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Farming Friends Forum » Ducks

I'm new and about to get some ducks

(20 posts)

  1. quax
    Member

    Hi the pen is sorted, the duck house is up and we hope to buy 3 Khaki Campbells adult females next week, just a few questions:
    Should you leave food and/or water in their house at night?
    How long can you keep the duck eggs before you need to use them?
    We've bought some layers pellets, should we also get some wheat?
    Should we get some grit?
    We'll get some straw for nesting, but do we also need sawdust on the floor of their house?
    How much food should they have morning and night
    Is it obvious to see if they've had their wings clipped and should we do this if they haven't already had them clipped?
    Sorry, so many questions!!
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. Hi quax,
    Welcome to the farmingfriends forum.
    I do put food and water in my hut for the poultry but it is a large hut. They do eat and drink but they do splash the water about. I have read alot of sites that say not too put food and drink in.
    If you were selling the duck eggs then you can put 3 weeks on them from when they were laid but if they are for you then they generally last at least 6 weeks.
    I feed my adult ducks layers pellets and they free range during the day and eat grass, slugs, snails and any grain they find around the farmyard!
    I have a tub with grit in the hut for my poultry but they don't take much notice of it. As they free range during the day they are generally picking up grit as they nibble their way around the farm!
    my ducks use straw for their nests and their hut has straw on the ground.
    I always have a feeder filled up for my poultry and I also use seed trays as the ducks like eating the pellets out of these as well which I fill up every day. ( I have 7 ducks, 29 guinea fowl and 9 hens all in the same large hut!)
    I don't have experience of wing clipping myself. My khaki campbells wings are not clipped.My ducks generally don't fly about unless they want to get away from something or one of the ducks is separated from the others and wants to get back to the others quickly.
    Hope this helps. Good luck with your ducks and let us know how you get on.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. quax
    Member

    Thank you so much for all this info, you sound like you have your hands full!
    I'll let you know how we get on.
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Hi Rachel,
    Look forward to hearing about the progress of your ducks. Maybe you could send some photos to add here.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. quax
    Member

    Hi Sara
    We now have our new ducks, 3 Khaki Campbells and 2 Khaki Campbell crosses, we don't know what they are crossed with, but they look very similar with more black and slightly darker heads. At the auction we were told they were "As hatched" in 09, I assume this means they were hatched some time this year and the seller does not know the sex. So we're not 100% sure of their ages, but it can't be any older than 5 months. I have tried to put a picture with this posting, but can't seem to insert a picture or cut and paste one. Not sure why.

    Do you know what sort of age these ducks start laying? They are delightful and seem pleased with their new surroundings, they are quite timid though and don't like me to come too close. Getting them in was interesting!!!!
    Best wishes
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for the update it's great to hear from other duck enthusiasts. I have 6 khaki campbell ducks and 1 drake. they are lovely and all stick closely together.

    Ducks start to lay at about 21 to 26 weeks old.
    Here is a link to an article on my main farmingfriends website. http://farmingfriends.com/when-do-ducks-start-to-lay/

    Picture wise your photos have to be hosted on a site such as photobucket or flickr. if you have one of these accounts then I have written some instructions here for uploading them http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=113
    I will send you an email and then you can send me the photos so that I can host them on my website and then add them here.

    Thanks for your contributions.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for the photos. I have added them above. Your ducks are lovely. I like the markings on the cross. The three khaki campbells look like mine.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. rozza
    Member

    We don't put any food and water into our ducks hut - they have a ramp into the hut and it's hilarious because about 8.30 to 9.00 pm we watch them waddle up the ramp and put themselves to bed! ours live happily on pellets and whatever they forrage about in the garden - they also love greenery and we will often give them a few leaves of whatever vegetables we have in the house. I line their hut with newpaper and then put straw on top - it's much easier to clean out - you can just roll the newspaper up and get most of the mess out in one go.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. quax
    Member

    Hi Rozza
    thanks for the extra tips, ours are beginning to go into their house more easily now, although because I'm sometimes out in the evening we tend to get them to bed by 8pm, maybe I should leave them out a little longer. I'm hoping ours are all female, we shall just have to wait and see. How often do you clean out your duck hut, it looks so messy after only a couple of days I feel I should be cleaning them out quite alot, but maybe I'm being a bit too fanatic!

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi all, our 3 campbells don't go in "happily" til about 10ish now (mid june) and if it's a bright night, they just don't want to go in. They have a large free range area as well as a largish secure pen for when we leave the house so are rather fit and quite good at flapping/flying if they get spooked. (They can't fly far tho.) We don't put food or water in the house either. We feed layers pellets, which have grit in them and the drake is content with this too.
    I tend to pick up the poos with a plastic bag from the straw and if there are a lot then put in a lyer of fresh on top and completely change the bedding once a week/10days.
    BTW, if you get a broody, the house remains clean so there is no need to disturb mum.

    Sarah L
    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. Hi Campbell Ridge,
    Thanks for your contribution it's great to hear about your ducks. Wow your ducks stay out til late. Mine free range the farm yard, garden and our neighbouring fields so mine come in abit earlier due to foxes lurking in the fields where the crops are growing. My ducks are very good at getting themselves in about 6pm. If they are not around when I come out and I start calling the poultry they soon come. They obviously respond to my voice.
    You have given some good tips. Thanks
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    I guess mine stay out as late as possible to eat and drink as they have nothing when they go in til about 8 in morning.
    BTW, both my ladies are sitting on the same nest, side by side. The one that had the fright and left hers last month has now joined the other less committed one, who wasn't "doing it right". They have 13 eggs between them.
    Fingers crossed again.

    Sarah L
    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. LLOYDELLIS1
    Member

    Hiya all - my ducks are "free range" in my garden in the middle of a housing estate - we've put a "Please shut the gate" sign up to stop them escaping as we've had neighbours chasing and returning them for us in the past. Now, after 5 or 6 years, everyone knows them and some delivery men particularly ask to "do" our house so they can come see them. Mine are trained to go to bed when I shout "Bedtime ducks!!" which suits me fine but was very embarrassing for my 73 year old, rather fuddy duddy, father in law whilst we were on holiday - he was mortified!!. The male ("Egg") now likes to come into the conservatory for a cuddle every time I leave the door open. Unfortunately he's also discovered a liking for my gin and tonic so I have to keep it out of his reach. Quax I hope you have many a happy year to come with your newbies - they're great pets and very very entertaining

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. Hi Sarah (Campbell Ridge),

    My ducks will eat the food that I have in feed trays waiting for them when they go in at night and then they have a drink and the drink is all gone in the morning. The hut is shared with guinea fowl and hens as well so they all tuck into the food and drink when they first go in at night and then in the morning before I let them out.

    It's interesting that you have two ducks sitting. hopefully between them they'll get a result - fingers crossed and luck forward to updates.

    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Hi Lloydellis1,
    Great to hear about your ducks free ranging and the neighbours helping and the delivery folk wanting to see them. I think that ducks really respond to voice commands and even just hearing my voice at night they will come out of nowhere! I love your phrase "Bedtime ducks"
    Fancy a drake taking a liking to gin and tonic! You should change his name to GNT! My drake is called Sir Francis Drake! or France for short. You are lucky that you drake is so tame. My ducks aren't that tame at the moment. They come to me if they think I have food but don't want me to get too close.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi sara/Lloyd, My ducks aren't tame as i think they were left "to themselves" for too long before i had them at 6months old. Still they are very entertaining and hopefully if we manage to get any out of our 13 eggs, we will be able to tame them instead.
    I love the fact that yours are so tame and friendly. Hope mine will be one day.

    Sarah L
    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. LLOYDELLIS1
    Member

    If you can get near enough try scratching/ tickling under their neck. Thats how I started with mine. He started to get a bit aggressive and instead of holding his beak or whatever I tried this instead (the softly softly approach) He was a bit perturbed at first and didn't like it but now he knows I'm not going to hurt him he comes and sits next to me until I do it. He wasn't in the least bit tame till I started that. Now he follows me everywhere. (by the way I'm Jeanette - LLOYD and ELLIS are my boys names - hence the username)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    LOL! Hi Jeanette, I cant get close, they all run and squawk like mad things if you go too close and as the two girls are sitting atm - Georgie has taken to sitting in there with them (if you can't beat them join them) and we have to force them to come out to eat and drink twice a day as they have had a squirrel attack and they are v nervous!

    Is there a way of contacting other members directly Sara and can we receive emails when someone replies to a post?

    Regards, Sarah

    Sarah L
    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. Hi Sarah (Campbell Ridge),

    I can't get close to mine either. They only come up close if they think I have food!

    I am sorting out the contacting other members and receiving email notifications of postings and will let you know when it's working. Thanks for asking for these features.

    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. quax
    Member

    Thanks everyone for all the info, I think I'm trying to keep our house too clean as I tend to give it a good clean out every 3 or 4 days (and getting through straw very quickly). There always seems to be tons of little black flies everywhere, but now I think I'll work with your suggestions. Our five are going in very nicely now,at about 8pm they seem to know what to do, and we usually let them out between 8am and 9.30am depending on the day. They are also growing, I think they may be about 5 months now and we're feeding them grower pellets, but have some layers pellets ready. Hopefully they will start laying soon. Although we still don't know what sex they all are!! They are beginning to get used to us and will happily forage around us when we're out in the garden, although won't come closer than a couple of feet. They are very entertaining!!

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. Hi quax,
    Thanks for the update. Your ducks sound like they are well trained and that you are keeping their house spotless - lucky ducks!
    I think my ducks started to lay at week 20. http://farmingfriends.com/when-do-ducks-start-to-lay/ So yours may start any time soon.
    My ducks don't come too close although they do respond to my voice and come if they hear me talking!
    Duck eggs make the best omelettes and are great for poaching. These are recommendations that my friends have made when I have given them my duck eggs.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #

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