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Author Topic: Duck advice please  (Read 4170 times)

Mary B

  • Joined Mar 2009
Duck advice please
« on: November 19, 2009, 10:32:25 pm »
Can anyone help with advice about ducks- we've managed to hatch 3 cayuga ducks (all drakes, sadly) and 5 aylesburys from 2 chickens that went broody at the same time.  We've ended up with 7 drakes and 1 duck, so we're going to be serving up a LOT of duck in the near future.  I loved the cayugas - they're beautiful and a nice placid breed too.  We'll be keeping our aylesbury duck and 1 aylesbury drake, but for the future, does it matter if we try again with cayugas, and keep some ducks alongside the aylesburies, as long as we keep the ducks and drakes in proportion?

Also - what does anyone else do about duck feed?  Our chickens seem to be very partial to it, so we've switched them all over to layers pellets.  I notice that some duck feed has fish meal in it - does there need to be a withdrawal before slaughter, or is this OK?

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2009, 09:16:45 am »
Mary, I have a few breeds of ducks all running around together and I feed layers pellets to them. It is important that you have the correct male to female ratio though.  My lot are free range and stay on the adjoining river all day, every day so get all  the benefits from this too. The only problem you will have if you keep them all together and intend to breed as you will not know the breed of duckling you will hatch. If you want "pure" chicks then you would have to keep the Aylesburys completely separate etc, that way you will know what will hatch.

Mary B

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2009, 11:18:29 pm »
Thanks James, that's helpful.  We're not too bothered about "pure" breeds for now, so maybe we'll get some more cayugas, broody hens permitting, next year.  I think the right mix of ducks/drakes is 1 drake to 2 ducks - is that right?  And we'll keep going with the layers pellets for all - it seems to keep everyone happy.

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2009, 11:26:04 pm »
I think it is a safer be to have a good few more girls to boys ratio. I have 17 in total and only 3 of them are drakes and even yet the girls get pestered useless, they are always so randy these boys. Rememeber too that ducks do not make good mothers, I have had ducks for many, many years and only once had a duck sit on eggs(no idea why such a poor result) and even then they never hatched. Due to this poor result I bought myself an incubator and for the last 2 years incubated eggs and hatched them which is most enjoyable. Good luck Mary.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2009, 11:30:11 pm »
Khaki Campbells have a reputation! ::)  The recognised ratio for them is one drake to 10 ducks
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

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 11:31:58 pm »
Annie, 2 of my Aylesburys are drakes and they are every bit as randy as my Kakhi's Have never seen any of the boys with any of my female Call Ducks, guess they are too small?

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2009, 01:26:55 pm »
I've got 2 drakes to 8 girls, which seems to be just fine with them  ;). When we had more there was constant fighting and more unpleasantness going on. I feed mine layers pellets with extra oystershell grit plus soaked wheat at lib (cheaper than pellets and they love it). Today we are getting the hens, I hope they will be fine with the same food! I'll keep you posted! :&> :chook:

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2009, 01:33:35 pm »
Good luck Kerstin, I am sure all will get on well. I hope we will get a pic of the new arrivals. Just keep seperate water fpr the ducks to the chooks as the ducks get the water soooooooo dirty.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2009, 07:29:29 pm »
Thanks, James. For a couple of days I'll keep them in a separate run, hopefully they will go back there for their drinks! Lovely to be able to pick up a bird  for a change ;D  :chook:

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 07:34:02 pm »
I have tried for years to keep ducks and chickens together and keep the water clean for the chickens.  Despite the special chicken drinkers I haven't been successful yet.  What does everyone else do? ::) ::)
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

Mary B

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2009, 11:40:04 pm »
We use poultry drinkers for chickens, plus one in the duck house when they're shut in for the night.  In the day time, chickens and ducks all mix in together, and we've taken to simply providing the ducks with a full bucket of clean water every morning so they can dip their heads in, which they love.  By the end of the day there's a layer of mud on the bottom of the bucket, so it's just a case of rinse it out and start again the next day. 

They do have a pond, which we clean out regularly, but it always looks dirty, so we tried the clean water in a bucket thing, which seems to work OK for us.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2009, 12:14:47 am »
I've tried all sorts, none of it stays clean.  I feel sorry for the chickens as they even dib their filthy beaks in the drinkers.  Two minutes after I fill them they are in there. ::) ::)
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

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2009, 04:44:00 pm »
I hope the chickens will not be interested in paddling pools, washing up bowls, etc...I had nightmares of drowning little hens once they are free ranging with the ducks ??? ??? :&> :chook:no way I will be able to keep them separate

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 04:48:26 pm »
My chooks never go near the ducks ponds Kerstin soI don't think you have to worry. I think if you had babies then you would have to take precautions. My hens often run around with the ducks and all stay safe and well.

kathyg

  • Joined Nov 2009
Re: Duck advice please
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 08:42:04 pm »
We have call ducks and hens.  We feed them all the same.  Country Layers Pellets.

 

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