January 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm #257527
Partner and I are soon to be be moving onto our own accerage.
I already have about four and half years experience in the realm of chickens for eggs.
However we would like to expand upon this with ducks.
Our intention is to have them for eggs, breeding for more eggs and also later meat.
Advice on what breeds are good for this would be appreciated.January 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm #530149BelMember
Perhaps check out Mauzi’s thread. She has muscovies. They seem like a great all-round bird although I’ve never had them myself.January 10, 2013 at 9:47 am #530150veginoutMember
I’ve just started my duck keeping with 4 muscovies; 1 drake and 3 ducks. They have been fantastic gobbling up snails around the house yard – they are a bit poopie to have close to the house though. I will move them into their house in the orchard soon, but it is occupied by goats at present.
No eggs yet as they are younúns and I’m undecided about eating any offspring – maybe if brother-in-law will do the deed. They haven’t done anything but walk on a few young pumpkin plants and nibble at the odd bean leaf, so much better than chooks around the garden.January 11, 2013 at 11:56 am #530151
thanks guys. We do want to plant an orchid and I do have an area in mind for the property we hope to get, downn behind that area is a good spot to build an area for them.January 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm #530152
There are a lot of different breeds you could choose, Muscovies are probably the hardiest as well as being easy to find and cheap to buy. Perhaps you want to raise one of the rarer breeds?
We have Muscovies, at the moment one drake and five ducks (plus a bunch of ducklings). They free range through our orchards during the day and are locked up at night.
Mine lay over 100 eggs per duck per year and the ducklings take about 10 weeks to reach eating size (although I have eaten them at 8 weeks a few times). They happily go broody a few times a year and successfully raise their ducklings. Unlike some other ducks they don’t need deep water in order to breed which is another positive where I live.
Unlike other people’s muscovy ducks mine will destroy a vegetable garden very quickly if they fly over the fence. Last year they got in and ate the leeks and garlic to the ground, they like food and are not too picky. They eat a lot more insects than any chicken that I have seen.January 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm #530153
the property we are looking at has three natural spring water dams. We are thinking about the idea of making an irrigation system from the bottom one to use to fill what ever pond we build for the ducks and to also use for some watering of gardens as well as using some tank water.January 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm #530154PeterDMember
Best for your immediate purposes of egg production in ducks are the Khaki Campbell ducks. As you don’t sound that gung-ho to get into killing and eating ducks right away you will find the Khaki Campbell’s will outlay any champion chicken for egg quantity and the eggs taste absolutely beautiful. Looks like a large chicken egg, no funny off smells, and the yolks are oh-so creamy. Makes a lovely sponge cake. I have two on this property, and for meat I have Muscovy crosses.
Keep in mind Muscovy does not taste like the duck you are used to eating because it simply is not what is being sold in the markets for consumers — that and you may or may not be put off by their taste as they are lean with a lot less fat requiring different cooking techniques to avoid dry crumbly texture and your taste buds will still tell you its not duck you are eating.
95% of eating ducks available are usually Peking ducks, the literal “blondes” of the duck world in more way than one 🙂January 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm #530155gremmblesMember
We have Pekins. They are lovely birds with a real quack. They lay like crazy. They also make a wonderful roast.March 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm #530156
Do many people keep the ducks and chooks together? How do you go introducing them? Are they harder to keep them chooks? And are they really that messy?? Thinking of getting some but unsure.. We have plenty of space..March 20, 2013 at 12:07 am #530157
Ducks are messy, very messy. They tend to liquid poo, quite a lot.
I find ducks easier than chickens to keep. Mine free range and consume very little feed that is purchased. They have no disease problems or anything of any real concern. I don’t have show birds, I have a productive backyard strain of muscovies, show birds may be different.
I currently keep my ducks and chickens in different houses but they free range together during the day with no issues. I have kept ducks and chickens together in the past, they seem happier in separate houses as the ducks mess up the chicken’s water and eat all the food. The ducks also make the house damp which gives scaley leg mite and a few other chicken parasites a better chance.
That being said, I have housed ducks and chickens together in the past and I know people who house them together with no real problems. If it was me I would get some and see how you go. If it doesn’t work out you may be able to build a second house or just sell them.March 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm #530158
Thanks Mukluk! I did write this comment a week ago and it didn’t work.. Anyway I now have 3 Indian runners! Only babies, can you tell the sex? For now they wil stay inside as they are young. I also got a silver laced Wyandotte and 2 others that are crossed, can’t remember exactly. Now to juggle the 5 chooks we have with all the new additions! Lucky I don’t work again till Monday 😉 They are so cute!March 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm #530159
Oh and everything I read was about the poo but I can cope 😉 Seems to be no other real negatives?March 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm #530160
Hey, one of the ducks has a crook neck from hatching, I probably shouldn’t have got it but I did.. I have read that you can give them poly vi sol and brewers yeast? Does anyone know much about ducks?March 22, 2013 at 11:18 am #530161
Lmd80 I am no expert, but it sounds like wry neck which is a vitamin E deficiency. Brewers yeast or a liquid multi vitamin should help. I think yeast is often used because it is cheap and easy to come by. I would give it to both ducklings just to be safe as most likely the parents were vitamin deficient. From what I understand once you have fixed it they should grow normally and not have any problems.
To answer a previous question, I have had a handful of different types of ducks over the years. I have always found them great to have around and lots of fun. Some breeds or individuals are friendlier than others. The only two problems I have had has been the mess (oh the mess!) or the noise from female birds. If you have the space neither of these should be a real problem. I have never had Indian runners but have always wanted one, I am told that the productive strains will out lay pretty much any breed of chicken.March 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm #530162GirlFridayMember
I have khaki campbells- one drake (called Quackers) and 7 girls (collectively called ‘the dips’) and I get on average about 4 eggs a day. They are lovely eggs and lovely ducks. The other day they warned me about a brown snake in the dam. They free range with the chooks but have their own night quarters as they like to dabble their dirty beaks in any sort of water and they sully the chooks’ water containers. They are funny characters to watch- loads of entertainment value. They have however been banned from the houseyard because of their uncanny ability to find cement and poop on it and their love of borage which i am trying to establish as a bee garden around the vege patch.
Cant comment on their eating characteristics as I havent eaten any and I dont like the taste of duck.
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