I am newish to ducks and have read so much about them. I am placing my first duckling order and decided I want to do a mixed flock primarily for eggs. I want to get a Drake in order to continue the flock in the future. We are planning for 16 birds to free range/paddock on 1 1/3 acre.
I was thinking of getting mostly Anconas and adding in some khaki Campbell's or the golden 300s and perhaps a couple Muscovies. I was thinking of getting an Ancona Drake. Does this sound like a solid egg laying flock?
I am worried Muscovies would be too wild for my children's taste. I also worry they may fly into my neighbor's yard. But I have heard they go broody if we need a new batch of ducklings. I read Anconas are the most hawk-hardy. We have a few hawks around. They never messed with our free range hens. I also like that Anconas are dual purpose should we ever be in a place to want/need to eat them.
Now lastly, if I get a Drake and let some eggs hatch, and they are mixed breed they would still be good layers even if they are mutts, right? I could only breed with the first batch or they would be inbred, correct?
Greens, Greens, Greens
One mistake I see so many new duck owners make is Niacin
"It would not be unusual to have a single flock of birds, with some exhibiting a niacin deficiency and others walking perfectly normally - but all eating the same feed. Glory, a duck that was rescued by Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, arrived with leg problems due to a niacin deficient diet.It would not be unusual to have a single flock of birds, with some exhibiting a niacin deficiency and others walking perfectly normally - but all eating the same feed. Glory, a duck that was rescued by Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, arrived with leg problems due to a niacin deficient diet".
We give greens such as kale, collards, mustard, chick weed, mixed garden weeds (non-toxic) to provide Niacin to all our geese and ducks we hatch.
As for I am worried Muscovies would be too wild for my children's taste.
We raised muscovies for years. The males are much larger than the females. They also tend to be big lazy free loaders. They moche around all day and have to see what you are doing. They make very little noise and tend to want to just hang around with you if hand raised. They were a royal pain when working on stuff because they tended to pickup small things like nuts and bolts and just walk away with them. They would get tired of their new found toy and just drop it anywhere in the yard. The only reason we no longer have them is in my area the males get frost bite if not pinned up when the weather is freezing. I really do not have a great place to over winter them so we gave them away after years of improvising heating for them that was costly.