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Old 04-21-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default Anyone here own ducks?

There's a slim possibility we'll be getting ducks in the future. Still in the research stage, though, and I have a few questions that I haven't found good answers for yet. (Basically, don't get too pissed off if I sound really ignorant.)

So I know that they're healthier and happier with water, but would a sunk-in-the-ground kiddie pool fit the bill?
Also, in winter, the water would definitely freeze. I know we'd have a pump in their drinking water supply, but would they need a pump in the pool too, or could they go days on end without it?
About trimming their wings; do you do it year-round or just migration season?

I think that's about it for now. If you have any other tips or bits of information, feel free to share!
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:46 PM
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The only part I have an answer to is the kiddie pool -- yes that would be enough for a couple ducks. But I wouldn't necessarily sink it into the ground as emptying it would be a real pain! As long as they have steps (stacked bricks, whatever) to get in and out in a couple spots they should be find with an above ground pond.

Backyard Chickens has a duck section you might want to check out, as well as a lot of people who've been keeping ducks in tight spaces and could share real first hand knowledge.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:52 PM
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Never kept ducks but they are dirty. There is a farmyard next to my old elementary school and the guy emptied his ducks' (kiddie-pool sized) water trough every day, I imagine you'd have to do the same (the water gets filthy quickly) so you wouldn't want it sunk in the ground.

I think that would be enough water for them to keep clean and such. Probably the more the better, but they'll adapt. (keep in mind that's just my guess, I haven't been around a whole lot of ducks).
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:11 PM
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I've kept ducks before and yep. They're a dirty critter. Make sure whatever location you pick for them has a decent amount of not too hot sun and EXCEPTIONAL drainage. Most largish size ducks can get into a kiddie pool on their own, so no I wouldn't sink it. You can also get a bucket for a drinking water supply and put a duck valve on it - it'll keep their drinking water moderately clean even when you put up their play puddle.

How it worked with our ducks is we:

AM: went to the duck pen
Filled up the kiddie pool and filled the feeder
let the ducks out of their house
let them play and eat while they fouled/played in their water and we did other chores.
we finished chores, dumped their pool and let them out into the duck run which was the ground surrounding our strawberries to eat any offending slugs and do "duck stuff"

midday feed and move the duck tractor.

PM - fill their feeder and their pool halfway.
Let the ducks back into their duck pen (usually they beat us there)
Do other chores while they foul their kiddie pool up.
Dump their pool
Put the ducks up into their house at sunset - usually they beat us there.

Another thought if you are thinking pet ducks is getting a pair of call ducks. They're just like a normal duck only bantam size and uber cute.

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Old 04-21-2012, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat09Tails View Post
I've kept ducks before and yep. They're a dirty critter. Make sure whatever location you pick for them has a decent amount of not too hot sun and EXCEPTIONAL drainage. Most largish size ducks can get into a kiddie pool on their own, so no I wouldn't sink it. You can also get a bucket for a drinking water supply and put a duck valve on it - it'll keep their drinking water moderately clean even when you put up their play puddle.

How it worked with our ducks is we:

AM: went to the duck pen
Filled up the kiddie pool and filled the feeder
let the ducks out of their house
let them play and eat while they fouled/played in their water and we did other chores.
we finished chores, dumped their pool and let them out into the duck run which was the ground surrounding our strawberries to eat any offending slugs and do "duck stuff"

midday feed and move the duck tractor.

PM - fill their feeder and their pool halfway.
Let the ducks back into their duck pen (usually they beat us there)
Do other chores while they foul their kiddie pool up.
Dump their pool
Put the ducks up into their house at sunset - usually they beat us there.

Another thought if you are thinking pet ducks is getting a pair of call ducks. They're just like a normal duck only bantam size and uber cute.

Thanks for the help!
And oh my goodness, that is a cute duck! We're actually looking for layers, though. But so cute!
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:28 PM
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We had muscovies, which are good dual purpose birds. Ours usually had more solid droppings than regular ducks, and didn't quack (yay!).

And yeah, daily pool dumping is a must. When we just had two ducks they could go every other day between cleaning. We kept it out under the apple trees so I imagine the duck poop water made some nice fertilizer for the trees. They seemed to like it anyway.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:36 PM
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Yeah, the reason I mentioned a sunken pool is because it's already in the ground. (Used to be a sandbox and we were just going to build the pen around it.)
Aah well, won't be too hard to throw some soil beneath it.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:04 PM
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Just out of curiosity, why ducks and not chickens? (is it 'cause they're cuter? Because I'd be with you on that one )
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xandra View Post
Just out of curiosity, why ducks and not chickens? (is it 'cause they're cuter? Because I'd be with you on that one )
Combination of things. Cuteness is definitely part of it. lol
But their eggs are also great for baking and, in researching the two animals, I like general personality of ducks a little better.
Then there's the silly immature kid in me who likes the idea of my herding dogs having ducks to keep in line. (I know, they probably wouldn't actually herd them, but I can pretend, can't I?)
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