I thought it might be a good idea for me to do some research on raising ducks since I will be getting some at the end of May. I did raise two ducks when I was in high school for FFA (Future Farmers of America) but I don’t really remember anything about them other than I had the quackless breed that eventually got killed by my dog. They were called the Muscovy and they were not very attractive but since I lived in a tract home I needed something to raise that wouldn’t bother the neighbors. Actually my female Muscovy was attractive but the male was not so much. His face looked like the one below but he was all white.
Owning ducks was a little short lived since my dogs couldn’t control themselves when left alone with a loose duck. I don’t think I really took very good care of my pair so maybe they were committing suicide by dog-killing. I do remember the ducks were messy and I had to make sure they had water for swimming. Since my duck care education is very limited I thought it would be smart for me to learn some things before the fowl arrive.
Keeping Ducks- A Few Facts
- Ducks need protective housing. They need protection from elements and predators. This is kind of a no brainer tip but still important to mention. House can be similar to chick house but the need for roosts in not necessary. Here are some photos of some duck house options.
- The housing floor needs to be easy on their webbed feet. If using wired floor it’s a good idea to bury it so their feet won’t be bothered by it.
- Ducks need a high protein feed in the early stages of growth. This site recommends 20-24% for 3 weeks and 16% protein feed for adolescents.
- Ducks tend to have a difficult time eating dry mash feed because it gets stuck to their bills. The solution is to either feed a pellet feed or offer the dry mash in water.
- Ducks do not require water for swimming and wading in but it can benefit them in hot climates. Fresh water for drinking is to be offered 8-12 hours per day.
It seems there is really not that much difference between keeping ducks and keeping chickens. Ducks don’t require the exact same housing but similar to chicken housing. I was surprised to find out they don’t need water for swimming but that’s the cool part of having a duck ,isn’t it? I am planning on allowing them to have some sort of swimming/wading option.
The ducklings I will be getting are called Anconas. They are supposed to be good egg layers and a good size for meat. My hope is that I will have one or two females to lay eggs and a male to fertilize the eggs for hatching. I purchased a straight run of 4 ducklings because I am hoping there will be at least one male and one female.
Do you own ducks or have you owned them at one time? I would love any advice you have for me.