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So tell me about ducks

Posted by pamghatten wny5 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 2, 10 at 12:31

Eric,

I'm curious ... what is involved in taking care of ducks. I have a 3/4 acre pond right behind the house. I have a barn with 4 stalls, 3 occupied by miniature donkeys.

But I have fox, coyote and hawks, and maybe bobcats. And it gets really cold in the winter. Last weekend it got down to -4 Saturday morning.

Not sure I want to add to my menagerie, I also have 2 dogs and a bunch of cats. But the ducks look so cool.

Deep end of the pond
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Deep end of the pond looking back at house and barn.
11-8-08 009

Other end of pond with gazebo
7-20-08 043


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: So tell me about ducks

I uploaded a video to Youtube. Poor quality. You can get an idea of the setup I have.

I'm think with all your predators you may think of Muscovy ducks. They can fly, if you don't clip their wings, more able to defend them selves.

The perfect world would be fences,pond,foraging area, and a house to lock them up at night.

Everytime I feed my ducks I whistle. You can hear it in the video. I started this when they were two day olds. Now I'm like the Pied Piper. Everytime I whistle my ducks come running, dinner time.

Ducks are very entertaining and messy. Their eggs are larger, more nutritious, and taste better the chicken eggs.

If you decide to get ducklings, it's a good idea to supplement the chick starter with brewers yeast. Niacin deficiency is very crippling. I learned that the hard way.

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Dogs and ducks can cohabitate, but be careful and go slow. Training.

Here's a bunch of photos

out in the snow
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Foraging in the stream
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Brooder
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dang cute
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following the rototiller
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flying Muscovy female
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Hope all the photos doesn't slow things down.

If you want more detail, let me know.

Hope others chime in and give advice also.

Eric

Here is a link that might be useful: Eric's moscovy ducks


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Dang cute is right ...

I'll have to llok at the video from home.

How are they messy?


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Mostly in their house. I use a bucket for their waterer. Ducks need to be able to submerse their heads to keep the nostrils clear. They throw the water everywhere. They are also little poop machines. Very wet and sloppy.

The video is way to long and really doesn't give much information.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

What about the gardens, do ducks forage and tear up the flowers and bushes?


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RE: So tell me about ducks

citytransplant,

I had more trouble with these guys.
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6 Toulous Geese. They ate strawberries, raspberries, young tender shoots, and even bark. In the photo they are drinking from the drip irrigation line, so they would stretch it out too. I replaced the geese with Muscovy ducks. They eat both protien and vegetation.

Ducks are more interested in tilling / drilling. Looking for slugs, bugs, worms, seeds. They do eat some grass and clover. I broadcast 10 pounds of clover in my orchard last fall. It should really take off this spring. So not much in the way of damage in the orchard , but keep them out of the vegetable greens. Boy do they like a good salad! :~)

I also have rabbits. They can also do alot of damage in a hurry.

Rabbit tractor
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Excercise area.
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Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Eric you are right on from my experience, but I could not imagine not having at least a few ducks around, I find them more personable than my chickens, and nothing short of goose eggs are better for baking.
josh


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Eric,

Love your pictures, your place looks like animal heaven and it even leaves a bit of garden for you humans too. How perfect.

The reason I asked about ducks foraging and eating vegetation is becasue Pamghatten has such beautiful gardens, I thought perhaps the ducks would destroy all of her work.

Joan


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Thanks Joan, good question ... my gardens will certainly never be perfect, but I do spend a lot of time on them.

I didn't get to the video last nite ...


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Joan,
Thank You. I keep no secrets they are not pets.

I would recommend short fences around the beds. They don't need to be very tall. 12 inches tall wood probably do it. 24 inches for geese.

Pam,

It's not worth the trouble. It was my first attempt at uploading to YouTube. Poor quality and way to boring. This spring I'll try to do a better orchard garden video.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I did watch your video Eric ... laughed at the sound of the dog drinking ... they'll drink any old water, won't they?

Pretty ducks .. but I'm not going to fence my gardens .. I'll just watch your ducks instead!

Pam


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RE: So tell me about ducks

My duck is great fun. I got two ducklings when I got my chicks last spring. Didn't know that they grow up WAY faster than chickens -- within a couple of weeks they towered over the chicks. Sadly, over the summer something killed the boy, so I just have Ari Duckass now.

If you look at the archives on my blog you'll see quite a few duck-related entries.

BTW, if you get duckling do NOT feed medicated chick starter. Ducks eat WAY more than chickens and can overdose on the drugs. Be sure to get starter for mixed flocks.

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: Baby ducks


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I LOVE DUCKS!
My first batch here in Florida was 2 Pekin and a Cayuga. Bobcats came in broad daylight and took my Pekins from the pond and yard.
I have 2 and a half acres and 2 ponds and a creek,My Black Cayuga is still with me and I raised 11 more ducklings last spring,all which are still alive. NONE are PEKIN or pure white. I think white is a predator magnet.They are let out in the morning and have full reighn ofthe ponds and flower beds but I do fence the veggies.
We have a duck house and chainlink duck yard (Large dog kennel)which they demand to head to about 3 or 4 in the afternoon.Their they are fed and watered and at Dark they go into the duck house and are locked up to prevent predators from getting in. All are named and sweet as can be,

pretty cool!

Plenty od fresh eggs to eat
Thanks giving 2009 040

Thanks giving 2009 034

Duck Day July 2009 124

Duck Day July 2009 058


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Way Cool!

I'm not sure why anyone would have chickens. Ducks are more entertaining and some breeds out produce chickens.

Looks like you have Welsh Harlequin, White and Dark Crested, Golden 300 or Campbell,and maybe a Blue Swedish.

Very nice.

Eric


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RE New ducklings

I forgot to mention. I ordered 20 new ducklings. 14 White layers and 6 Cayuga. They should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.

Over run by ducks !!!

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

In answer to Eric's wondering of why anyone would own chickens rather than ducks, a friend of mine has a severe duck egg allergy. No allergy to chicken eggs, but duck eggs make her vomit.

But yes, otherwise, they certainly seem fun!! :)


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RE: So tell me about ducks

we named this guy Lucky Lou for his rabbits foot on his head LOL
Duck Day July 2009 115

Tina
Tina

Rambo ManDuck (Roen)
Rambo Man Duck
Isis
Isis

Hattie (Harlequin)and Zoe

Zoe and Hattie

Danny Drag Duck(looks like hes wearing eyeliner and a wig)

Danny Drag Duck

Ginger was a big Ugly duckling left over from Easter. No one took her til I came along She broke her leg and my grandson and I made a little splint and she healed just fine AND is a Gorgeous duck!

Ginger(she had a broken leg but is all better)

Hawkeye is the bully but so handsome not sure what he is
Hawkeye

Jinxie is a Cayuga from my original batch(and the friendliest)
Duck Day July 2009 118

Napaleanna I think a Florida Mottled duck. She is quite small. lays small green eggs, can fly and has a squeaky big mouth
Duck Independence Day July 20o9

Ichabod the Indian Runner duck. we were doing some remodeling new doors tile etc and they kept coming in!
rehab2009 062


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RE: So tell me about ducks

jillzee,

It was mostly tungue and cheek, but you are right. I have a customer at the Farmers Market that buys my duck eggs, because she is allergic to chicken eggs. I'm glad I don't have any major allergies.

goldenpond,

Where did your ducks come from? Some look like interesting cross breeds. Napa with the long eyebrow looks like my Golden 300. They also lay green eggs. Her friend in the photo, if she had a blue gray bill would be a Khaki Campbell.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I bought some at the Trading Post,the Cuyuga the Magpie( sorry I called her Harlequin) and Indian Runner. They have the True breeds and are sexed. The others I bought from a Feed store in Ft Pierce that weren't sexed and it was, " well they are only 3 dollars and eighty cents so you get what
we have " attitude.
Napoleanna's bill is pretty orange and her feet are very BRIGHT orange.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Those ducks are so cute!

One of the reasons for chickens vs. ducks is they're a bit less messy, especially if you don't have a pond available. My one duck makes a big ol' mess in the barn this time of year, since there's nowhere for her to swim outside. In the summer she just gets a kiddie pool, but it helps her spill less in the barn (at least it seems that way).

I love the look of the runner ducks. Might just add a couple more this spring (what am I talking about! Hold me back!!!)!

--Johanna


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RE: So tell me about ducks

eric, we need to see pictures when your ducklings arrive ...

Pam


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RE: So tell me about ducks

ERIC,
i ALSO JUST REALIZED YOU HAVE black labs!!!!!
Did you start them out together or how on earth do they manage so well?Do you hunt anything with them?
Just curious as I have told my hubby we couldnt possibly have one with the ducks so we have small dogs.Wonderful little dogs (SchITZU)I might add and they do get along and are even a bit timid around the ducks.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

So the ducklings showed up Wednesday morning. I ordered 14 White Layers and 6 Cayuga duckings. They shipped 16 White layers and the 6 Cayugas. Unfortunately 2 of the Cayugas died in transit and 1 more last night. That leaves me with 3 Cayuga ducklings. To bad the 2 extra ducklings were not Cayugas.

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Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

goldenpond,

The only hunting my dogs do, is the pantry. Typical Lab. always act like they are starving.
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Jacob was about 3 and Pepper about 1 1/2 when I adopted them. Pepper, she is one on top of the hay bale.

Very trainable breed. Pepper, she would rather play frisbee. She doesn't give a hoot about ducks. She will chase fox, deer, cats and bumps in the night. Jacob, has addison disease. He doesn't have a lot of energy to waste. His goal is to find all the duck eggs hiding in the orchard.

They are a little timid around the ducks also. I think it's from when I had geese. 6 Toulous geese. The ganders would chase the dogs. Jacob would show his teeth, but take off running after being goosed.

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Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Love the pictures of the ducklings ... you'll have to post more as they get older.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

sorry about your ducklings deaths.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Muscovy drake on the roof. First time I've witness this. He's not a very good flyer. To heavy.

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Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

  • Posted by paulns NS zone 6a (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 15, 10 at 17:53

This is altogether a wonderful thread.
One reason I'd sooner have chickens is their poop's not so sloppy. And keeping open water for ducks in our cold winters sounds like a challenge.
Otherwise I'd like some ducks, esp. as they're said to enjoy earwigs, of which we have a plethora.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

paulns,

Thank you. All is required for ducks is a pail of water. The pail needs to be deep enough to keep their nostrils clean. I've not seen much in the way of slug damage for years, go ducks! They also eat grubs, worms, etc etc.. For me the poo is not bad. I just keep building up the hay, deep pile system.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I like ducks better, they don't tear up the lawn as much in a tractor. But if you want the ground cleared of plants for planting, chickens would do this better since they can scratch better.

And ducks are hardier so don't die mysteriously in winter. Golden 300's are great layers, I haven't tried other breeds to compare. Golden 300's are too heavy to fly so not as much problem to catch as chickens.

I do like duck eggs so much better, the whites are so firm and crystal clear.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Do you guys ever have trouble with any kinds of mites or pests involving your ducks??


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RE: So tell me about ducks

hemnancy,

It's true hardy little buggers. Simple heat lamp, food and fresh water is all that's required. My brother raises chicks. Double heat lamp, insulated blanket, dealing with pasty butt. Seems like a lot of work. I'm sticking with ducks and Muscovies.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Here is our duck video. Ducks are crazy, funny and entertaining!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ducks Gone Wild Video


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Beeliz, no. Ducks have no mite problems. Or at least mine never have.

Dan


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Dan,

What are you doing here? Your are supposed to be designing my fish tanks. LOL~

Dan, what breed do you have?

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I have pet(white Pekin)ducks also. I sand their aviary and the manure can be removed with a flat bladed shovel. They get shavings in the shelter. I live in NY and dont use any heat lamps for them. They have 2 gallon buckets of water always, and for a treat I fill a large size (short sides) cat box with water. It lets them full body bathe but I can empty and wash it daily. No smell or mosquitoes

And if at all possible, a pelleted feed made for ducks is best. Since mine are all adult they are on a 16% protein diet.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

eyecndiggit,

That's a crazy fun video. I should teach my muscovies to fly around behind my tractor.

moonsparkz,

Do you have any pictures?

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

eric_wa Yeah they were a blast. It took me three days to teach them to go into the truck. But there was a reason I taught them the trick. They had to go to the auction and they only way to get them in the truck was through their own choice. They were no longer producing enough eggs to pay for their feed and they refuse to stay in the pasture where there was plenty of food. They just flew over the fence and came into the yard.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I think ducks are smarter than chickens. They certainly have better senses of humor.

I mostly keep chickens because I can't eat duck eggs. They are so delicious, though.

And nothing is cuter than a day old duckling.

--Jonathan


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Nothing?

How about week old bunnies.
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Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Eh, bunnies are okay, but I don't think they have anywhere near the personality of ducks. Bunnies are one-trick ponies.


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RE: So tell me about ducks

bunnies are cute when they get older but THOSE look like rats!


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Tonya,

Rats! Why I oughta ................post another picture.

See the goofy looking runt?

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Momma staying away from the piranhas
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Wasn't the topic ducks, Lol

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I am thinking about getting a few ducks myself and had a couple of questions.

Could I keep two drakes by themselves?
Could their house be only a dog house as long as I could close them in at night?

Thanks!


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RE: So tell me about ducks

melmoz,

Sure. I would call them Felix and Oscar. Dog house, Pail of water and non medicated chicken feed.

Your ready to go.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I was thinking about a few names, Archie, Gilbert or Hector, but now you've added more names to the list! So which two should it be? Archie, Gilbert, Hector, Oscar or Felix?

Do you know anything about Cayuga Ducks? I was thinking those may be a good fit for me considering they are suppose to be the quietest of the ducks, besides the Muscives (don't think that's spelled right). I really like thier coloring and think they might be the cutest things with two wings. I have done a lot of reserch, but it always helps to get advice from real owners!

Thanks to you all in advanced!


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I was thinking of the Odd Couple. Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. That gets my vote.

Muscovy or Muscovies, but they are not from Russia.

My Cayugas will be 6 weeks old on Wednesday. They seem to quack just as much as the other ducklings, but maybe a little softer voice. I would go with the Muscovy the quackless duck, if noise is a concern. Lori may have more Cayuga information for you.

If you like coloring, check out this handsome boy.

Mr. Muscovy aka big boy

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Cayuga ducklings (dark ones)

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There's always a goof in the back ground, trying to get into the picture.

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

Oscar and Felix! Got it! Had to have someone explain that to me, haha.

Mr. Muscovy is gorgeous! Noise really isn't a huge concern, I have a lot of land and not a lot of neighbors, I just thought it would be a nice plus. Your ducklings are so cute that one in the background cracked me up.

I think I am going to go with the Cayuga, I am very excited!!!

~Melmoz


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I currently have three ducks, who are unnamed. It's harder telling who's who with big flocks of nearly identical looking ducks, and these are khaki campbells.

In the past I've had indian runners, and wouldn't mind having them again.

How many names can I remember?
Massey
Ferguson
Allis
Chalmers
Fordson
McCormick
Deering
Farmall
Huber
Minneapolis
Moline
Cockshut
And at one point there was a trio named "This, That, and The Other."

Dan


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RE: So tell me about ducks

They sound like tractor names?

Eric


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RE: So tell me about ducks

I have a female cayuga and she is the friendliest but then I have had her the longest.She's not afraid to eat from our hand,peer in the glass doors and sneak in the garage to eat the cat food. When her mate was killed last year she quacked loud and long searching for him. It was sad but made me realize her personality.She has gotten a few white feathers now but our Jinxie is the best around the kids etc.


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