Want to get ducks, Never had them before!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Scottyhorse, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Scottyhorse

    Scottyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2012
    Eastern Wa
    Hi there! We live on a small farm, with horses, chickens, goats, cats, dogs, guinea pigs.... I want to get 2 or 3 ducks. They don't have to lay eggs, they don't have to give meat. They would be just for pets. What breed would be best? I would like ones that would eat out of our hands, and would let me pet them. I don't need to be able to hold them, either. They just need to be tame enough to be around. I mean, if they like being held, great!!! It might be fun to do 4-H with them too! I've heard drake are friendliest, but I think it would be cool to get a pair or trio that would breed, so we could sell the babies. But I don't care! I just think that ducklings are super cute [​IMG]Whatever is best for the ducks.

    The breed I don't want is a Muscovy, I just don't like the looks.

    Also, since I have never had ducks before, what do they need? Our chickens free range, so I suppose the ducks would too. But maybe not, because they can't go into the horse trough!
    What kind of food, etc...

    Thanks!!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    Ducks are a great choice! You will want to start with new hatches, if you want them tame. Most ducks are a little skittish, but a Peking duck is probably the most likely to be sociable with you, other than Muscovy's (since you don't like them, but they are smarter and tamer). Try to purchase a trio from somebody as youngsters, unless you can find somebody who has all ready tamed down their ducks.

    Ducks eat like chickens, once they are adults. Youngsters need a higher protein starter (I use game bird starter) then unmedicated feeds for chickens for growth, and later production (or egg layer).

    Ducks need good protection. A sitting duck is still a sitting duck. Easy to catch, and tasty and fun from a dog or predators point of view. Its important that they be in a pen, or have access to a pond for escape (days only) you really must shut them up in a secure pen or building for their safety at night. I'm not kidding.

    If you look below, down in my signature section, you will find a link to a duck article "ducks, the other egg layer". I suggest you read it. Feel free to post or PM me with further questions.

    Good Luck, and your GONNA LOVE DUCK OWNERSHIP!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    There are a group of stickies at the top of this section, read them all. Visit metzers site and use their breed comparison chart to learn about various breeds of ducks. Wanting only 2 or three and not caring about eggs you need to be aware of your purchasing. Dont get two drakes and a duck, the duck could be injured from over breeding by the drakes. Also if you choose all ducks then you will have eggs, but no over breeding or unwanted/prepared for ducklings. If you get all drakes be prepared to keep them separated from the chickens, drakes once mature can try and breed the chickens and it can kill them.

    Ducks like mud and water, LOTS of water. They need a water source as long as food is made available to them. This means if you give them food at night in their secure from predators house they need water as well. They need water deep enough to dunk their entire bill and clear their nares. The chicken auto waters wont cut it.

    Ducks will dabble anywhere there is water, stomp in it, drink it, bath in it.

    They do NOT need a large pond, a small kiddie pool is plenty for them. You however will have to dump it, clean it and refill it. They need clean water.

    We prefer to feed waterfowl feed to all of our ducks and geese from the beginning. Starter, Maintenance and Layer forms are available. Many feed flock raiser to their ducks once they are mature.

    again I suggest you read the stickies at the top, they are a wealth of knowledge.
     

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