Kelly Custer wrote:I love my Golden 300s. It is a rare day that an egg doesn't come out every one of their rear ends. I only have 3, but I'm going to get another 3 next spring. (Which I won't regret, if I can get a little pond filtering successfully.) They have fine temperaments, though they would be more cuddley if I'd smushed them up more when they were babies. They went through a period of acting like they were in some bizarre duck horror movie every time anyone showed up, but they got over that and waddle about me for food, and eat worms from my hand (awww, don't get cuter than that!). If I snatch one up and force some petting, they take it okay. But most importantly, boy are they productive! 365 days a year!
The white ones (aka White Layers/Golden 300's) were noisier. Especially Lucy Quacker, but her Caucasion girlfriends as well. Found a new home for them, cuz I'm in town, and kept the brown ones, which are pretty, woodsey looking creatures IMO.
So what are the permutations of possibilities of offspring from them? Wouldn't they be likely to produce good layers, even if less so?
Kelly Custer wrote:They lay white eggs. Larger than chicken eggs. They eat more, too. But they are good foragers. They slurp up snake-sized worms while the chickens watch, puzzled. And slugs, which horrify my chickens, and stick to their little duckie-mouths like a gluey wad of peanut butter! (A little animal sadism is okay, as long as they like it, too.) They eat weeds with the best of 'em, as well. I like Paul's simple ratio of grains, plants, bugs: 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. If I could forage/diversify enough in my back yard operation, that would reduce my feed costs nicely (huge worm bin, effort #2; zombie/superworms; effort #2, soldier flies, maybe I'll try again next year; massive production of weeds, easy).
I have a ready, instant market of $4 for chicken eggs, and $3 1/2 dozen for duck. I weighed them to compare, and convinced my buyer's market what a good deal they were getting per ounce, for an alkalizing, mineral rich egg, thereby creating a market for my buyer that she can't meet. My buyer found other sources but still wants more duck eggs, but I'm eating them myself when I'm in town.
I soak and ferment my feed, thereby increasing nutrition and digestability and reducing feed costs. Interesting data on soaking, as well as fermenting. The birds WAY prefer it.
My Easter Egger chickens are not as productive as my RI Reds, Austrolorps, Red Star/Golden Buffs.
Hoping someone will weigh in on what these girls would likely produce, though I won't be breeding for a long time. I tried a man-duck for a little, being as they don't duck-a-doodle-doo or anything, but he killed one of my chickens. Got my girl ducks riled up and going gangsta on the chickens, too. They are in a pen, now (large, comfortable one); might not happen in a free range scenario.
Nicole Alderman wrote:I don't know if this post is too late, or if you've already got your ducks. But, one thing to consider between the two breeds is how much/if any area they will have to free-range. I can't find anything about the Golden 300 being good foragers, but anconas are well known for being able to get most of their food from nature. This should lower the feed-cost per egg. So, if you have a lot of area for them to free-range, anconas might be the better choice. But, if you will be paying for most/all of the feed, the Golden 300 would likle be a better choice. We have a lot of area for the ducks to forage, so we went with anconas. Ours haven't started laying yet, though!
Nicole Alderman wrote:How many ducks will you bw getting, and how many do you already have? My nine anconas (plus one large mixed breed), *seem* to do quite well with just 2,500 sqft (1/20th acre) of pasture/bramble. They have about 800sqft more that they haven't even ventured onto. But, we've only had them for less than a month and they were all ducklings (9 and 5 weeks) when we got them, so we're still figuring out how much feed they require--we're new to ducks!
As for finding ducks versus eggs, check craigslist! That's how we got our 10 ducks for $70. Here's some adds I just found for anconas that may be in your area: http://raleigh.craigslist.org/grd/4656466403.html
If you keep checking everyday, a great deal might just pop up!
I hope that helps!
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