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 Post subject: Ideal housing for ducks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:46 am 
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Showy Hen
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Friends,

after losing my duckling for a suspected chook chase :( I decided to setup a proper separate area for ducks only.

I want to keep the ducks as pets and for eggs.

Suggestion on housing (small area)? Differences between housing for chooks and for ducks?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:00 pm 
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Phoenix
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fcosentino,

You will need water for the ducks, enough for them to submerge their heads in and at least splash around, they also dont roost so you will need to put some shavings etc down on the ground for them to nest in. I have always found you need more area for a duck then you do for a hen...if you want to keep everything dry.

J

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:39 pm 
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Showy Hen
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jocler wrote:
fcosentino,

You will need water for the ducks, enough for them to submerge their heads in and at least splash around, they also dont roost so you will need to put some shavings etc down on the ground for them to nest in. I have always found you need more area for a duck then you do for a hen...if you want to keep everything dry.

J


Thanks J - the new area is actually a very good fit for your suggestions, it is between trees, so well shaded and protected, in a corner of the fence, it has also lots of shavings already on the floor (those were to prevent weeds and keep moisture in the soil).

For the water, I am planning to put some plastic containers, but ideally, in the future I would like to setup a small pond, including some filtering fishes (carps?) for self-cleaning and some special aquatic plants so that it is virtually self maintained.
I understand that seasonally I will have possibly to do some draining and cleaning, unless I use one of those modern ultra-violet water purifiers.

Now one last question - would a sail shade do, or do they need a fully enclosed coop like the chooks? Mind that around they will be fully fenced, however there is no structure inside at this stage.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:43 pm 
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Great Game
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Quote:
some special aquatic plants so that it is virtually self maintained.


Sounds like a great idea, but if it is only a small pond you will find that the ducks will destroy it. Ducks turn their water sources into a mess, just the way they like it. I have a 44 gallon drum cut open as my main pond for 1 of my trio's. Ive found that something that size needs to be emptied once weekly. Pekins are the worst for it, they swim in it when there is fresh water, add dirt, bark, leaves whatever they can find to the water, then wont swim in it again until it gets changed over. Where as the muscovies seem to swim in any water any size! For eg, My muscovy duck is happy to swim in a 10 litre bucket of water!

Quote:
For the water, I am planning to put some plastic containers,


I also use this method, ive got a 60? litre water container which i have dug into the ground. Easy to clean, just bucket out some of the water, then lift it out of the ground and hose it out.

I dont keep water in my pekin duck shed anymore. There will be nice clean shavings when you lock them in at night, then in the morning it will be a wet sloppy mess. Ive found that straw and mulch are the best things for ducks.

Quote:
Now one last question - would a sail shade do, or do they need a fully enclosed coop like the chooks? Mind that around they will be fully fenced, however there is no structure inside at this stage.


Depends on the age of the ducks/ducklings and how many you have. My ducks stand outside at night until i come and shut them up, so the cold doesnt worry them too much. The main reason i lock mine up is for predator protection, i dont have geese!

Sorry i seem to be babbling, hope ive made some sense :?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:09 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks clucky, you made perfect sense, in facts I changed my mind on a few things:

1. I have to forget the pond - as you suggest, ducks will make a total mess regardless of me yelling at them :D Keep it simple - especially simple to clean.

2. A sail shade will do, I am not planning to keep ducklings outside, I will buy a big cage where I can grow one or two indoors until they put on some feathers and weight.

3. Interesting comments on Pekin ducks and Muscovies - I will possibly have both (or Indian Runners and Muscovies, we will see what I find). Ideally, I will go for a couple plus 1 duckling.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Great Game
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Sounds like you have got it all worked out.

As long as the area is fox proof a tarp should be fine. Ive heard of people using a tarp with hay bales around the sides of it as a wind break for geese, maybe that might be another option for you.

Just keep in mind that muscovy offsprings are sterile, incase you with to breed with them in the future.

Good luck finding the breeds you want. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:52 pm 
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Champion Bird
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[quote="clucky"]Depends on the age of the ducks/ducklings and how many you have. My ducks stand outside at night until i come and shut them up, so the cold doesnt worry them too much. The main reason i lock mine up is for predator protection, i dont have geese.[/quote]

Clucky, don't expect geese to deter foxes. I've lost a flock of geese to a fox progressively over time. The fox would kill one, take the head, next night take the body, next night kill another goose, till only one goose was left that hung around our back door (pooing green slime...not nice). After that, my geese have always been locked in at night.

Jacquie


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:55 pm 
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Great Game
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That wasnt my intention. I hear they serve better as an alarm than protection?

Ive also heard that geese dont like to be locked in at night?
Is that just because yours have been from a young age?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:03 pm 
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My geese go to bed every night, granted I have to push them into the stables but they begrudgingly go.

I doubt I would ever be without a couple of geese around, they are great pets and are quite happy to come and sit down with you sometimes, they win the arguments with the chooks around the feed bowl but they sort of maintain some order as well, with the rest of the flock.

J

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:59 pm 
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I picked up a "clam shell" shaped plastic kids sand pit from the tip for $2 and I fill that with water. My ducks go crazy, in and out of the pool and love taking a flying run to dive in. Its so fun watching them and amused visitors for ages :) Also at present I am still building nice pens for my guys but I got a great idea from the australasian mag (which I have now done). Get two bales of hay and put them on their sides (to make them higher) side by side, but with a "duck gap" in the middle, then put some wood supports across the top and then half a length of roofing iron (which I then put a log on top of so the iron couldnt blow away. My ducks love this little hidy hole and sleep and lay in it. They are in a fully wired enclosure but this gives them a place out of the weather if they want to hide. If I am not making any sense I can email you a pic if you want. Again both their hide-away and pond cost me nothing as I scrounged for all the materials. Hope this helps :)....mummagash

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:14 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Ducks love their swims, and it's great to watch them play around in the water. I have an easy system that my husband made for me... an old bathtub set above ground surrounded by a rock arrangement so they can climb up, plus a big rock inside the bath so they can jump out OK... the drain has some plumbing connections attached to flexible plastic agricultural pipe that leads outside the coop to water my fruit trees & veggie garden ("duck juice" ... poopy bath water... good for the plants). I tied a chain to the bath plug so I don't have to get my arm wet pulling it out. I toss greens in the bath water (lettuce, herbs, silverbeet, etc) & the ducks go crazy.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:23 pm 
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Most stockists of irrigation supplies also sell connections and pipes so that you can install a plastic pipe with a tap at the end.

I have a large stock watering trough with the pipe coming out from the base. A plastic tap at the end of the pipe makes it easy to empty.

I have used clam shells in my breeding runs because they are easy to tip over and empty however I have found that they are starting to go brittle from the sunlight (ultraviolet rays).

Wayne


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:26 pm 
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Deluxe Drake
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I use sugar cane mulch on the floor of my Duck run
i did straw for a bit but found it turning into slimy muck, the mulch will get wet but in the warm weather will dry out again and with a good rake it comes good again
I do this mainly in the out door run, as the minute it rains My ducks make a mud pool of the entire area, they have a shed for night, although the 2 boys tend to stay outside.

as far as water I have 2 baby baths for swimming and doing the buisness in, but buckets for drinking water.
The baby baths are easy to clean out and the goop and water in the bottom gets poured around the bottoms of my fruit trees (needless to say I have heaps of fruit this year)

A trick I have used every few months is locking the ducks out for the day and tossing some of my busiest scratching chooks into the duck run
the chooks scratch up the run as my ducks tend to compact the ground into a hard dirt bed...this way the run gets a good turning over and when the hot weather comes around I am not left with a bald, hot parched run.

Heidi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:31 pm 
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it does get pretty chilly here in winter in nights and your only 5 miniutes up the road...so maybe a dog kennel or somthing would be good for them to sleep in at night in winter

and i used one of the clame pool thingys (i think you can get them from k-mart) for my duck and goose it worked well

will you ducks be allowed out to serch the yard for bugs and weeds and things?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:40 am 
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Showy Hen
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chooky2005 wrote:
it does get pretty chilly here in winter in nights and
will you ducks be allowed out to serch the yard for bugs and weeds and things?


they have some green and plants in their area, generally I don't let them out from there.


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