Anybody Raise Ducks?
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  1. #1
    Registered User thriftstorequeen's Avatar
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    Default Anybody Raise Ducks?

    My hubby and I are thinking of raising ducks. We thought we could use the eggs and the ducks for meat. Does it take alot to keep ducks. Where do you get them? Any info would be helpful. THANKS!

  2. #2

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    No ducks but we do raise chickens and turkeys, and have the neighbors guineas here daily.

    Duck eggs are stronger tasting, and I'm not sure how long they lay for, I'll ask a friend that DOES raise them.

    Ducks ARE messy, they need a large water source and will chew up the grass/ground, they've made a big mess of my friends yard. They also go after bugs (part of the chewing/digging).

    Do you have a lake or pond area? My friend uses a large water trough for hers, she usually only keeps a few at a time.

    Kj

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    Our kids purchased ducks this year for a 4-H project. They got some from www.mcmurrrayhatchery.com and others from a local feed store. Our oldest son won Grand Champion poultry at the county fair with one of his ducks!

    We think the ducks are wonderful. They are so fun to watch. They're gentle and sweet and so darn cute!

    They are MUCH messier than chickens. Ducks need water to eat, so they will waddle back and forth from the food to the water as they eat -- making a big mess of everything. Keeping their pen neat when they were ducklings was a big challenge. We made the mistake of raising the ducklings with our chicks, and it was not good for the chicks. Now, we're set up to raise them seperately.

    We made a chicken tractor for the ducks. This kept them safe from predators, gave them some shelter, and still let them range for bugs and weeds. We moved it a few times a day. When they outgrew the tractor, we moved them to a larger pen, which we moved every 1-2 weeks. At this point, we gave them a kiddy pool.

    Now, they are full-grown. They free-range and bed down in the area around their pool. We collect their eggs in the morning. (Ducks mostly lay eggs at night. They're done laying by morning, so if you pen them overnight and let them roam during the day, the eggs should all be in the pen.)

    Ducks keep themselves clean and their surroundings messy. We clean out their kiddy pool every day. Now that they're free-ranging, they don't make a noticeable mess, but when they're penned, the pen becomes VERY messy.

    The eggs are wonderful. They are rich and so good to bake with. For eating fresh, there is little difference between the duck eggs and our chicken eggs. Duck egg shells are a bit rubbery (which is just a surprise when you go to crack one open for the first time ), and the yolks are a bit bigger.

    The meat is very much like roast beef.

    We have Khaki Campbells and Fawn and White runners for eggs and Pekins for meat. We have a trio of Cayuga's and a trio of Ancona's just because they're beautiful, and the kids couldn't resist them when they saw them at the feed store. We just got lucky in getting a trio of each.

    We buy some duck food, but mostly they forage and get a few grains. We'll have to supplement more over the winter. They are great at getting the bugs! I pulled one tick off the dog all summer -- and none off the kids. That's a first. Right now, they're attacking the boxelder bugs and Japanese beetles that normally invade our home by the 100's each fall. I've seen one boxelder bug in the house and maybe 5 Japanese beetles. The ducks are worth it just for that!!

    Here's a picture of our oldest with his champion Khaki Campbell drake, and a picture of several of our ducks after they'd moved from the chicken tractor to an enclosed pen.

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  5. #4
    Registered User thriftstorequeen's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Anyone else please keep it coming. We have alot of ticks and other bugs. We have a pit in the back of our house which holds water. We thought we'd fence it in and fence the top too. I can't wait to find out more. I'm going to check the web site you gave me!

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    Registered User Holly's Avatar
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    I have 3 ducks. Their eggs are bigger and richer than chicken.
    They do need a big water area.
    Mine never ruin the grass and they are as easy as raising chickens.
    I do thow them cracked corn out every day for them and the chickens
    They lay about the same also.

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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    I have ducks as pets. I agree they are very messy! We get 1 egg per duck per day.
    The price of their pellets has really went up. I love the eggs!!! Sprinkle a little flax on their feed and you now have the $ omega 3 eggs~!

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    I have Muscovies, which, if you live in town might be an option because they don't quack so noise shouldn't be an issue with neighbors. They can and do fly, at least the hens and the young drakes do. The drakes eventually get too big to get up off the ground.

    They're extremely friendly and personable. I find them to be much more people friendly than other breeds. They can be pretty prolific. I have one little hen ("Little Ducky") that is always hatching babies; unfortunately, she's the world's worst momma and if I can't get another hen to foster hers, I have to bring them in and raise them myself. I currently have eight of her babies in a tub in the house right now.

    They're good foragers but do need supplemental feeding with scratch and other poultry mix (I give mine the same layer food my chickens get). They're pretty good on slugs and the younger ones love to chase flying bugs, like 'skeeters.

    I don't eat mine, but do understand they are excellent. If you can find the eggs, they're wonderful in baking.

    Janis
    Last edited by goat21; 11-15-2007 at 10:40 AM.

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    Registered User green5acres's Avatar
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    I always had ducks, they free ranged and where the best watchdogs, I always knew when someone was here. They are very friendly- I only used the eggs for baking though --I love ducks!We had quite a few babies hatched through the years too. But I decided it was just toooo much for me any more to keep up with the water issue during the winter months.So I gave them to a friend with a pond. I was using baby pools and if you dont change them out every day, its a huge mess.If you have access to water, a pond or such, its much easier. Oh did I tell you we Raised then in the den from the start, in a playpen. six weeks.

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    Registered User stinkbug's Avatar
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    I guess the 30-50 mallards that visit our pond daily really don't count, do they? :-)

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