NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: ducks  (Read 3622 times)

langdon

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
ducks
« on: February 02, 2010, 08:53:56 pm »
we are going to get some ducks in the summer,
has anyone got any suggestions as what breed is best for first timers,
or are they as easy as chucks, can we put them in with the chucks :chook:
Langdon ;)
Voss Electric Fence

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: ducks
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 10:18:09 pm »
I have three khaki campbell girls and a danish blue drake, not the prettiest of ducks but good layers.  Choice of breed depends on what you want them for. At present mine are in the same run as my chickens but with hindsight it's a mistake unless they were to be free ranging all the time.  Because my dogs are out a lot of the time the birds only get to free range on the front half acre for about three hours a day. (my dogs retrieve and wouldn't leave them alone, plus one of them is a killer ;) )  So I am about to set up a separate run and duck house for the ducks.  Another disadvantage is the ducks make an awful mess of the water - even the special chicken drinkers get polluted as they seem to wash their beaks after every mouthful!
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

gavo

  • Joined Aug 2008
  • Belcoo, Enniskillen, N.Ireland
  • Crazy Pig Lover
Re: ducks
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 10:42:49 pm »
Ducks are very easy to keep;and will get on fine with chickens.They don't fight like chickens no pecking order they just waddle along together.But they are easiest kept free range as they do like to turn everything to mud.We keep mainly khaki campbells great layers.You could always keep a few   call ducks if it's not eggs you're after they are amazing little fellas. Also good layers are Welsh Harlequins and Magpies and they  look more interesting to.

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: ducks
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 10:23:41 am »
I started a new topic without reading this one (now removed it).

I want some Khaki Campbells and some Indian Runners, Alex wants some Call Ducks... Will they all live together in harmony or will the bigger ones bully the smaller ones? I'm hoping to hatch 6 of each at the same time but am as always open to advice...

Also, would you recommend I let them free range with the chickens? Or should I fence off the Orchard for them?

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: ducks
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 10:27:03 am »
I have Aylesbury's, Buff Orpingtons, Cayaga, Magpie - all big ducks and also 3 Call ducks that are very small. They all get on extremely well and are totally free range and do not have a problem with the hens or goose. The ducks have access to the river Eden and come in to contact with swans and all sorts of other waterfowl and we never have problems. Call ducks are great fun but are very strong flyers.

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: ducks
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 12:18:43 pm »
So would you recommend clipping wings?

I have read that ducks are difficult to put in at night. that they prefer to be outside in all weathers. Should i be forcing them inside or can they look after themselves when it comes to foxes and badgers?

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: ducks
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 12:22:33 pm »
I don't clip any of their wings so if anything does try and grab them they at least stand a chance of flying out the way. As I said my ducks are 100% free range, I let them out their shed in the morning and feed them. Once they are fed I open the gate and out they run straight for the river. They spend all day on the river but do come back on to my land every so often. However, come 4.00 pm every night they are back and waiting for me to let them in to their pen and feed them. As soon as they have been fed they know its bed time and i round them up and in they go, no problems what so ever. They really are very clever now that they are in a routine. Foxes etc are always a problem if they appear on your land.

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: ducks
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 12:40:15 pm »
Was it easy to establish the routine?

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: ducks
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 12:46:54 pm »
Yeah, I suppose, I really didn't think about it at the time. I have 17 ducks in total, I believe that if they know they are looked after and fed well they will be happy and cause no problems. I have just been away on holiday and my sister and brother in law looked after them and again there were no problems. Now on the other hand the goose writes his own rules. Some nights he comes home and gets locked up for the night and others he disappears down the river and only comes home to be fed. He has been locked in bed the last 2 nights so I suspect tonight he will take off and not be locked up for a few nights. H really comes and goes to suit himself, would like to know where he does go and what he gets up to.

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: ducks
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 01:08:45 pm »
I can't imagine a goose having any problem fending off a fox!

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: ducks
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 01:15:43 pm »
Damed fox got 2 of my geese! >:(

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: ducks
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 06:47:04 pm »
Now I'm suprised by that! I wouldn't argue with a goose!

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: ducks
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2010, 06:20:53 pm »
We've got 10 ducks and 5 chooks. They live in different houses. The chooks go in as soon as it tends to get dark, but in the summer the ducks need chasing in at midnight (or when we go to bed). They do seem to have different light sensitivity...I would not put them into the same night quarters, as ducks are much messier than hens and the ducks also never had any parasites and I would like to keep it that way (as they are hellish to catch...).
Ducks make an awful mess in the garden, be prepared for mud in wet seasons and concrete in dry where you used to have grass  ::) I will now have to fence off and reseed after the second wet winter...
I do have a funny mix, they interbreed happily. If you are into pure breeds, only keep one variety or eat all the eggs  :&>

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: ducks
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 11:31:28 pm »
Are ducks noisy at night? I'm trying to decide where to build my duck house and would like to be as considerate to my neighbours as possible. They already suffer with our 2 cockerills at first light (not so bad now but in summer I'm sure they'll be after my blood).

I'm digging them a pond at the bottom of the field but always imagined that their house would be nearer (so I can listen for any fox related commotion as I do with the chickens)

They'll be Khaki Campbells and Indian Runners (decided against Calls for now because I KNOW they're noisy)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: ducks
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2010, 12:35:03 am »
Mine are quiet once and IF they go to bed, but in the summer they sometimes stay up till almost dawn!  and they DO quack!  Fortunately I have a railway line between me and my near neighbours and it is even noisier.  No-one has complained as yet, and I did put a notice on the fence that if Jamie annoyed anyone with his crowing I'd 'deal' with him!  It was an idle threat but still no complaints! ;D ;D ;D
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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