What kind of duck has the best chance freeranging?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by racuda, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,962
    28
    186
    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    I'm already planning increasing the flock for next spring. [​IMG] We have a 5 acre lake/pond and would like some breed that has the best chance surviving completely freerange.

    It would be great to be able to herd them in at night, but I'm thinking that that would be hard to do when they get used to being on the water.

    I realize there will be loses, but which breed has the best odds?
     
  2. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    4,376
    12
    231
    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    Muscovy, I have a pair of hens that hatched out around 27-30 ducklings, I have lost none to predetors and they go into the milkhouse( no cows) at night it was their choice to use that building at night. they are my clean up crew
     
  3. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    My muscovies free range. We have a pond, and they go there during the day, and back again at night. I feed mine morning and evening, so they come back to the barn, and even hang out there for part of the day.

    In the winter, because I feed them at night--they will be easy to round up into the barn at night. Also--if your winters are cold, you will have to feed them throughout the winter. [​IMG]
     
  4. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    My mallards REFUSE to come in at night. It's been months, and I haven't lost either one to foxes. they aren't clipped or anything, and they fly around at the slightest provocation. Oh, they also have a pond to hang out on...
     
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    4,376
    12
    231
    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I've lost all but 1 of my mallards and he stays in the fence with the ancona ducks
     
  6. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    My Pekins free range all day long in the pasture, the yards and down at the pond. Every day between 3 and 5 they come waddling home to their pen for supper and bed. They refuse to eat their feed in the morning, they line up at the gate of their pen and "sing" to me until I open the gate and let them out. They follow me to the yard and play around in the grass for a while then head to the pasture for a couple of hours then to the pond.

    Michelle
     
  7. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    My runners, silkies, and geese are the same way. They want nothing to do anymore with their morning feed. They line up for me to open up the main yard. Sometimes around noon they come back and nibble, but they prefer to range for their food. I also feed in the evenings, and around 5 they are up in the smaller yard milling around, chatting, and waiting for their dinner. A little before dusk they put themselves away and I close the door. Sometimes I have to round up my gander, but the ducks are happy to be in the duckhouse.
     
  8. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,962
    28
    186
    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    At first I thought Muscovies sounded good, but I read that because of not much oil on their feathers they don't swim much. Is that true? If so maybe Pekins would be a better choice. My wife likes white birds anyway.
     
  9. charlindabob

    charlindabob Chillin' With My Peeps

    476
    27
    153
    Jan 25, 2009
    central Florida
    Quote:Not to sound cold, but your chance of losing a few or all is a possibility. Muscovys come in all white too, they are very quiet, usually very friendly and if not clipped or pinioned, most likely will perch up high away from many ground predators. You still can lose some. The drawback is that they really don't spend a lot of time on the water if that is what you are looking for. If noise isn't a factor, how about some Embden geese or white swans? (just a thought). I personally would try ducks that were free or very cheap to see how it goes. Look around for a small animal auction, you may find a deal or ask at your local feed store, etc.
     
  10. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    My muscovies are white I think they are pretty (they haven't got their caruncles yet--then they will be cute)

    When the weather was hot, they hung out at the pond all day, came back to eat, and then went back. Now that it is cooler, they hang out in the yard and make a late afternoon visit to the pond--then back again at night.

    If you're gonna eat em (heygo broody like crazy so you'll have lotsa younguns)Muscovies are said to taste more like goose , where pekins taste like , well, duck. I'm not a big fan of duck.

    So I guess there are more thngs to consider. If your not going to eat em, apparently the Ducklings sell quite well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by