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Duckies, any advice?

Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Guineas,Turkeys. Pheasants etc

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Juska
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Duckies, any advice?

Postby Juska » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:12 pm

So, I was at a pet store in PA yesterday (I love PA pet/feed stores compared to NJ ones), and they had baby ducks and chicks for sale. This got me back into the idea that I want some fowl when we move to a house with a nice yard. I was also with some friends who have two chickens, so they were interested as well. We ended up going to the second store to buy a new water dish for their chickens (they outgrew the old one, they're getting big!).

Just wanted to hear from some of you guys; advice/stories/tips/food ideas/care info that you might have. I'm doing research, I've decided I want Pekin ducks, and I'd like to get a single one, but will probably get two as I know most animals like to have buddies, like rats do. I would prefer males to females, one because male animals are usually more docile, two they aren't as loud (haha) and three, I don't know what we'd do with all those eggs :lol:

Again, don't plan on getting them any time soon, I'll probably have to wait until at least next spring when they're available as babies again. We'll probably be moved into the other house by then, if the condo sells, and I'm pretty sure I'll be financially stable enough to hold down some ducks :roll:

Some specific things I'd like answered are:

1. Do they do well outside in winter time, as in PA/NJ winter where it can get down to 0F, or will I have to keep them inside during this time, either in a constructed shelter or the house? I plan on at least building a pen with a roof on one end, but should I just build/buy a completely enclosed coop for them as well?

2. I don't plan on leaving them unsupervised outside, so I don't fear them being taken by predators, but do they do well with dogs? I've seen pictures of Opie with Pat's ducks and geese, so I assume that with proper introduction they should get along. Just want some more input on that.

3. The house we might be moving to has a small creek nearby. Would it be safe to let them swim there under my watch? And when I say little, it's about 10-15 feet wide at most and runs under the little bridge connecting the road to the house's driveway.

I've never dealt with fowl before. So some input from experienced owners would be great. Much appreciation in advance.
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BB
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby BB » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:52 pm

I've got two male ducks.
They are born rapists and always chase my geese and try to rape the female. I had them locked up with my chickens and they tried to rape them too.
They are very messy, and mess up their drinking water in a minute or so.
You can bond with them easy enough when you get them young, and depending, if you have enough time you can have only one, but it would be lonely if you don't spend enough time.
Depending on the bonding I guess you can take them to the creek. I had a goose once, which followed me around and went for walks or swam behind the canoe on the river. (it really is the question how easy you can get them home again... :icon-wink: )
Also depending on the dog they can all be friends.
Not quite sure about the cold, but I think a shelter is required.

(I personally get more enjoyment out of my geese and chickens, but ducks can be funny...)
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby Juska » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:04 pm

I was never particularly into chickens. I spent about a year of my childhood on a farm when my parents split up for the umpteenth time, and I never liked the way chickens smelled. But meeting my friends' chickens was nice. Their rooster crowed nonstop because they live in a large pen inside a finished basement, and I guess he doesn't know when it's light and dark. That would bother me (and Matt) a lot, I think. So if I got chickens I'd probably get females. Their female tolerated being picked up and petted. Eggs would also be a problem, but I guess I could just give them away or sell them if anyone showed interest.

So, I guess I can consider both. I suppose I'll do more research and try to spend time with both and see what interests me more. Looks like I'll be heading back to Stroudsburg to visit the chickens again :lol:
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby BB » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:16 am

Oh, I can't stand roosters!! I don't have any and my ladies don't need one either. If you don't eat eggs you always can sell them, people love free range eggs!
I didn't want you to get away from your duck idea though, it was just my experience with my animals...
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Juska
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby Juska » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:38 am

Hehe, it's fine, chickens were also an option, but for some reason I've always just liked ducks more. But yes, I definitely don't need a rooster giving me and my new neighbors a headache. I'd probably be known as "That weird lady who wears black and has a pet rooster!" :roll:
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby BB » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:21 am

:lol: I probably would be known as "The weird lady who wears black with a splash of rooster feather colours..."
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby Trefoil » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:39 am

I love my ducks. Once they are full grown as long as you lock them in at night you should be all right predator wise, but I've got geese as well, so that may be why. I live in lower MI so my climate should be similar (?) to yours and my ducks do well even in the winter, but you have to haul water for them. I use the big plastic kids pool in the summer and a fortex tub in the winter. Your creek might be a problem,i.e. losing them "downriver". It would be greatly appreciated if you could fence off 15-20' of the creek. If you bring your dogs up with the ducks, they shouldn't be a problem, but you'll need to train them to leave the ducks alone. As long as you handle them all the time your ducks will be tame and follow you around.
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby Ash » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:14 pm

My sister and I each had a pet chicken growing up. They were both hens. If you raise them as pets, they can be super duper friendly. Our chickens would come over to us when we went outside. They would follow us around even when full-grown.

I even "taught" my chicken to get used to being held upside down and to be cradled like a baby. They were very nice since we raised them as pets.

We would give them free-roam of our neighborhood. That got us into trouble once though... when they left a nice little surprise on our neighbors' porch. They would always come back to their hen house at night time. So every night we would just go and lock the door of their house so that they would be safe.

They were great pets though. I imagine ducks would be similar if raised as pets.
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Re: Duckies, any advice?

Postby Lasergrl » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:48 pm

Have you looked into muscovy ducks? They are very quiet, and bind to people better then pekins. Also the females can fly and are very predator savvy. Wings can be clipped also if flying is undesired. They are mounds cleaner too. I only keep muscovies now.

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