What will you do differently?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dotknott, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Yep! (Let us know in the comments what you plan on changing!)

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Nah, things went well enough so I'll stick to what I've been doing.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Nope, I am awesome and nothing I do can be improved upon!

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now that fall is settling in and those of us in North America settle in for winter, I’m looking back over the hatch season and thinking about how I might be able to improve things, and what I might change for next year.

    I for one know know that when hatching season starts up next year I’m going to try to move the brooder from the house to the shed. This of course would require electric in the shed, so I’m not entirely sure that it will happen, but it’s definitely at the top of my list. If I can’t do the shed, the I’d look into some kind of setup on the back porch which is covered, on the 2nd floor, screened in, and predator safe. I’d have to figure out a brooder that is going to be more closed off as an outdoor brooder.

    Separating breeding stock - Last year mid breeding season, I lost my 2 birds from my breeding stock, so some of my later hatches weren’t what I had wanted from the seasons breeding. I’d like to build a smaller, second coop and run tin which I can keep a trio for about 6 weeks. This will let me better log lineage and hopefully, and not lose any of them to predation.

    Don’t let mama go broody! I had a duck go broody on me and not breaking her broodiness was the biggest mistake I made this spring. She hatched and raised a single duckling who is still the worst duck I’ve had. Ever. She’s the loudest in the flock BY FAR. She hates people, and starts her long wailing quacks as soon as a person is in view. She bites. When the other ladies in the flock head-bob and climb atop one another, she climbs on top of the top duck while grabbing the neck of the bottom duck. On top of all this mama didn’t lay for most of the season. I imagine her with a little picket sign refusing to enter the nesting box until her demands were met. Her last egg was in early May, and she didn’t pick up again until last week. I love you lady, but this one jerk duck you raised is not equivalent compensation for 5 months of no eggs.

    I don’t think I’ll do much differently in my brooding setup, except move it outside if possible. I like the starter feed I’ve been using (Flock Raiser) though I’m going to push my local feed store to start carrying it in 50lb bags (right now they only have it in itty bitty bags, which I have to buy several of.) I think I may also switch back to powdered niacin (from tablets.) When I do need to add niacin to the feed, I have to grind up the tablets in my coffee grinder, but if I stick to powder I can just scoop it. I had moved away from the powder in the past, but that was because I was having trouble measuring it in such small amounts. I think I’ll just get a set of smaller (1/8 tsp and smaller) measures.


    I'm curious to know what other folks that raised ducks this season are thinking about this years hatches, and if they plan on doing anything differently.
     
  2. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never hatched ducklings but as far as my brooding...Nope, I am awesome and nothing I do can be improved upon![​IMG]
     
  3. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All brooding questions should now be addressed to @Bills vs Beaks directly. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  4. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -Start hatching earlier (about December) and hatch larger numbers of ducklings. This year I started too late and only did hatches of about 6-10.
    -Grow out the ducklings and pick out the best ones before selling. I made this mistake and sold my auntie a pair of WH which went on to beat mine at a show!
    -Maybe start vent sexing? Unsexed duckling always seem to put people off buying them.
    -make sure that the barriers between the breeding pens are sequre enough- last spring I hatched a couple of KC ducklings that appeared to have Welsh Harlequin blood in them...
     
  6. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can probably get those food scales and measure out the quantity of the number of teaspoons of niacin that you need.
     
  7. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a food scale, but I need something even more sensitive. .5g of powder is 2500% of a humans recommend daily value.
     
  8. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting, When did you start last year? I set my first eggs in late march, and am hoping to start a bit earlier too, but I also worry about starting too soon if I can't keep them warm outside.

    Vent sexing is on my list too. I think I need someone to show me/check my work. I tried this year and am pretty sure I failed miserably.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  9. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I started with ducks last year but only started breeding and hatching in April. I'm planning on asking my poultry judge friend to teach me how to ven sex as I don't want to injure any babies trying to teach myself.
     
  10. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I'm also going to expand on my tagging. RFid poultry tags are inexpensive, so I might invest in some small ones for the younger ducklings. If I get bored this winter I might build a pasberry pi scale/rfid reader that will let me plop a duckling on a tray, and have the weight logged automatically to my db.
     

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