Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Starting with ducks  (Read 650 times)

Sprig

  • Joined Nov 2018
Starting with ducks
« on: September 30, 2020, 09:51:30 am »
We are hoping to get our first ducks soon. Does anyone have any top tips? What feeders/drinkers do you prefer? What do feed them and how much? We are thinking of getting 6 x cherry valley to start with. They will  be as pets/for eggs. They are going to live in our orchard which has a stream running through it. There is not always a lot of water in there though so we plan to give them a paddling pool as well.
We may want to add meat ducks/chickens at some point. Does anyone do this without starting with tiny birds that need heat? It seems to me that costs don't really add up if you are buying bigger birds. Thanks.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 11:13:23 am »
Buy your adult birds - one drake to a few females, get an incubator and hatch eggs. Start your own flock.

Your water system seems fine, I just had a natural filling pond, and the rain kept it fresh enough.  The paddling pool will need emptying every day - they are mucky birds.  And if it's not too full your drake won't drown the  ducks when mating.  :innocent:

As to food, I used layers pellets as mine were the same pets for eggs, but if you get them pre point of lay, you can get specialised growers food from the likes of McCaskey's or other country stores.  I used stainless steel dog bowls fro food as they're easy to rinse out and sterilised if necessary.  You'd need a few of them as they do knock them over.

Have fun, you'll love their antics.   I gave mine away when I moved, and I regret it now although one of my girls was a noisy witch  :roflanim: so maybe my new neighbours have been saved from that
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

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 12:27:03 pm »
Ducks will get in any water container big enough so drinkers that they can only get their beak in. Make sure they cant follow your stream off your property.


If you want eggs runners are good layers and don't fly.


They can soon make a right mess around paddling pools.


Get a feed hopper then fill when empty.

Sprig

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 06:21:36 pm »
Thanks both.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2020, 01:56:56 pm »
Get them at least a large bucket. Even a 10l bucket will be half empty by the afternoon and you will need to fill it in 2-3 times a day. I gave mine an old baby bathtub. It works perfectly. Big enough for them to poo/wash their beaks/drink (usually in THIS order!)
At the moment I have 7 eggs laying (khaki Campbell and hookbill) and just trio of muscovies, kept together with some chickens.
Chickens obviously don't make muddy mess, muscovies do a little bit, but Mallard type ducks are on another level!
I wouldnt recommend ducks if you do t free range them or keep them in a relatively large run. They will definitely make it into a muddy mess, especially in winter (more wet and doesnt dry ever until at least May).
However ducks are much better for laying large eggs, muscovy ducks are fantastic if you don't need a lot of eggs, but want to have great broodies and have close neighbours as they are pretty much silent. Campbell ducks will only make noise if they are hungry or scared of something. Pekin type white ducks (which includes Cherry Valley strain!) are really lound, heavy weight which means eat a lot more than lightweight Campbells or Indian runners or hookbills.
If you want white ducks I'd go with White Campbell - smaller and lay lots of massive eggs.

If you have more than one drakes they will most surely fight! They will also "over mate" with the females. Drakes have much more "libido" than cockerels! They are very impolite towards the females if they want to mate, let's just say.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Sprig

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2020, 05:55:21 pm »
Thanks.  The plan is to have them free ranging in our orchard which is about half an acre. I will have a look at white campbells. Thanks for the tip. Do I need a drake? I was planning on just getting females to start with. Is there any reason why I shouldn't do this?

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2020, 06:19:12 pm »
Unless you want your eggs to be fertile  (to hatch) you absolutely don't need a drake! Having a male will not affect their laying!
Just be careful of foxes in the orchard - make sure it is well fenced (electric net perhaps). And make sure you always lock them up at night. Every single evening.
Foxes are beautiful to look at but you will hate them if they eat you birds...
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Sprig

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2020, 07:06:47 pm »
Great, I think we will start with females then and think about adding a drake later.

LeeHambone

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2020, 09:22:34 pm »
We love having ducks, better than chickens, but, they do dabble in any soft mud or wet ground, so be aware they may affect your stream banks

Kiran

  • Joined Apr 2019
Re: Starting with ducks
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2020, 11:53:33 pm »
We've recently, about 3 months ago, added 6 Khaki Campbell's to our collection. They are great, quite nervous, fun to watch. There current enclosure is now quite muddy thanks to their webbed feet stamping on the wet ground and us having to use the same routes to get to them atleast twice a day. We're currently looking to move them and the chickens and create a slightly more permanent run area with a decent base and access for us but still allow them to free range behind the 100m of electric poultry netting which can be moved every few months.

I made both the chickens and the ducks rat/mouse proof feeders, I used designs I found on YouTube which to date have worked really well.

Good luck and enjoy

 

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