What breed of duck?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by farmergurl, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. farmergurl

    farmergurl Hatching

    Nov 30, 2010
    Hi there. I'm new to the site and my most pressing questions are: what breed of duck should I get? And where should I get them from? My husband and I own a large farm in MA, mostly cattle. However, he is getting new chickens next spring, and he promised to get me two ducks. These ducks would be housed in their own coop next to the chickens and must be good foragers, since they will be out with the chickens in the fields and garden eating all the bugs. I would also like them to be friendly. I have thought about Welsh Harlequins but I heard they aren't very smart- we live on a farm, with foxes and coyotes(though we are very close to getting rid of the coyotes, and they are never out in the day), and I'm worried about them surviving! Are there any other breeds I should look at, and is there any other information on Harlequins? And again, where can I look to get them in the first place? [​IMG] Thank you!

  2. PoultryParadise

    PoultryParadise Chirping

    Nov 30, 2010
    I keep a few runners out in my garden during the summer. They keep all bugs out, and sleep in the garden shed at night. I haven't lost one yet, and have had them 2 summers now. We have a huge fox problem, and have found a good dozen on the road run over just in front of our property. I lock my ducks up at night, but during the day, so far so good. We hatched them so they are very, very friendly, and sometimes leave the garden to help me get the mail, etc.
    I know nothing about welsh Harlequins though.
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Perhaps you should get some ducks that can fly to get away from predators. Or some breed that still has more natural instincts in place. Mallards or Muscovy would fit that bill nicely. You can also get geese. We also have coyotes around. Our property is fenced and cross fenced, but that is no match for coyotes. They jump a 5 foot fence without a problem. I still free range my ducks in a fenced in 1 acre area. They will also get the meadow in spring, which is another 20 acres. They have been used going into their duck house since they are small and panic if they cannot get into it before it is completely dark. The thing is you are taking a risk and just have to calculate it into your equation. That means get more then just 2 ducks. You can order them from hatcheries. Holderread has high quality birds, but does not sex them. Metzer Farms has strong birds and does sex them. There are other hatcheries, but these two seem to stand out a lot.
  4. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Khaki Campbells are the only ducks I've ever had, but I LOVE them!
    Great layers, good at foraging, very friendly, and the mated pairs are sooo cute to watch!
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Hey, this isn't my friend, Farmergurl from Platinum Lounge and Facebook, is it?

    I can't tell you which breed to get as I haven't gotten any ducks, yet. Have you thought about muscovy ducks? They are great foragers and very hardy. The only thing is that there are new regulations coming up that may make owning muscovy ducks as pets more difficult. So, you might want to get a couple of girls and call them your "duck egg producers".

    Good luck with your duckies!
  6. taraann81

    taraann81 Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    I second Muscovies! They are big and beefy! Are great setters and mothers, the females and juveniles are good flyers. They are amazing foragers and they also taste great! They have friendly personalities and they make the best noises. The gals make a really cute "trilling" sound. They are also easy to sex vvhile still young, so if you buy them unsexed its relatively easy to pick out the males from the females at a young age. VVhich saves you having to feed(and get attached to) a bunch of drakes...
  7. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    For foraging and my garden my Runners have been excellent. They lay well, too.
    I like my Khaki Campbells but they aren't as sure footed in my garden. Nor are my Magpies.
    I have a Rouen girl that has been great at foraging and laying. My Pekin is not good at foraging or laying.
    Can you tell my favorite is my Runners??
    But every place is different and I do now have a LGD. Foxes were bad here but I never lost a duck.

  8. Alicia G

    Alicia G Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nova Scotia
    Well it depends on what you are looking for, Something that lays? for meat? or are they just for pets? http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/BRKDucks.html Feathersite is a great place to see lots of pictures of different breeds and learn all about them. And most of the breed pages will also have breeders sites connected to them. Hope this helps.
  9. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010

    I'm also new here, but I'm getting ducks in February. I am getting 2 Pekin ducklings from Metzer farms


    They are a great place to buy from. My favorite ducks ever are Pekins, so I'm really excited! [​IMG]
    Before I was just going to get Mallards, because they were the only kind I knew of, but after I went to
    www.liveducks.com on the "Duckling Diary" page they raised 2 pekins, and they were so sweet that I just couldn't resist! [​IMG]
    Earlier I post 2 questions on IF I should get a runner duck too, but With Pekin's being the duck for me I decided just to get those. Now a great, quiet, calm duck (That to me looks like a chicken! [​IMG] ) Muscovy's sound great for what you need. I think every duck owner has a "Duck for them" that is the perfect breed for them. Mine is Pekin. Welsh Harlequins could also be a perfect choice for you! They are great farm ducks, but not AS quite as scovies. I reccomend going to metzer farms website and looking at all the duck breeds before making your choice! [​IMG]

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  10. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Crowing

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    Mallards. They are good foragers and can fly if a predator comes along. I always enjoyed mine, they are pretty easy to take care of.

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