thinking of getting some ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by teaspoon, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Hello! I've been raising chickens in my backyard for about five years now. I live in a neighborhood where the houses are fairly close, but since I don't have roosters crowing, no one has complained. In fact, I often get people stopping to ask about the hens, and a few neighbors buy eggs from me. I've always loved ducks but couldn't think of a good reason to get some until a client at work told me about duck breeds that lay as much as chickens. I'd LOVE to get some khaki campbells. I've got an old chicken coop that will easily fit five of six of them. But a farmer friend of mine says that ducks are "loud and messy". Are they much louder than a flock of laying hens? Are there any other concerns that I should be aware of with keeping them? Any advice is welcome! Thanks!

  2. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Best believe it. Ducks are noisy and MESSY. Some breeds are more noisy than others, but they ALL are messy.

    Check with your neighbors before you get any and let them know about the potential noise. Messiness is your problem.
    If you don't check first, they (neighbors) can turn on you and you will need to get rid of the ducks and/or chickens. [​IMG]
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I have 2 Indian Runners. DH wanted to go out and strangle them this morning because they were being so loud. They have since gone back to their quiet selves, but as it cools down here, they get noisy in the morning after they are let out - not usually for too long, but long enough to annoy DH.
  4. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Songster

    Aug 31, 2009
    Messy, yes! Loud, depends.
    There are ways to deal with the mess. Mine are in a shed with a stall mat on the floor. In summer I scrape it out with a pet spade and scoop and in winter I scrape as much as possible, and then pull the corners of the mat up to break up what is frozen and scrape that out. By putting a board across the heated dog dish of water at night, I have stopped much of the water mess because they don't actually get IN the dish any more, but they still make a bit of a mess. The dish is set in a larger black rubber feed pan, so that gets some of the mess too.
    Their water makes the biggest problem in winter which is ice. I throw sand (clean sand, none with chemicals in it) around the icy area which helps. Dumping the pool so it drains in an area we do not walk in is the other thing that helps.
    So, yeah, they make a huge mess. Is it worth it? DEFINITELY. They are fun, funny, silly, and just plain great. I don't have chickens, so I cannot compare, but I adore my ducks.
    The two muscovies we just got are quiet, the pekin, runner and mutt duck we have are LOUD, especially the runner. She is really loud. Of course, the drake is quiet. I live in an area that is on a busy road, but very rural. My ducks are not nearly as loud as the roosters that live a few miles away. Now that is loud!
    So, fwiw, I recommend you do get some. Just do a lot of research first, choose wisely, set up well and you will be in duck heaven soon.
    And, btw [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    All of the other posters are absolutely correct-loud, messy, demand quite a bit of care, etc.
    PLEASE do your research before getting them if you have any doubts at all-ducks are fantastic critters, but so many people just don't understand what it takes to care for them and forget that that adorable little bundle of fluff with the huge feet grows up and becomes a DUCK!
    The only reason I stress this is because so many ducks end up homeless...[​IMG]
    Good luck whatever you decide. [​IMG]

  6. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    I suggest two things before you get into ducks.

    1. Read Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks.
    2. Go to people's homes / farms who have ducks & see them in action, maybe volunteer to help clean out enclosures, etc.

    I went to a lot of different homes & farms with ducks. I met a lot of breeds (and made it a point to interact with breeds I thought I wanted) and watched them in action, talked to their handlers, even did some farm sitting for a friend who had ducks when I had narrowed down my search.

    I read Storey's all the time still, and the connections I made when researching the ducks in their homes have been invaluable too.
    Farmer's Markets and cooperative extensions are a good place to start when looking to meet ducks. Also, I would imagine there are some BYC folks in your area who would be happy to show you their operation, especially if you offered to lend a helping hand.
  7. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I have ducks and chickens. I keep them in separate pens however.

    To me, chickens are robotic and mechanical and are only interested in scratching for food.

    Ducks, are much different. They are real party animals. They will play, then forage, then play some more, etc The ducks certainly are more pleasurable to watch than chickens. Ducks will even "talk" to you. And if your lucky, they will give you the tilted head eyeball.

    My chickens do recognize me when I am going to let them out, but once out, I become "invisible" to them..

    Good luck!
  8. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Songster

    Jun 26, 2011
    Agree with all posts. And I want to stress the messy part. Super stinky, messy and gross at times. My mallards aren't a loud duck so maybe look into that breed, (although they can fly), and you will need to keep them seperate from the chickens or you will have a muddy, wet chicken mess.

    But I LOVE them anyway!!! They have so much personality, and are so entertaining!
  9. Margeaux's house

    Margeaux's house Hatching

    May 27, 2009
    We have Muscovy ducks, and we love them. They don't make noise. They might be a little messy, but a hose with a sprayer washes everything away, and grass is so green. You can also scoop it and use it directly on the yard or flowers. It is not like chicken waste and will not burn things up. We have chickens also, don't think there is too much difference in cleaning up. Get your ducks a childs swimming pool and watch them go. I can tell mine "nighty-nite" and they go to their house. We have lots of chicken eggs, but wait til you get duck eggs. A cake seems fluffier, and cornbread is out of this world. I am looking for a new white drake right now so we can have more. I have one chicken that gets out with the ducks, but the rest of them fight if they get together. Lots of tail pulling.Unless you have lots of room, you might want to consider just hens. Drakes can become somewhat mean. Also hens lay eggs, and lots of them. One of mine hatched 22 and all the babies survived. Now we have two pools.

    Have fun with whatever you decide on.

  10. vickie2133

    vickie2133 Songster

    Jan 30, 2009
    I love my ducks they are some entertaining creatures for sure. They are messy, but I don't have a problem with slugs , snails and such because of them.

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