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Author Topic: Duck advice  (Read 8257 times)


  • Joined Jan 2010
Duck advice
« on: March 01, 2011, 08:46:06 pm »
Just some general opinions on keeping ducks. We have had the chickens for a year now, and I have always wanted some lovely white ducks wandering about the garden.

However, after watching this forum, I also now know that they are very messy and I wouldnt really want them running loose through the whole garden as they would no doubt end up in the field next door with the fox.

So - can you keep ducks in a pen, how much room do they need, are they happy in a pen? Funny that I am ok with the chickens in a pen but feel ducks should have more freedom ??? 

Also, does anyone sell duck eggs - is there much market in it? DO you keep ducks for pets, or meat? Are they much like chickens in that you get meat birds or egg layers? 

Questions questions questions -  ??? ??? ;D ;D


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
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Re: Duck advice
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 08:59:21 pm »
We keep call ducks (small ones) very pretty, very vocal, can turn a muddly puddle into a crater in no time but love them to bits - I guess it's what they are used to as our's are penned up at night (fox and rat proof) and during the day they roam and fly around, sell eggs to friends and some ducklings as most females want to sit at sometime.
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 09:00:24 pm »
we keep ducks in a pen... a big one!
because of our location, its much safer for the ducks.
  they have a paddling pool/sand pit type pond which we overflow everyday to clean it, and they have a hut which they (finally!) lay their lovely eggs in.  the pen runs along side the "big shed" so the duck house is actually inside the shed (the chickens use the lid as an extra perch!) and they see each other through the wire, but the pond is well away from the hens.

they dont sleep in the hut though, but at least they are safe within the pen.

we have 5 Aylseburies and 2 runners, so both short and fat and tall and thin!
aylesburies are 'dual purpose' but I know my o/h wouldnt eat them, so we are just eggs & drakes for hatching eggs

they soon made the pen muddy, but then so did the hens.  They have pipe pots that have spinach beet growing in - they eat off all the leaves but can't reach to grub it out so it grows back eventually.  
they have plenty of food, including slugs, grass, hay, greens etc.

I sell to a colleague whos husband has apparently been awaiting the eggs since I told her we had ducklings!
my parents have surprised me by loving the eggs, and as Im taking 6 into work tomorrow for her mentioned above, I'm going to make it obvious & may just get some more people interested (it works with the hens and quail eggs ;) )
Little Blue


  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 09:10:15 pm »
I like the idea of pipe pots - can you just explain that one a bit more. I could use that for the chickens too presumably?

I guess the general public are not really aware of/ used to eating duck eggs. Do they taste very different to chicken eggs?


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  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 09:35:12 pm »
duck eggs are richer

i like them as they have bigger yolks and thats the best bit yummy!!!

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 09:44:17 pm »
yes, the eggs taste slightly different, but are just as nice in a different way!
bigger, creamier etc.

as for pipe pots - they are just pipes stood on end!
chimney pots etc - they are therefore open at both ends so drain better. put gravel over the top so the ducks or hens etc cant scratch the plants out. and ours are postioned in the corners and under the low bits of wires so the birds cant fly up to them either.
ours are, I think, sewerage pipes (new ones!!) my mate gave me, so they are kind of square not just cylinders.  a few feet tall and about a foot across.

my husband was "funny" about trying quail eggs.  the secret is to scramble them, or bake and then when they sat how nice that was (you may have to fish for the compliment! ;) ) then you say you used quail/duck/emu eggs!
Little Blue


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • worcs
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 09:51:26 pm »
Ducks really do need a lot of space or they quickly make a muddy mess.
I find older people are resistant to buying duck eggs - apparently there was a salmonella scare years ago from duck eggs laid in dirty water.
I think the eggs are lovely but some people find them too rich. You can make wonderful sponge cakes with them.


  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 09:57:06 pm »
Emu - now there is an interesting idea!  :D

I am just wondering whether there is a business to be made from rearing ducks for the local market and/or duck eggs. However, am guessing I would need a lot of ducks to make a business, even a small one. Just chucking ideas in the air really.

I would love to get into alpacas, but can't get hold of the field  >:(


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Duck advice
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 10:32:01 pm »
I have my 5 ducks in a large pen in my front paddock (half acre)  they have an old dog kennel, with the roof flattened for ease of lifting to retrieve eggs and for cleaning, and a huge great dane sized cage attached for them to be shut in at night but have access to water but still having a reasonably dry bed and the required ventilation.

I brought the Mum (Khaki Campbell) down here with me, was given the Dad(Swedish Blue), and raised the three young girls in a friend's incubator.  Was lucky they all turned out to be girls! ;D ;D  When I package up the eggs, I put in 4 hens and 2 ducks for 1 and only one person has asked for hens only.  I do put a note in the first lot to anyone saying the duck eggs are a little stronger but excellent for baking.
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


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 10:41:40 pm »
free ranging ducks here - garden no more  ::) I would not want to be without them. Some people love duck eggs, others think they are too strong in taste.  More taste, more fat.  I think you are better off selling duck eggs through a shop than hens' as a smallholder as they are not to be  graded.  :&>


  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Worcestershire
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 11:37:20 pm »
We have 4 Khaki Cambells in a run 90sq mtrs. They are untidy and water don't stay clean for long I think though if they had less space the place would be an absolute mess. Won't come out the run as the chickens bully them. We sell quite a few duck eggs at 2 1/2 doz. Alot of people use them for baking (as we do) and the cakes are wonderful.


  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Duck advice
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2011, 08:11:22 am »
We have 5 Khaki Campbells and 2 Alyesbury ducks in a LARGE pen, they make a heck of a mess, but they are happy in the mud, I section off a piece so that the grass can grow and open it later on in spring. I am getting on average about 5 eggs day, they are more difficult to sell than chicken eggs, we use most of ours for baking and eating when we have sold all the chicken eggs. As for eating ducks that is a better market, everyone loves a cripsy duck!!


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