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Wondering if we can really do this

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ClaireinTX, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. ClaireinTX

    ClaireinTX Hatching

    Sep 3, 2009
    Hi Everybody,

    To prepare for getting chickens, I've been reading this forum for the last few months as well as the local poultry forum in my town. We've nailed down a lot of details about housing, breeds, etc. Now we have a new decision to make. I have been absolutely charmed by the ducks and geese I've met and we have to figure out if we really have the facilities to take care of them.

    The idea here was to be as low-impact as possible. We don't want to breed, just keep two or three female ducks for eggs and entertainment/pets, perhaps a couple of geese as well. I've been collecting construction debris to build the coop, setting up water collection rain barrels, etc.. Had figured we'd take our time to wait for rescue animals instead of buying from a breeder (no offense to breeders, just prefer to give a home to animals that are already here in need).

    I think the main question is water. Obviously ducks and geese need more than chickens, but just how much more? What does one do in a drought (we're allowed to water grass/wash cars one day/week right now)? Our grass is dormant from the heat. I read these guys like to forage. Would we be depriving them?

    I keep reading that you don't have to provide a pond or even a kiddie pool for ducks or geese, but they are happier with one. I hear that Runners don't care to swim all that much, but keeping unhappy animals would defeat the purpose of keeping them at all.

    So my questions are these: how much more water is it going to cost us to keep these guys?
    Can one maintain 4 or 5 waterfowl in the back yard of an urban 1/4-acre lot using a kiddie pool for swimming just a couple of times per week?
    What _would_ it take to make it work? Do we need to build a pond with a filter system? (I guess for minimum impact, the filter system would have to be solar.)

    I posted these questions on my local forum and have been told that 1.) solar pond filtration systems don't work too well, and
    2.) there may be an auto-waterer that works for ducks and geese.

    I've learned so much from you all already. Any ideas or input will really help us.


  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

  3. I think if they could have swimming water several times a week they would be fine. A permanant pond with a filter is trickyer to maintain but has been done, there currently is a thread on that with some links on the duck forum. It would definetely save on water.
    There is a lot of debate and discussion about keeping ducks and chickens together, a lot of people do it, many have sworn it off. Some keep their ducks in a separate coop, too crowded and it can cause interspecies stress.
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Most ducks don't have to have water to swim in. They do need a bowl, bucket, etc. deep enough to submerge their entire head in. They have to be able to clear their nostrils and clean their beaks. I have a kiddie pool for a pond that I clean frequently (less if we're in a drought). For their water I bought an extra large bowl and change it a couple of times a day. Ducks are messy but that's the way they like it. Have fun, they're great pets!!!

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