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Wants to get ducks!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    So I've been wanting ducks for a long time now and I was talking to bf the other night about how one time I processed and cooked them and that they were SO good... he said I want duck! I'm taking that to mean I want duckS... [​IMG]

    So we have an approx 12' x 12' coop where the chickens are, with an attached yard about 25' x 25'. We have a small kiddie pool in there for the chickens. I want to know if this would suitable for adding a small flock of ducks. I was thinking 1 drake and 3 hens. If this is a suitable place to keep them with the chickens then;

    1. How do I keep the feed separate, or do they eat the same things? Could I keep one feeder in the coop for the chickens and one out by the pond for the ducks?

    2. I know they are messy, will they get in the water dish inside the coop if they have the pond outside? They really will only be in the coop to sleep.

    3. What kind of ducks should I get? I want a large breed dual purpose. I don't want them to fly away, but I wouldn't mind if they went over the fence or free-ranged. I don't want Pekins. I was thinking Silver Appleyards (but they are hard to find) or Rouen's?

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

  2. bibkel

    bibkel Chirping

    Dec 4, 2010
    We got babies from Metzer Farms in Gonzales Ca. They are healthy, and they eat the layer pellets. The chickens seem to prefer the mash but it get jammed up in the feeder when the ducks attempt to eat the mash. I find that a trough was the best way to go and the one we use was handmade years ago, out of wood. I like that better, no metal so it is bill friendly.

    Ducklings grow faster than you could imagine and they are wet, messy, stinky and at times LOUD. The boys are non quakers. Cayuga's are beautiful, Rouens look like big mallards. I have Blue Swedish as well and they are beautiful gray with off white chests. Trouble with those is they won't breed true, go to the Metzer site to learn more. Those are dual breeds that I am familiar with. I will not be eating mine. I just wanted to avoid clipping wings.

    I found that the ducks are skittish, they imprint during the first few days and "become" what they have imprinted with. Search imprint for more info. They will never breed if they are imprinted with humans and don't have other ducks around until later. If there is a mix of human and duck imprint, it's best of both worlds.
    Mine are not as friendly as my chickens, but I think that is due to the imprint thing.

    Ducks talk all the time, and they love to dabble in the baby pool. You can keep them all together I think, I do. They stick together, but live in the same place with the chickens. They have separate pens still until the coop is done. Then, no walls. The ducks are in a baby pool and the chickens (4 months old) are in a bird cage with perches. They can see, hear, and smell each other. The ducks stink. No matter how hard I try to keep the bedding dry, by morning, it needs a new layer.

    They all free range, all day long. They are only in tighter space at night, so they can get away from each other.
    I would stay away from Mallards, they fly and are smaller. For eggs the Golden Hybrid 300 at Metzer is supposed to be a good layer, but mine are too young to know yet.

    The chickens come when I call, but the ducks not so much. I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Not sure what to tell you on the size of coop. I have my birds in a barn and they have LOTS of space so I am not sure how they would do with a smaller space.

    I keep my chickens and ducks together and they have one feed - I feed duck feed which is 20% protein while they are ducklings and right now I am feeding them broiler feed which is 18% protein. As long as you are feeding Non-medicated feed it should be good. Although you may want to add vitamins to the water. What I have done differently since putting them together is.... Water is now outside and then in one corner of the barn. I have one gal buckets sitting in a row and then the outside water are tubs where they can get into if they want. The feed is in a tub, in a veg tray and in a big chicken trough.

    I have Jumbo Pekin, Welsh Harlequin, mallards and now Rouen. Have yet to try duck or duck eggs as mine were born in August although we are considering processing our extra drakes (we will see if I have the stomach for it- as the roosters I did are still in the freezer and the rest that I didn't do are still in the coop).

    I really like the looks of the appleyards and considered getting them myself. I really like the flying mallards they give me the most entertainment when they try and fly straight at me or away from me. I think out of the breeds that I have the WH are the prettiest.
  4. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Anyone else have any input?
  5. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    I think everyone mentioned everything but I would like to say I would recomend cayugas as a duck.Muscovys are great for meat but suck for eggs,runners are great for eggs but suck for meat.Cayugas are good foragers grow pretty fast and decent in egg production.Do some research on them.
  6. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    For dual purpose/meat duck I doubt if any breed can beat Silver Appleyards. I hatched 8 Appleyards from 12 shipped eggs in mid October. When they were 6 weeks they were larger than my full grown Campbells.

    They are less than 2 months old now, ready for the table, monster size, they eat a lot but so do Pekins, after all their fast growth warrants it.

    I raised Pekins too in the past, but Silver Appleyards beat Pekins hands down.

    Appleyards hatch and grow as good as Pekins but:

    Appleyards are more tame and more lay back ducks, less noisy than Pekins.

    Appleyards have attractive and predator safer plumage, Pekins are white.

    Appleyards lay more eggs than Pekins their eggs are huge. They lay the most eggs of all heavy ducks 210-260 per year


    Appleyards do go broody and will sit and hatch, Pekins will not.

    Appleyards meat is flavorful and lean not greasy like Pekins meat.

    For average backyard poultry keeper Appleyards are the best meat/dual purpose ducks in my book.

    Sandhill and Holderread carries Silver Appleyards, also hatching eggs will be available in spring.
  7. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA

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