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Keeping ducks
#1
I have a small-medium sized pond in my garden and wondered about keeping a couple of ducks? I haven't fully researched this yet - but thought I'd ask the experts on here Confusedmile: Do any of you have ducks as well as chickens?

 

I know they can eat layers pellets but prefer wheat to cracked corn (the latter is only given to my chooks as a wee treat before bedtime). Would the ducks need housing? if so, what kind?  I have a pretty secure garden - although my chooks are shut in at night. Are ducks 'garden friendly' - ie are they destructive? Are there any special needs for ducks? If free ranging, I'm not sure that I would find the eggs - the chooks at least use their nest boxes. What breeds should I look at for a starting point - probably something small?

 

Anything else I should be aware of with keeping ducks?

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#2
I have ducks with chickens.I dont have a separate house for mine,they bunk up with the chickens.This means i have to clean out more often as ducks really are the messiest creatures,they paddle squidgy poo and mud everywhere! They will mess up your pond.

As mine sleep in the hen house they mostly lay in there.They will be destructive in the garden,depending on what size you keep.

I have muscovey ducks,big heavy birds that trample everything underfoot.

I have kept call ducks in the past,very pretty sweet little ducks as long as you dont mind the constant quacking.I loved my call boys but one day they decided to fly up and over into the dog kennels :crying:

Top tip..do not stand in squidgy duck poo unless you really want to practise ballet moves laugh

Patterdales..there is no doubt they are addictive,therein lies the danger.While living with lots,you will grow poorer and stranger. dog run K9
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#3
I keep Calls and nearly always disagree with other duck keepers about having them as they are the only breed I've ever kept (or bred).  Calls are small, calm and if you keep sensible numbers (perhaps 3) they never did any harm to my pond - far from it - we had the best and clearest water all the time we had them.  The females can be a bit noisy (especially when young) so if you're not worried about eggs or ducklings (they're useless at both by the way) keep a trio of drakes.  They do eat layers pellets and very little else to be honest. Mine live in the same large enclosure with the chickens although you couldn't put ducklings straight in with chickens, they'd be bullied mercilessly.  They sleep separately so as to keep the hen house cleaner and dry.  I have a large 'trixie' house with newspaper and straw in and I heard them in to that each evening.  The run is very secure so doesn't matter if I'm late home, I just prefer to know they're tucked up rather than 'on display' if a fox comes prowling. Mine do not free-range any more but they did at my old house and they never did any damage, they're too small and light on their feet.  They will drill in to your lawn but again this never caused any undue damage.  I definitely recommend Calls - they come in lovely colours and become really tame with careful handling.  I've had a couple live to over 10 years old as well. 

I never make the same mistake twice. I do it at least five or six times, just to make sure !

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#4
Many thanks k9 and April. I have googled Call Ducks and they look very tempting - the noise wont bother me as I am deaf, don't know about the neighbours though :rolleyes:.  Common sense tells me I should wait until I have sold this house and moved to a more rural place - I'm looking for a smaller house/garden, but more field/rustic land. It might take a while - only had one viewer since last April. The proposed rise in Stamp Duty/Land Tax isn't helping...sighhhh.

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#5
They're really not that noisy but they do alarm call at things they're not sure about.  Once they're settled and a bit more mature they quack much less.  It is only quacking after all so it shouldn't upset neighbours but as I said earlier, if you're worried you could start with some boys (no noise at all) and add some females when you're in a more rural location.  Drakes live perfectly happily together - they're not an argumentative breed.  By the way, they don't need a pond (although of course they like one).  Provided they have water deep enough to dip their entire heads in they'll do fine.  A large washing up bowl is perfectly good enough. A pond is heaven !

 

Hope you get some luck selling your house this year - you're Estate Agent needs a kick up the bum me thinks :thumbdown:

I never make the same mistake twice. I do it at least five or six times, just to make sure !

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#6
As April said,maybe get drakes first of all.My boys only quacked occaisionally,its the ladies that can be quacky.Its actually a lovely noise but if you have funny neighbours it may be best to wait until you move before you get girls.

My muscovies hardly make any noise at all and they are happy with large tubtrugs to dabble in,however they are a big lumbering breed.

Also agree about estate agent,maybe time for a change?

Patterdales..there is no doubt they are addictive,therein lies the danger.While living with lots,you will grow poorer and stranger. dog run K9
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#7
Bit like Humans ... Males are good looking and the females are noisy :hysterical :wabbits is the step this way ...

ntg


Warwickshire

The view is much better from the naughty step ... Cool
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#8
Oh dear NTG. I think Zoe is already polishing up the step....
Today is the First Day of the rest of our lives.
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