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Want to Adopt Some Ducklings, Need Some Advice..

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SarahScott, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. SarahScott

    SarahScott New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    Hey all,

    For years, my husband and I have raised chicks from eggs to adulthood, until last summer when we gave birth to our son, we decided it was time to stop keeping chickens. The clincher was when two of the four roosters kept tried to attack my infant son while we were playing in the front yard, and it was either give them away or my husband was going to cook them for dinner [​IMG]

    Now that my son is a little older (he turned 1 last month) we've been talking about adopting some ducklings. My in-laws took him to the zoo a few weeks ago and he was all over the ducks. We bought him a duck DVD and he's all over THAT, too, so my husband thinks he would LOVE his own ducks in the backyard.

    The only problem is, the last time we had ducks was when we first moved into this house maybe 3 or 4 years ago, and I remember both of them being very mean and aggressive, more so than our roosters. The reason my husband got rid of them was because one of them bit me and ripped some skin off my ankle while I was trying to get in my car in the front driveway, and they never stayed in their "duck pond pen" in the back. Never mind how messy and gross they would get on a daily basis..

    My husband is telling me that mallards are very sweet-tempered and good with people, including kids, but I don't know. I haven't found any information online backing that up. Does anyone have any experience? Or is there maybe another breed that's more people-friendly that the ducks we kept before? If we raise them as ducklings - we didn't with the ducks before - do we have a better shot at nicer ducks? Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    if you raise them from ducklings, you have a MUCH better shot at having friendly ducks. if you hatch them and they imprint on you, they will love you sooo much. i got my pekin ducks at a couple weeks old and they were TERRIFIED of people, but now they are much calmer and have never tried to attack us, ever. i love my ducks so much, they are amazing and they are very fun to watch. they are also a good learning experience.

    since your son is so young, i would recommend watching him to make sure that he does not harm the ducklings and that they do not try to bite him. as ducklings, it may be cute and innocent and not hurt at all, but you don't want them to be in the habit of biting. as you have experienced, they can bite hard once they get older.
     
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Wow!! What kind of ducks did you have?? I have NEVER been attacked by a duck!
    Most ducks are not pets. They are usually very skittish, even when raised from babies. There are some exceptions, but that's the norm. My ducks see me every day, and almost all have been raised by me from ducklings. They still run away from me when I get too close.
    I raise pekin, rouen (like mallards) and cayugas, and none of them are aggressive. Mallards can fly pretty well, so that would be something to keep in mind when choosing a breed.
     
  4. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    I can't speak for all mallard owners out there, but mine are horrible. [​IMG]

    They retain most of their wild instincts (Sawyer my mallard drake charges and chases any duck/goose that even comes NEAR "his" khaki campbell...) and will fly off if you don't pinion or clip feathers often. Sawyer even learned how to fly out of a seven (?) foot high pen with his feathers clipped! So needless to say I grabbed scissors and clipped the other wing. I raised mine from ducklings, so I can't say if you'd have more success with eggs. I'd assume so, but like I said, not sure. Khaki Campbells seem to be very skiddish, like mallards. Runner ducks can be skiddish too, but to a lesser degree than the khakis tend to be. My Buff duck and Cayugas are calm (and fat), and my goose! She's got the most personality. I'd go with a couple of geese again before I got ducks. xD

    Ducks are stupid... BUT I LOVE 'EM!
     
  5. Brickman House

    Brickman House Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Wow, I've never been attacked by a duck either! We have Pekins and Blue Swedish, and none of them really want much to do with us, except around mealtime, when they complain (loudly!) if we're late dishing up their food!

    We've raised ours from days old, and while they're not particularly affectionate, they're not nasty at all. They're a lot of fun to watch, and have around, they're just not cuddly like some of our chickens.

    Also, if you're worried about them staying in their pens, you might want to try one of the heavier breeds that are less likely to fly. Our Pekins have about a 1/4 acre fenced off with just two foot high garden fence, and they can't even get over that-- they stay put.

    I might also suggest trying chickens again, just not roosters! Roos can be mean buggers, but the hens are generally nice, sociable critters, especially if you get a people friendly breed and raise them from chicks. We (along with a whole lot of other posters on this board!) are very fond of our Buff Orpingtons, and would definitely recommend the breed.
     
  6. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    I've got three ducks and they are all the sweetest things. As several people have said, they aren't exactly cuddly, but they like to have us near. We got all three of them (3 girls) as ducklings and they got held A LOT but were always skittish. Zipper, our black cayuga, is by far the neediest and always quacks at us and waddles close, but just out of petting reach. She's loud, which can be a problem with ducks if you live in an urban area, but still a sweetie. Baby blue, our blue swede, is the second in command and bullies the other birds and dogs and cats, but never humans. Our Magpie duck is the shyest, always staying about 6 feet behind the other and completely out of our reach. They all come when they are called, with our without food, and try to get in the house whenever we open the back door. I think they believe they are little feathered people.

    As the previous poster said, true mallards tend to fly a lot. All but Muscovies are descendants of mallards, but most of them have been bred too heavy to fly too far. I would check into Khaki Campbells, cayugas or one of the other common breeds. Ducks are constant comics and I've never seen a happier animal than a duck in a new found puddle.

    Also, I agree with getting chickens again, just not roosters. I tried the rooster thing, won't do it again. My buff Orp is my biggest hen (she actually makes a THUD when she jumps from the roost!) but she is a total sweetie. I think the general consensus is that Buff Orps have the mellowist personality. I'd have a whole flock of them if I wasn't so addicted to having a rainbow of colors.

    Best of luck!
     
  7. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Slidell, LA
    I say go for it. You only live once.
     
  8. chickenlisa

    chickenlisa Invincible Summer

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    SarahScott, I notice you are in NJ. I am too.Where are you? I have adult ducks now, and 3 babies who just hatched last Friday...all doing well. I've got 7 more of my ducks' eggs in the bator- due in 3 weeks or so. If you are at all interested, PM me. I can send pics of them all. They are nice. I will be selling the babies who hatch and a few adults. Hope you decide to get ducks though. They are a riot...they make me laugh everytime I see them. Just fill up their pool with clean cool water and then watch them go crazy!
    Lisa
     
  9. SarahScott

    SarahScott New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2009
    New Jersey
    Quote:Thanks, that's what I figured/was hoping! I figure that was the issue with our first ducks, as well, since we adopted them long after they were babies.

    When I say "pets" for my son, I mean only in the way a 1-year-old can have a pet.. and that's by watching them, really [​IMG] We've spent a year now trying to get him acclimated to the cats and the dog, who are much more tolerant of children, and I don't think I'd be ready to let him near any bird for quite a few years! Especially after I was bit myself, LOL.
     
  10. SarahScott

    SarahScott New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    Quote:I don't know what kind of ducks we had, my husband just brought them home one day and was like, look, I bought ducks! He's been trying to turn this place into a farm since day 1 :\\

    The more I hear about pekin the more I like them, but as for flying.. couldn't you just clip their wings?
     

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