Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
All that said, I like my ducks of unknown breed! Good layers and good temperament, and duck eggs are a lot more nutritious than chicken eggs! Plus they lay all their eggs early in the morning....They don't fly over fences, they eat slugs, and they can be herded (once they are used to it). Just try herding chickens, LOL!
Doesn't need to be good food either... I raised buckeyes, muscovies, those beetle green black ducks and geese on nothing but soaked oats in the evening, after they had their adult feathers. The ducks grow great, but actually so did the chooks, I think I quit feeding mash when they were 2 or 3 pounds and the rooster grew to 8 or 9 pounds!
yeah they have tons of forage and the feed is soy free.........i pay 29 for a 50lb bag........hmmm local oat farmer might be a good option.
Plus to minimize the dammage that chickens especially can wreck on perennials and vegetable crops.
Tried to breed Silver Appleyards for six years and getting nowhere fast.
Since I'm new to these forums, what kind of chickens and ducks do you have, Alison?
Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote:
Pah, nothing out of the ordinary really.
8 hens - 2 Marans, 1 Light Sussex, 2 Andalouse, 2 Loue and one funny hybrid Maran. Geese - 6 Embdens.
Ducks - 2 Indian Runners and 9 in the incubator
I'd been interested in the Welsh Harlequins but it was hard to find the ducks or their eggs here in France. Muscovies are everywhere here but folk said they weren't especially good egg layers and that's our main interest along with slug patrols.
My Muscovy experience here on the B.C. west coast in Canada is that the hens generally start laying in January and lay an egg each almost until August/September. Unless they go broody which usually on my farm happened June-August. Although this spring everyone broke the pattern and wanted to sit, starting in April.
They have preferred daily laying spots in the coops however when the muscovies really decide to sit, it could be almost anywhere. If there's not the usual amount of eggs in the usual spots, I go on an egg hunt.
If they are determined to sit, in an unsecure location, I always move them to a secure one. If there is a large clutch of eggs, and I don't want more ducklings, I remove most of the eggs and just mark a few so that if the hen lays more or other birds share the nest, I know which ones are freshly laid. Alternately place a few golf-balls in the nest and remove all eggs. One gal sat on those two golfballs for nearly three months this year! However that incident thankfully, was unusual.
so wildwood you actually raise Muscovy for the purpose of eggs? I have never heard of anyone doing that before......I really like my muscovy and would get more but I want something for eggs and I was under the impression muscovy are not the way to go thanks for all your info on them
I live on the west coast of B.C. Canada.
And have long selectively bred white Muscovies.
However I think that the browns and blacks are beautifully plumed. Now that am getting out of my several backyard breeding projects, for vigor and production, maybe will select more for color.
Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote:Wow Kate - I googled those Black East Indian ducks and they're GORGEOUS.
Walter Jeffries wrote:We have Pekin ducks and they do an excellent job of slug patrol. We have had others and they also did fine.
jacque greenleaf wrote:In my experience, at least three ducks for a drake is better than two. A full-grown drake is nearly twice as large as a duck, and like all drakes can be a bit obsessive. It's easier on the ducks if they are sharing those attentions with more than one other.
jacque greenleaf wrote:Hi Rob, I'm not Walter, but my experience with Muscovies is that they are *excellent* mothers, and if you are just raising them for your own needs, there is no reason at all for artificial incubation. The advice you are reading is for commercial production - if you take their clutches away, they will lay again and again and again...
Since each duck will set a clutch of (usually) a dozen or more in early spring, and, with a little protection from predators, raise all of them, and then start all over again in mid-summer, unless you have an unusually large and carnivorous family, three or four ducks and a drake will easily produce as much Muscovy meat as you'd like.
BTW, in my experience, at least three ducks for a drake is better than two. A full-grown drake is nearly twice as large as a duck, and like all drakes can be a bit obsessive. It's easier on the ducks if they are sharing those attentions with more than one other.
Rob Sigg wrote:I know with our chickens clipping them didnt seem to help jumping over our 5 foot fence. I was hoping not to get into that again since my wife gets frustrated having to chase them down with a toddler strapped to her back That is why I was looking at Pekin, its familiar to us and they really dont fly. I like your advice on more ducks per drake. Ill have to see how much space I can provide. Do they get upset if you separate the drake from the females if you just want eggs to eat? IM thinking this might be wise over winter, otherwise what would happen to the eggs that they lay?
Rob Sigg wrote:BTW, are the ducks as loud as a rooster? If so that might be a problem for our neighbours.