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Would this set-up work for Call ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chanamarie, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. chanamarie

    chanamarie In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2016
    I'm thinking about getting some call ducks this Spring (I think chickens were my gateway drug!). Can I run my idea for a set-up by you...

    My chickens forage/free-range in a fenced in back yard (about 1/4 of a acre is fenced in, I'm guessing). We have one of those decorative pools (about 3 feet at the longest and across maybe 1.5 feet and it's about 1 foot deep). Would that be sufficient for a trio of call ducks? It has a fountain thing to keep the water running - would that need/should it be on? Any other adjustments we'd need to make for them?

    I have an extra large dog igloo kennel (the plastic type). If a door is fitted to the front of it, would that make an ok coop for them?

    I would want to fence them off from my chickens - how much run space should I give them?

    Any other things I should be thinking about with this set-up?


  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

  3. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Pool is sufficient size for a trio of Calls, not sure if you'd want to run the fountain or not... they muck up a small pool pretty quick... a cement mixer tub would even work for just 3... kiddie pools are often used as well...

    How big exactly is the dog igloo/kennel? Got a pic? They can get away with a smaller space than chickens, but still need plent of ventilation as well...

    Something like a 5'×10' run would work, but realize that ducks are harder on grass than chickens as well... bigger is always better...

    You can let the ducks range out with the chickens, I do all the time without issue...

    Net or cover their run, definitely... 1, they fly really well and will fly out unless their wings are clipped... 2, regardless if you clip their wings or not, they are favored snacks of predators and are much too easy to get picked off quick...

    Another thing, are yiur neighbors close to you? Call ducks can be extremely noisy, especially when they sound off or alert... the drakes are quiet though, lol...

    PINOAK RIDGE Chirping

    Oct 6, 2016
    RavynFallen has provided good answers to your questions. I agree that you may wish to research using a fountain in their pool, as stated. As far as we are concerned, yes bigger is better! Most grasses and weeds have a difficult time surviving in a duck pen. Bermuda grass has worked best in our pens, but even it can dwindle away. But if one relocates the pen the following season, the Bermuda grass has really thrived in old duck pens.

    Ducks tend to be more hardy than chickens and tolerate weather better. Depending on where you are located and your climate, your ducks may not use a coop/house much. For winters in northern climates they do benefit from a shelter, in the form, of at least a wind break and some good bedding against cold ground. But, one can provide as elaborate a house for them as they feel comfortable with. Ducks don't naturally seek coops at bedtime, as chickens will, but they can be conditioned to "go to bed" or herded into coop for night time lock up, if needed.

    We are in west Tennessee, so our winters are quite mild compared to our northern neighbors. We provide a variety of houses, sheds, barns and wind breaks for our call ducks and exotic waterfowl, but even during ice storms they prefer to sleep out in open, rather than use the multiple shelters we have provided. Upon checking on them in the early morning hours with a flashlight they would be dozing with bills tucked up. Soon as they would see or hear us, they would quack a happy greeting, get up shake icy feathers and waddle into the ponds and begin bathing. Of course, as concerned duck keepers, we would prefer they use the shelters, we spent a lot of time and money on, but alas, they are waterfowl and prefer their natural ways. They do visit the feeding stations in shelters, then right back out. Most females do use various designed nest boxes during breeding season.

    I will add that ducks have a tendency to make a mud puddle around their "pond". I would suggest a pool site that has good drainage to help keep the pen cleaner/drier. There are several different options. Place "pond" on an oversized raised platform, so water splashed out isn't readily accessible for the ducks to dibble. Many people use a coarse sand or pea gravel with good results as well. Even have a few friends that put down AstroTurf on a little slope that they can spray off. Creativity allows for lots of variances. Many people "recycle" their old pond water to fertilize the yard and garden.

    Yes, female call ducks tend to be loud and sometimes chatty. The breed was specifically created for the females to be loud. This can be an issue if you have neighbors close by, as Ravyn stated. Male call ducks, on the other hand, can't really be heard more than a few feet away. Male duck "noise" is quiet and so different from roosters.

    Hope this helps. Call ducks are our favorite, domestic, duck breed due to their adorable personalities. As a bonus, they come in a rainbow of colors. If you are joining the wonderful world of call ducks--welcome to the hobby. [​IMG]

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