around.

    any other advice you want to share would be appreciated too!
    thanks!
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Ducks usually need to be herded in at night from free ranging. Training them to go into the coop at night can take awhile even when they don't free range.

    I would recommend having the ducks separate from other birds. Plenty of people keep them together without problems, but here's why I'm against it- drakes can be very rough on chickens, and ducks are just plain messy. Ducks = mud. And other birds usually don't do well with mud and water everywhere.

    If you let them free range, they will most definitely spend their time at the pond. They will be very vulnerable to predators on a pond, they can even be killed by snapping turtles.

    They can be pretty loud. Nothing like a rooster, but loud. The males are very quiet, but the girls can work up to a good loud quack.

    Ducks will stick together while free ranging, but I don't think they'll stick around any other birds. They usually have their own little clique.

    Any duck breed will be good as a pet. Mallards and Muscovies can fly and would need their wings clipped, but that's it.

    Good luck!
     
  3. GMT

    GMT Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2010
    Tucson
    Quote:Nope. Unlike chickens, ducks have some ability to see in the dark. They need to be taught to go back to the coop. Or else, herded home every night.

    can you keep them in a coop and run situation with guineas or chickens? right now i only let my older chickens out for a couple hours a day, once my whole flock catches up in age id like to let them out for most of the days, we'll see. would that be ok if i continued that?

    Ducks are messy. They'll transform the area around any water source into a soggy mess.

    we have a pond down back, is that where they will spend most of thier time?

    If you let them, yes.

    are they loud? louder than guinea hens?

    The girls are loud. They'll constantly chatter when not quacking loudly about some darned thing or another. Sometimes, they'll engage in synchronized quacking. Not having guineafowl, I couldn't give you a comparison.

    what breed of duck would i be best off getting? i do not plan to eat them. just looking for some colorful cute ducks to have around. friendly and that will stick around.

    Get one of the bigger Mallard-based breeds, like a Rouen. They're just as colorful, but don't fly nearly as well. It's claimed that domestic ducks don't fly, but from what I've seen, nobody has bothered to inform the ducks of this fact. The lighter-weight ones can fly just well enough to get over fences . . . so to be on the safe side, you'll have to clip wing feathers.​
     
  4. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    are ducks like chickens and range during the day and come back to the coop at night to roost?

    i have 1 duck 1 goose and 7 hens. at night the duck is first to go in then the hens and then the goose

    can you keep them in a coop and run situation with guineas or chickens? right now i only let my older chickens out for a couple hours a day, once my whole flock catches up in age id like to let them out for most of the days, we'll see. would that be ok if i continued that?

    my duck and goose live with my hens and they get along great. the duck is more attached to the goose then the chickens and the goose is more attached to the chickens then the duck. they are all housed together and they are all great buddies [​IMG]

    my duck will go in her kiddie pool about ten times a day for a few minutes. she is a muscovy and they swim a lot less then other breeds. runners, perkins, and muscovies dont need much water because they dont have large oil glands.

    my duck thinks the goose is a duck (goose is young so they are close in size) so she follows mainly the goose but will also follow the chickens. if you got a broody hen to hatch raise your ducks then they will definitely stick in the same flock.


    are they loud? louder than guinea hens?

    i would say about the same. you could probably compare the noise level to a goose honking (other then muscovy). visit someone who has ducks or even watch some videos on youtube put the volume up and you will get the idea. before i got my goose i was worried her honking might drive the neighbors crazy. turns out its a lot quieter then people make it out to be. I think if a guinea hen is the noise limit you should only have muscovies. if its all right if it a bit louder then you should be ok with a medium noise level duck.

    what breed of duck would i be best off getting? i do not plan to eat them. just looking for some colorful cute ducks to have around. friendly and that will stick around.

    ive never had any breeds other then muscovy so i dont have much experience. i would vote muscovy though
    -they are quiet and unlike other ducks they dont quack only hiss
    - a lot of people say that they are the friendliest breed. many people have wrote that their other ducks will become more afraid when they re adults but the muscovies are always friendly.
    - they love to eat flies and other bugs. ive read they can eat up to 30 X more flies then an average fly trap
    only problem is you should clip the wings incase they try to fly up to a tree to roost at night.
    their is a new law against muscovies that bans people from selling them. their are now wild ones in texas and they are worried the feral ones will breed. that means it can be hard to get them but some farms have them and some breeders.
    runners would be a good choice to. every time i see one i crack up [​IMG] just watch a video of one of them and you will know what i mean. they are average noise level and great layers. you might want to avoid calls because they are at the top of the noise level scale. Rouen are said to be calm and they dont wander far from their coop. crested are unique looking and friendly.
    this is a helpfull site for breeds
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm
     
  5. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    If you are looking for quiet ducks. Muscoveys would be the way to go. I think all ducks are quieter than guineas. (can't stand the noise of guineas myself lol). You can keep ducks and chickens togther. I find with my muscoveys some will go back by themselves at night and some won't.
     
  6. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for all the advice, very helpful! i do worry about predators, but have yet to have any issues. the only thing i am thinking about is the pond is thru a wooded path, not exactly open so i guess it would be easier for predators to hide and attack. i have 2 dogs on the property, but they stay close by the house. maybe if i got 5 id be better off? you know, the more eyes the better? also, what if i didnt clip wings, that way they could have some defense to fly from predators? or would they just take off? i feel like clipping wings and cutting cat claws are the same, it takes away thier natural defense, unless housed 24/7 that is. not knocking anyone who does im just asking if anyone thinks im better off to not clip the wings? [​IMG]
     
  7. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Quote:if you have heavy or medium size breed they really cant fly. muscovies and calls are basiclly the only who have the wings clipped and many people have muscovies without clipping the wings and they stick around fine.
     
  8. DuckyMom

    DuckyMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Ducks are wonderful! they will hapilly range during the day and if you feed them at a regular time they will come back for dinner at night!
    I don't recomend putting ducks and chickens together, chickens will often become agressive twards the ducks and can even kill them. not to mention alot of chicken feeds can be harmful or kill ducks (especially medicated feed)
    Feamales can get loud (especially breeds like calls!)[​IMG]
    I would recomend Indian Runners! they are easily herded happy go lucky ducks who dont need much water and lay really well! they arnt very broody which is good if you want eggs, not so good if you want ducklings [​IMG]
    Ducks are such great little buddies to have running about!
    Good Luck![​IMG]
     
  9. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    layer feed isn't great for ducks so i make my own feed and feed it to my mixed flock. they birds love it way more hen the commercial feed. my chickens can ometimes get a bit bossy toward duck. they steal treats from her but she has recently started bitting them on the butt if they try to mess with her. with a duck with chickens i also find it too messy for the deep litter system. instead i clean it once a month.
     
  10. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    I have chickens and ducks that live together happily. There is a pecking order with the chickens at the top, but the ducks stay out of their way most of the time. One of the chickens is really nice to them because she is their mum! I house them in the same wooden shed, with the chickens roosting on bars higher up and the ducks snuggling on the floor underneath the shelf where the nesting boxes are, so they don't get pooped on in the night! It does need cleaning out more frequently than when I just had chickens in there. For example, before the ducks moved in, it was cleaned out once a month. I use a mixed horse bedding which is laid deep, say about 4 inches. Now I have to clean it once a week. Duck poop is very watery, so a good absorbent bedding is essential. This is good outside though as the poop just melts into the grass and fertilises it, it does not dry on top in cakes like chicken poop.

    My ducks learned quickly and put themselves to bed only one night after being put into the shed! They stay out a bit later than the chickens though, who like to roost at dusk.

    If you have a large enough area for them to free range, then the muddy mess that the ducks make will not impact on the chickens. It is if you keep them in too small a space together that the whole place will turn to mud. It sounds as though you have a large area if they can walk through woods to the pond. They will also be cheaper to keep if they can forage a lot of their food themselves and it is better nutrition for them.

    Lots of people will have different experiences and advice to give. This is just mine.

    I would recommend runner ducks, just because I have them and am totally biased. [​IMG] They will lay lots of eggs, are easy to keep, funny to watch and not too loud.

    Why don't you post some pics of your available space and pond, as this might elicit some more specific advice. You need to go to "uploads" at the top of the page on the blue bar, and another window will open. You then browse your own computer and add in pics, which once uploaded, you just drag and drop the link. It took me ages to find out this myself, but it is really easy to do.
     

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