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I want some ducks and geese!  RSS feed

 
Posts: 21
Location: Amador County
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I’ve wanted a flock of runner ducks for a really long time, I also want a few geese to butcher this coming winter. I figure now is the time. Where can I get the best ducks and geese? We got our turkeys from Porters and I consider that the standard for turkeys, I’m looking for the same in ducks and geese. What are you all’s experience, where’d you get them and what are your favorite colors of runners and why, what are you fav geese and why?
 
garden master
Posts: 204
Location: Morongo Valley
75
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For ducks and geese, Holderread Waterfowl Farm and Preservation Center is really good.  The owner, Dave Holderread, is the author of Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks.  For others who may be interested, I don't think they carry Muscovy.  They used to, but stopped because the hatching cycle for muscovies was different (and therefore a hassle) than the ducks and geese.  I asked this some years back, and was told that muscovies are wonderful animals (they love their birds!), but weren't convenient enough to continue selling.

Another option that is probably quite good is Sandhill Preservation Center.  I haven't ordered birds from them, but I've ordered seeds and sweet potato slips and all those were great.

I believe both those companies only sell straight runs.  Meaning you can't get just girls or just boys, or choose the number of each sex. Nature and the bird scooper pick, randomly.  The big farms that do sell sexed birds - what they don't explain is that the males get disposed of.  Here is a quote from the FAQ page of the Sandhill Preservation Center:

We do not sell sexed chicks because we believe that to promote genetic conservation we want to encourage others to adopt a breed (if possible) and that requires both genders. It is also not fair to sex out extra females and leave another person with more males or be forced to "dispose of" the unwanted males. Our goal is that YOU would start to raise one of these wonderful breeds.



That's one of the hidden things I never thought about in the past when I ordered female chicks from a bigger operation.  I didn't realize that everyday tons of males chicks got thrown in a chipper, or whatever method was used to "dispose".  I'm not trying to start an ethical discussion here. I just like being an informed buyer, so I can make choices that match my tastes. 

I know extra males are a huge problem (ended up with way too many male ducks one time...ugh), and I've thought long about what we will do in the future when we order more birds.  I think one advantage of heritage breeds is that it's easier to find homes for males that are "rare".  So aside from eating them, giving them away or possibly selling them is an option.  A lot of people are interested in expanding the genetics of their flock, some kids still do 4-H, and also some people like pet poultry nowadays!

Back to sourcing...Of course, local people may have what you are looking for, too.  Craigslist is a great spot to look.  But you'll often find mixed breeds.  We last had runner/Khaki mixes from a local.  They were wonderful foragers and egg layers.  I'm a huge fan of runners, every color. :-)  They are like the rainbow of ducks.

 
Posts: 436
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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i just ordered 8 geese from strombergs. i found they are the cheapest and their min. order is 8. other places have a min. of 15 or if you want less, they charge you a ridiculous min. order fee. if you want docile geese don't get chinese! they're great at protecting the flock and letting you know when something comes in the yard. but they also bite. esp. if you have males and females. i always order sexed females for that reason . that and goose eggs are great!
 
gardener
Posts: 4896
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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We use either known to us local breeders or Cackle hatchery because it is the closest one to us, means less time in the packaging for the birds.
If you get both geese and ducks as babies and raise them together, they will get along just fine. Not so much if they are already grown before you introduce the two species.

Wolf is now wanting runner ducks and some geese, but she hasn't decided on a breed of goose so far.
I like the Campbell for eggs and we generally go straight run since extra drakes become dinners.

Redhawk
 
steve bossie
Posts: 436
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:We use either known to us local breeders or Cackle hatchery because it is the closest one to us, means less time in the packaging for the birds.
If you get both geese and ducks as babies and raise them together, they will get along just fine. Not so much if they are already grown before you introduce the two species.

Wolf is now wanting runner ducks and some geese, but she hasn't decided on a breed of goose so far.
I like the Campbell for eggs and we generally go straight run since extra drakes become dinners.

Redhawk

i went deer hunting on my cousins 90acres just outside lebanon, mo. went by cackle hatchery a few times. they are the biggest employer in lebanon. I've gotten my chicks from them over the years. white and brown chinese are very good laying geese and watch out for your other flock.
 
Jeff Campbell
Posts: 21
Location: Amador County
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Thanks so much everyone. I'm going to be checking into all of these places.  Not sure what I'm gonna do yet...
 
pollinator
Posts: 513
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Metzer Hatchery in California focuses on waterfowl.  Their prices are very competitive, and their stock quality is good.

Freedom Ranger Hatchery in Pennsylvania offers white Muscovies.  The trouble with Muscovies is that they take 5 weeks to hatch (instead of 4 weeks like true ducks), so they're much more fragile.  In the past, when we have received ducklings two days after hatch instead of next day, we have had significant mortality.  So buying hatchery Muscovies is only an option if you're close enough to the hatchery.

Also, don't overlook local classifieds like Craigslist.
 
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