raising ducks

Old 03-31-2009, 08:01 PM
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Default raising ducks

I've enjoyed reading the chicken thread. I've actually been thinking of getting a couple of ducks. I've got about an acre but no water. Would a couple of mallards be content without water to swim in or would I need a baby pool for them? Will they need a coup to sleep in? My 15 year old lab passed about a month ago. I'm not ready for another dog yet but am missing having animals around.
Old 03-31-2009, 08:27 PM
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My cousin raised ducks as pets for years and didn't have a handy body of water for them. There was a swamp less than 100 yards from her house but none of the birds realised it ws there, on the other side of a 20ft high ridge of sand. She had both white ducks and some from wild egg donations.

My brother raised them for a few years next to a small river. As long as he kept feeding them they'd return to the pen at night. After a while they brought "friends" home!
Old 03-31-2009, 08:39 PM
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We had white ducks when I was a kid but there was no water around. They loved being sprayed with the hose in the summer time. The coyotes finally took care of them though.
Old 03-31-2009, 10:45 PM
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Default Quack quack...

QUACK..that's my doctors name...Dr.Quack...everytime I $pay$ him a visit, he has a QUACK ATTACK! But, boy, his pretty young nurse sure has a sweet WADDLE in her step...
I know, not funny, but, couldn't help myself.
Anyway, I actually DO have something to input here. When I was a kid, we had some chickens, about 20 or more. We also had about 6 or so ducks, the big white ones. Along with those we had some Canadian geese as well. We did not have any water for the ducks to swim in, but, they didn't seem to mind. They were only meant to be raised to end up on the supper table, so, they weren't around that long. Now, Mallards, I don't know. I would think they would be o.k, but, if you are wanting them just as pets, I think it would be nice for them if you bought one of those cheap baby pools for them to swim in. Also, if you want them to be safe at night, then they need some sort of coup. We had to close the door on our hen house every night, after they all retired for the evening. There were too many predators lurking that would love an easy chicken or duck meal.
Because we had a good amount of chickens, we built a pretty large walk in hen house. That's also where they would lay their eggs, in specially constructed nesting shelves. Boy, do I miss those fresh eggs! Didn't realize how good I had it back then. Anyway, the coup certainly wouldn't need to be really big or fancy in any way. Just big enough the ducks will have enough space for comfort & be able to stand at their full height. Line it with a nice layer of fresh straw or hay & change it about every two weeks, sooner if it becomes really dirty with the ducks waste. I would consider a door to keep the wild animals out at night. And, maybe some sort of small plexiglass window to allow light in, and, some front & rear vents, for air to circulate.
Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best luck!
Old 04-01-2009, 04:47 AM
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Both my B.I.L. and nephew raise ducks in two separate locations. They both raise them for the Asian restaurant market.....they get a good buck for each duck.
Old 04-01-2009, 09:39 AM
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Better like duck poop......................
Old 04-01-2009, 09:45 AM
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Make sure you make them a coop and shut that door every night... one night when I was a kid I forgot to close it and lost my 2 ducks to a raccoon. He was still int he coop in the morning and met the same fate as my ducks.
Old 04-01-2009, 10:12 AM
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I read that you want to raise mallard ducks, well can I take a minute to change your mind?

If I were to raise ducks in my yard I would choose the large white ducks Pekings breed or the Muscovy duck breed. Both or either breed is more domestic than the mallard duck. The Peking duck especially.

I raised pekings for a number of years, obviously not in the numbers Garrett is talking about. The pekings can be tame like a yard dog, they lay lots of eggs that can be used and eaten just like chicken eggs. The eggs are somewhat larger and I find them to be richer. But you ain't never had a good cornbread or cake until you have one made with duck eggs.

Some of things you need to know. How to tell a female and male duck apart? The pekings are identical in all regards, size, coloring, no whattles. However the male duck has a little "spit curl" in his tail feathers. It's no fun raising ducks for months expecting eggs to find out all you got is boy ducks. Pekings are pretty much flightless, they can fly a short distance at low level, but can hardly take off from fround level. You will also find that they are noisey, literally they will talk to you while following you across the yard like a dog. It is said that it is always the male duck that makes the most noise, me I never could tell.

Muscovy duck, they are a different species of duck, large, colorfull mottled plumage, the males have large display whattles. They are different than other ducks requiring 35 days of incubation for eggs to hatch, verses 28 days pekings. They are also prolific layers, but you better be a private eye if you want to find the nest. Being a little more on the wild side than pekings. Little better flyers than the pekings, they can fly some distance however never getting very far off the ground. Clipping the flight feathers off of ONE wing will keep them on the ground.

Either duck can be fed whatever a chicken is fed. Also cared for much the same way.
Old 04-01-2009, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by racencase View Post
Better like duck poop......................

Good point.
Old 04-01-2009, 11:12 AM
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My dad adopted a couple of the cute little yellow ducks a few days after easter. I don't remember who gave the ducks to my boys. He didn't do anything special as far a shelter or anything else for that matter. he put out water for them, but I don't remember if he put out food. He was rather obsessive about cleanliness, so he didn't get along with the ducks too well. They followed him around all day no matter what he did. That included following him up to the house and waiting at the back door till he came out again. The duck poop around the back door drove him crazy, but he couldn't bring himself to whack the boys' "pet ducks", at least for a while. They turned out to be mallards. He had them for quite a few months and no predators got to them. They were on their own at night. I don't know where they roosted.
Old 04-01-2009, 12:34 PM
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I had two Muscovy ducks when I was a kid and we lived on the river. The thought was they would get older and fly away some day. Well, that day never happened and they hung around and would not leave. They crap all over the place. They seemed to like the back porch and would sleep and crap all night long. That would leave a big pile and finally we got them off our porch. That was great but they decided they liked the neighbors deck until he came over and said the ducks are thrashing his deck. Finally we decided to take them to a park and release them with some other Muscovy ducks. I also had a friend who gave his kids some ducks and he had the same problems with duck crap. I think you will do like other and at first think they are neat little pets but like kittens they grow up and are not so cute anymore.

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