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 Post subject: Ducks!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 188
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Hi!
I think I want to expand the family! We have 38 chickens and 14 sheep and I've always wanted ducks and geese.
I've found week old Muscovy ducks for sale very close by for $6 each.
Are they a breed that you duck keepers out there would recommend?

I can quickly knock up a bath with a float valve for them and fence off an empty stable when they get older.

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:20 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Of course you need some Mussies - they are the closest duck to a goose, love to forage and apart from needing to be kept safe and having access to some shelter, they are lower maintainance than chooks (and they make great mums :hiding) If they are well handled, they are very friendly - (handled wrongly they do 'squirt' with amazing accuracy).
Best not kept around the house - they are much more messy than chooks.


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:07 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
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Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Awesome. Thanks so much Sue!

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
I like them, they are good reliable layers too. Lost some to foxes, very safe lock-up at night is a must. Now with just four Muscovy ducks I'm tossing up whether to buy a drake, or just buy-in fertile eggs for them when they are broody. One disadvantage of drakes is that they can make life unpleasant for hens if you ever run ducks/chickens together, to the point of killing them.

Geese are even easier to manage than ducks, their eggs are nicer eating even though bigger, and they have a bit more personality, some bonus day-time warning or guarding ability, (still need safe lock-up at night) and easier to keep with chickens if enough space and feeders well separated. Generally dearer to buy - from $30 ea for Pilgrim/Settler/Farmyard, closer to $100 ea for Chinese, more for the Sebastopols or Toulouse. So your $6 duck(lings) are a more economical starter-pack, although probably are brothers/sisters if you were considering breeding from them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:49 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
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Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Thanks PC :-)
Yes I'd definitely like geese one day too!
I'll see how we go with a few ducks for now. I guess at 1 week we could get any mix of male/female from the seller

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
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Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Picked up 4 this afternoon. They're 3 weeks old so we've popped them in with our 5 week chicks.
I will sort out a small water bath for them tomorrow.
As for feed, ideally I'd like to keep them together. Can they eat the pullet feed now and then layer pellets at 16 weeks?


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
Yes, they can eat pullet grower now and layer pellets at 16 weeks :) That is basically what I do with ducks after 3 weeks of age.

Welcome to the wonderful world of ducks! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 188
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
As a bonus, we picked up 4 of these cuties for free. He had heaps and said to take as many as we like!
Belgian Bantams I believe.


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:57 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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You might want to add another waterer that's accessible only via a perch for the chicks. Ducks do tend to mess up water.... Having said that I don't have experience of Muscovy ducks so maybe they are less water obsessed than the mallard-derived variety (who will mess up water just by looking at it). Just see how you go :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 188
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Haha. Yeah the chickens have lubing cups so they should be OK there I think :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
Perfect :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 188
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
My wife is quite smitten considering she wasn't keen on the duck idea!
We let them out this morning and they seem to be keen to explore. They didn't look like they were going to stop in a hurry so we headed them back to the coop and locked them up.
Will they end up like the chickens and hang around the coop? Will I need to clip their wings later or will they keep coming back?


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:09 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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They are lovely. One of the things that I love about ducks is that ducklings do look like little ducks but chicks don't look like little chooks.
They will like to roam and will look for areas to graze during the day but will learn to go home at night for a reward. Mine come when called (mostly).
Mussies will sleep on the ground but they are naturally a perching duck. They will fly. The males tend to get too heavy but the females will fly short distances


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:58 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
They will roam so you might want to set up some fencing, even just to start with until they're fully grown and know where home is.

Work out what their favourite treat is and when you want to put them away give them that treat in their house. Choose a word to call out and use that every time. Before too long they should work out the connection.

Glad to hear that things are going well :)

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Blue Swedish Ducks


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:14 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 188
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Thanks so much guys :-) helpful as always!

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