We live on a river and want duck eggs to eat. Will they be tainted?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by deedles, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all,

    Used to post in the chicken threads but our girls are long gone and we've moved and are now looking to get some ducks. Looking at Anacona and Muscovy ducks. Was all set to order some and then came across a comment about duck eggs tasting tainted or fishy if they have access to a natural river or pond/lake. Our yard borders a small, fresh water river and we were planning to give them access to it. Is this going to wreck the taste of the eggs ? Does anyone on this board have such a setup with river access for their ducks? Any info or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would be more concerned with predators and the ducks just swimming away.

    It partly depends on your management - and the ducks' personalities. Some folks can establish that the ducks' home is in the duck yard, and though the ducks visit a water body, they come in in the late afternoon for food and safety.

    But I have read stories here of ducks finding the creek and being gone.

    Eggs will carry the taste of a bit of what the ducks eat. It's not one-for-one. Our ducks' eggs do not taste like duck feed, or mealworms, or slugs! But fish meal or fish, if eaten in large enough quantities, may flavor the eggs. I have read that when ducks eat lots of acorns the yolks turn olive green. My ducks have eaten acorns and there has never been a hint of green.
     
  3. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. I had read someone's story of teaching her ducks to come home from a river by keeping them in a penned up area for 6 weeks or so and getting them used to eating later in the day. Then when they were out and about, they'd come back to eat and could be secured back in their yard at night. This is another reason that I'm leaning towards the Anacona breed, as they are purported to be homebodies.

    We feel it's worth a try but not if the eggs taste like fish and mud! Might as well then get chickens if we have to keep them penned in all the time. Seems cruel to have ducks so close to natural water and then not let them enjoy it!
     
  4. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not cruel if it is for their safety. Like Amiga said some people have gotten it to work while others have lost their ducks. I don't think 6 weeks is long enough. They are still very, very vulnerable and depending on you weather will still need heat at 6 weeks. See if you can find more than just one story about ducks using a body of water. Will you be okay with the loss of some of your ducks? Ducks also tend to lay eggs wherever so they will need to be trained to lay in the duck house.
     
  5. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a couple of big oak trees in the back yard - I collected a couple hundred pounds last year (to use as feed supplement for some other livestock) - but they mostly fall into areas the ducks have access to. Eggs were a gross green for a good 2 months - we threw out a lot of eggs before we figured out why (we'd thought it was a contamination issue).

    A runner duck eating an acorn looks an awful lot like a snake eating a big prey item - it's pretty gross to watch.

    My wife was supplementing the ducks with koi food at one point - definitely got some weird flavors from that. (The fish meal in them I assume).


    Deedles - if you're not sure what you want - frankly, I'd recommend the chickens. Our ducks are a lot of fun, but they're way more work than our chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Oh, mercy, yes, and have you ever watched them swallow a hickory nut? I was [​IMG] [​IMG] the first time I saw that…..egad.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    You need to do what seems right to you, but I'll tell you - there is a creek just down the hill from us (not on our property, but close).

    My ducks could care less. They have a very nice, spacious pen, go on walks with me every day, concrete mixing pans with fresh water to swim and splash in, mud to drill, worms and slugs, greens, all manner of delights. I have witnesses - my ducks are a contented flock.
     
  8. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm terrified to see that! I didn't know they can get something down okay that size.
     
  9. Sfraker

    Sfraker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My ducks all come running to the words "bed time". I do not have a river or big body of water for them. Just a large stock tank with a ramp. We started saying bed time and giving them meal worms at dusk. Within a few days they would all come running for the worms. In a few weeks they would come running anytime you said bed time.

    Now if they "think" I'm late they will all line up along one fence and quack at the house demanding their worms!

    My ducks do not free range and are in a fenced area. However when we do let them out we can get them back by saying bed time.

    I think if you practice something like this and teach them that they get fed at night in their pen/coop they will learn to come back.
     
  10. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I've ordered 20 Ancona ducklings to be delivered mid-April! Very excited!

    I will pen them for at least 6 weeks and that meal worm idea is great Sframer, thank you for that! Maybe I'll find a whistle or a bell to ring (aka Pavlov's ducks hehe) and then follow that with the meal worms in the evening. Once they get to be 4 pounds or so and they are conditioned to come for the meal worms we'll see how the river plays out. Everything I read about this breed says they don't like to get too far from home so maybe we'll be a good fit. And if the eggs are yucky then whatever... we'll have some pet ducks I guess.

    So excited to be joining the world of ducks and also it's really nice to be having some birds again in general. I miss having their little personalities around after having the chickens a few years back.
     

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