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Looking to keep a few ducks

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:16 pm
by slemps
Evening all,

This forum really does have everything!

I've seen a couple of posts about ducks and was after some advice from those in the know.

I've just moved house to a place with a good size garden. I has a lawned area about twelve metres by five and more smaller bits including a veg patch.

I've never kept any poultry before, I've always fancied chickens but I'm concerned that they are quite destructive and would tear my garden to shreds. Also, I find ducks highly amusing :)

The main reasons for wanting some are eggs and the fact I'd love to have some running around the place.

I don't have any suitable water for them but I read that some breeds don't necessarily need a pond. I could provide a bath tub or something. Is this right? I don't want to deprive them!

We don't have any foxes or natural predators over here so hopefully that makes things easier.

Does this sound like a good home for ducks? I'm thinking of three, there's only two of us so we don't need loads of eggs.

Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated!


Re: Looking to keep a few ducks

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:56 am
by slemps
As an update:

I did end up getting some ducks. Three Indian Runners.

They are fantastic and we've been thoroughly enjoying the regular supply of fresh eggs.

They enjoy the garden and spend all day foraging for egg fuel.


Re: Looking to keep a few ducks

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:39 am
by yotmon
Hi Slemps - good to hear that you are enjoying the ducks. Do you have any grass area left or have they turned it into a bare patch. Suppose it depends on what type of soil you have on Jersey - sandy soil would be self draining. Runners give a good egg quota but not much on the carcass once they have passed their laying years. A friend of mine used to have Khaki Campbells which were good egg layers plus the drakes dressed out just enough for two people to share. It's great that you don't have foxes over there as ducks are a 'charlie' magnet, for more than chickens !

Re: Looking to keep a few ducks

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:14 am
by slemps
Hi Yotmon,

Actually they are not as bad as I feared. Our soil doesn't drain very well at all and while the ducks will dig some holes with their beaks when it is wet, they've not yet wrecked the lawn (and there is one patch that ends up practically underwater if our run off tank is full).

Yes they seem to be very good layers. We're getting one egg per duck. No, not much meat on them, I've had a few runner breasts from the lady who sold us the ducks and they are pretty small. Tasty smoked though!

Regarding the predators - I may have been a bit hasty saying we don't have any. It appears that pole cats are rife here. My neighbour caught 8 earlier in the year. They are locked up at night so I'm hoping we don't have any problems...


Re: Looking to keep a few ducks

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:49 am
by yotmon
Watch out for the Polecats, a neighbour of mine told me that one grabbed a hen by the leg through some chicken wire and stripped it of its flesh - nasty little carnivores, but very efficient predators. They can probably get where WD40 can't !

ATB. Yotmon.