Does any one keep ducks as I have some questions.
We are thinking about getting some ducks to go with our 6 hens, not wanting to have to put in another pond we thought about fencing off our part of the old castle moat/pond and part of one of the paddocks for them, along with a coup.
How easy are they to keep, are they really inquisitive and how much fencing off do I have to do, will they go up steep embankments and push through bramble beds, thanks.
Does any one keep ducks as I have some questions.
very good, but don’t duck the questions.
We had a duck once, she thought she was a chicken! Not sure you need any fencing, as long as they know where home is and they can access the water.
We have a main road at the top of the drive and the drive comes down the side of the pond as well, also the farm field’s are close by and I don’t really want them wandering into the crop fields, plus in the other direction we have a river and I don’t want them disappearing off down it
Then don’t get any ducks… They are expert escapologists and voracious eaters. One exception is the Indian Runner Duck - these can fly about as well as chickens so are easier to enclose. However, 3 or 4 of them can turn a 100m² lawn into a sewage farm in less than a week.
There are 3 very large old silage bays I can fence off for them next to the pond with 6ft concrete walls, they can do all the damage they want there as they will never be used again.
Ducks will go where ever they think they can find food. We had up to four magpie ducks when I was a teenager, but they kept escaping, even after we clipped their wings. Even if they can’t fly long distances after clipping, they can still jump/hop/glide. Ours could escape the 6ft fence around the garden and crash land in the field behind, or simply just plop splash down into the stream behind the garden. Fortunately, they never strayed too far, but if you are concerned about that, then you would need to cover the enclosure with top netting, which doesn’t seem realistic given that you want them to be able to swim in the moat. We put ours in the shed overnight, but they made one hell of a racket as soon as it became daylight. If you get layers, their eggs are fantastic for making cakes ! A local farmer near to us has them wandering from the farmyard across the route départementale in front of his house on the opposite side - I hate to think how many he has lost through vehicle encounters. I always wonder whether his insurance has covered any crashes they might cause due to “divagation sur la voie publique”.
Maybe you could consider geese instead? Also very good guards
Runner Ducks are pretty quiet if kept in an enclosure. The females quack a bit but the males just produce a sort of discontented muttering sound. If I were to keep ducks again I think I’d go for Rubber Ducks.
The free range farm along from us has Aylesbury Ducks with 4-5ft fencing and we have only seen two escapees in all the years we have been here, noise isn’t a problem as they have depending on the time of year, ducks, chickens, turkeys or quail, you get used to it, that and the donkeys
I’m not that keen on geese.
Sorry @Griffin36 can’t help with your question, but this is the Rubber Duck from the film Convoy.
We had three ducks that I bought as ducklings for the kids one Easter. They learned to swim in the bath and were ridiculously tame, would come to call and sit on your lap. They were brilliant layers (just the standard white ones from our local Gamme Vert) and if I was going to get ducks again, I would definitely get them as babies. They never ever tried to fly off / escape etc - the only issue I had was that they kept trying to come in the kitchen!
The duck equivalent of turkeys voting for Christmas?
I know a vineyard which keeps ducks for pest control, and I recall a tv programme which showed a man with ducks who took them to various farmers for the same purpose.
Good luck anyway.
I kept ducks for several years and let them breed. I had a coop to put them away at night to protect from foxes. They were great about the garden and ate snails and slugs whenever they could, always searching through the flowerbeds for them. They will tuck into young shoots.
They would be fed duck food morning and evening. That got them back into the coop at night.
I didn’t find them particularly noisy.
They don’t need a pond if you don’t have one, just a bowl of water to wash in.
They were all quite tame. The first two would come indoors and sit on our laps.
Although they will search for food, I’m not sure the average garden would provide enough, so extra feed is important. If they are obtained at a few weeks old, there is a special duckling feed you can buy.
If you get something like a Khaki Campbell, they are great layers.
We have 2/12 acres of paddocks so feeding won’t be a problem, if they go roaming in our fields there might be a problem getting them back
Are you wanting ducks for eggs and meat? Will they be breeding?
If left to themselves in large open fields, as in the photos, surely foxes will be a problem? Maybe other predators?