Will Two Drakes & Two Ducks Get On?

Duck keepers often wonder what is the best combination and ratio of male to females and I am often emailed about the numbers of drakes and ducks in a group and whether they will get along ok.

Carolyn has just emailed as she has two draks and two ducks.

The ducklings I got at Easter have turned out to be 2 drakes & 2 ducks. Will this ratio work, or will there be problems with having two drakes? Hope you can help Many thanks Carolyn

My response is:

There may be rivalry between the drakes when they reach maturity so they may fight to see who is top drake!

They may also prefer one female over the other and both my fight over the duck which could hurt the duck as well as the drakes.

You could separate them into two groups of one drake and one duck during the breeding season and then put them back together during Autumn and Winter when they will probably get on fine. This may depend on the amount of space you have and the housing you have and if you are able to partition it off.

You could also increase the number of females. 1 drake to about 6 ducks is a good amount.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

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Will Concrete Flooring Or 1/2″ Chicken Mesh Hurt Ducks Feet?

I have been asked if concrete flooring or 1/2″ chicken mesh will hurt ducks feet.

I live in an area with alot of raccoons….and due to lack of forage, have to move the duck pen around alot….Will it hurt them to walk on 1/2″chicken mesh and concrete??
Linda

I know that concrete can give them sore feet if they are walking on it all the time, but not sure about the wire mesh, although I wouldn’t have thought it would be comfortable for them and could damage their feet. I don’t like the thought of standing on wire and I often worry about my ducks running around on the concrete farmyard and all the gravel but we do have plenty of grass as well for them to walk on.  I am sure that straw on the top of the concrete and wire would soften where they walk.

Concrete flooring or wire mesh flooring are sometimes used when predation is a problem. Pens and housing can often have a wire bottom on them so that predators like raccoons and rats can’t burrow under and get the ducks or poultry or any sort.

My quail aviary sits on concrete so that I don’t get the rat problem but you can’t see the concrete slabs for straw.
I used to have bottom less pens for my hens and guinea fowl when I first got poultry and had to brick round to stop the rats digging under the sides and into the pen to eat the poultry feed or steal the eggs.

So a wire mesh floor on the hut would have helped to prevent this and their droppings would still get through the mesh and they would still be able to nibble at the grass!

We have had a great debate about this issue on the farmingfriends forum.

One member fo the farmingfriends forum – Yanky says,

Hi Sara I have mesh on part of the guinea fowl area but we laid it then covered it over with turf then straw. It works!
Yan.

Click on this link to read the debate about whether concrete and 1/2″ chicken mesh hurt ducks feet?

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

If you keep ducks or are thinking of keeping ducks then why not join the farmingfriends duck forum where you can chat about and ask advice about ducks.

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Housing Size Requirements For Ducks

I have been asked about the size of housing reuired for keeping a number of ducks. The size of the housing will depend on the number of ducks kept and the size of the duck breed.

  • Large breeds such as Aylesbury ducks need a good two-foot square area per bird and two foot high.
  • The medium breeds to large breeds such as Runner ducks need about one and half foot square area per duck and two foot high.
  • Smaller ducks such as Call ducks require about one-foot square per bird.

I have read that the RSPCA advises 6 birds per 1 square metre for birds that are 3-3.3kg and 5 birds per 1 square metre for birds weighing 3.4-4kg.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

Visit Chicken Coops Direct For Hen Housing

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Mixing More Than One Male Call Duck With Three Female Call Ducks

I am often asked about mixing different set of ducks and thought that this was a particularly interesting question about mixing call ducks.

“Hi, I have just been given two females and a male call duck, literally with out any notice! I couldnt say no but am I going to upset my pair of call ducks who are a breeding pair by keeping them all together for a couple of weeks whilst i get a new run built? Dont know much about keeping more than one male with 3 females!!!! many thanks Tanya”

Hi Tanya,

When you introduce more than one male especially if they are nearing sexual maturity then they may fight if there are only three females.

Also you may find that the new male is more dominant and starts to breed with the female of the original pair which you may not want to happen.

Hope they all get on and you can separate them quickly.
kind regards
sara @ farmingfriends

So things to consider when mixing more than one male duck with a trio of breeding call ducks:

  • Males may fight, especially during the breeding season.
  • All drakes may mate with the female call ducks which means that pedigree can’t be guaranteed by a specific male.
  • One drake will become dominant and this may not be the drake you want to breed.
  • May need to separate groups and particularly the drakes.
  • May need to get more females to satisfy the drakes.

If you have any advice for Tanya about mixing more than one drake with her breeding call ducks then please leave a comment.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

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Duck Dependent On Humans

If you have a duck who has become dependent on humans, say if you incubate some duck eggs and only one duckling hatches out then the duckling may become dependent on the human who is caring for the duckling as the bird doesn’t have any other ducks to interact with.

So what can you do if a duck or duckling has become dependent on a human?

  • Give the duckling or duck another duck or two to become friends with. Introducing ducks that are not as tame will help to  reduce the dependency on then human.
  • If it is a duckling then giving the duckling other stimulus in the brooder other than human attention may help to alleviate dependency.
  • Give the duckling a toy duck to interact with.
  • Give the duckling a variety of appropriate food to keep the duckling occupied.
  • Once the duck is old enough give the duck outside house so that the duck gets used to spending time away from humans.

Do you have any tips for making a dependent duck or duckling less dependent on humans, if so please leave a comment.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

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Can You Keep All Drakes Together?

I am often asked if you can keep all drakes together. My answer to this  would be no if you are just keeping drakes unless they are separated from each other.

If you are going to keep drakes then you will need to get some ducks to satisfy their breeding urges. At least 2 ducks per drake but if you have enough space I would say between 4-6 ducks per drake is more suitable.

I only have one drake so don’t have experience of drakes not getting on.

You might find that if they have grown up together and if they have enough ducks to satisfy them, then they may get on. However one of my forum members, Campbell ridge is having to sell one of her drakes as the adult drake is finding the new drake a threat and the adult one, infact the parent of the younger drake is becoming aggressive towards the young drake, so in this instance even a related drake doesn’t get on.

If you onl;y have drakes and have the room I would suggest getting some ducks to go with each drake and seeing what happens and then if the drakes do not get on then you may have to sell some of the drakes.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.


Plants For Duck Pens

I have been reading that the following plants are good to plant in a duck pen.

Sedge grass,
Montbretia,
Ornamental grasses, including pampas and ferns,
Evergreen shrubs
Dwarf varieties
Evergreen plants such as:
Cotoneaster,
Eleagnus,
Pyracantha,
Berberis,
Rhododendron,
Pieris ‘Forest Flame’,
Small ground cover plants such as:
Periwinkle,
Potentilla,
Rock Rose,
Heathers,
Hostas.

The source for this info was http://www.waterfowl.org.uk/docs/plants_and_pens.pdf

I am sure I have read somewhere that lily of the valley is poisonous to ducks but can’t remember where I read this.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.



Ducks & Water

Ducks are waterfowl and it is important for them to have access to water so that they can swim in the water as well as dabble in it, submerge their head in it to keep their eyes clean and healthy and to bathe in it so that they can keep themselves free from mites and lice.

Some duck breeds need a larger pond than others.

I have khaki campbell ducks and they are happy to dabble and bathe in containers of water.

Duck In Water Container

Duck In Water Container

Duck Preening In Water Container

Duck Preening In Water Container

If you don’t have a pond then you can provide your ducks with large containers so that they can still dabble, bathe and swim if the container is large enough.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.


Taming Ducks And Ducklings

I am often asked about how to tame ducks and ducklings.

Hey i have 6 prob 5 week old baby ducks and am having problems getting them use to being held we got em when they was 4 weeks old and so there use to each other and are use to the fact we feed them but not use to us holding them. When we pick them up to put them in water they squirm and want loose. Plz help. I want them to be use to us and not stress out everytime we hold em. Briana

Hi Briana,

Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and sending this email.

I would try stroking them when it is getting dark as they will be sleepy and more settled. Once they are used to your touch then they will gradually let you pick them up and then stroke then as you hold them and they will be used to the stroking. Once they are used to the stroking I would gently talk to them so that they are used to your voice.

I would also give them their favourite food and feed them close to you so that they get used to being close to you.

I think it takes quite a bit of time and effort to get the ducks tame enough to be held.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

I recently set up a free forum with a section on ducks that you may find interesting. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/forum.php?id=5

What breed are your ducks?

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

If you have any tips on how to tame ducks and ducklings then please leave a comment.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular email updates of the farmingfriends website posts:

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