View Full Version : Ducklings and Goslings
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:29 AM
We are getting some Rouen ducklings and Toulouse goslings in April, all females, and we are so excited! Mr.CB is building me a nice house and yard for them and I am trying to get all the brooding care sorted out. The plan is to move up to chickens next year if the ducks and geese survive. ;)
Any advice? Stories?
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:01 PM
When I was a teen my best friend's mom had three Muscovys - Lord are they ugly! As I recall the story they were Teriyaki, BBQ and Fried, but some how BBQ and the original other duck had an egg that hatched out to be Fried and the original other duck got killed by a dog. They had a kiddie wading pool and a little spot next to the house, no real coop or fenced area though.
The mom was East Indian from British Guyana and I can still remember her boiling up big pots of rice and toting them down to them and talking to them in her lilting accent, oh, you're so nice and fat I can't wait, but IIRC she never did eat them!
The only other thing I can think of is that they are a lot dirtier than you may be aware so let them have their little kiddie pool and their own area but keep them out of any ornamental ponds (they'll eat your goldfish and get it nasty) or any place you want to keep vegetation. Sort of like chickens -free ranging chickens leave little gifts EVERYWHERE.
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
I love ducks and geese! But Lordy do they make a mess when they're babies! I have a pond (1/2-3/4 acre or so), and don't ever lock mine up. I haven't had any geese in a long time, and probably won't 'cuz they tend to be bolder than the ducks and leave too many "presents" too close to the house and barn.
I end up with cycles of ducks. My favorite bunch was some Khaki Campbell hens that were given to me. A Muscovy drake from God-knows-where appeared. and we had several wild looking mule ducks from the eggs that hatched. Eventually stuff got them- probably a few went to hawks, maybe a fox. We'd usually lose them in the winter when the pond froze and they didn't have the water as a safe haven- as much as I tried, I couldn't get them to come in the barn. A couple of them flew away- the muscovy and mules flew well, and the Khaki's learned to fly.
The last bunch was some Pekins that were afraid of the water. They were doing well until last fall a hawk decided they were easy pickin's. I have just one left, and oddly enough, when all the other were gone he decided he liked the water and now spends most all of his time there. He gets all excited when a passing Canada goose or wild duck decides to visit, and tries to be friends with the 2 herons that are regular visitors. Maybe this spring I'll get to the flea market and find him a couple of suitable friends.
For the most part, once they're grown, I don't feed my ducks. They'll pick up dropped grain from the horses. There's plenty of vegetation and bugs around the pond, and it's a riot to hear them hitting the sides of the metal barn as they're gobbling up grasshoppers. Between the ducks, the fish, and all the frogs in the pond, we don't have a mosquito problem at all. The pond is only a couple hundred feet, if that, from the house and barn and I don't think I've ever been bitten by a mosquito in the 7 years we've been here.
I'd kinda like some chickens around for bug management, but I had some at the last place and roosting above the horses made me crazy. On the plus side, none of my horses bat an eye at any kind of bird flying up in front of them!
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
I'm raising my second batch of ducklings now. Muscovy's this time..my first batch were Pekins. I raised them for meat mainly. The Muscovy's will be for meat as well as eggs and some for breeders. I'm told them are great at raising their own ducklings and are good mothers which is my ultimate plan to have a few to slaughter for meat. I sure hope so because ducks are the dirtiest, messiest, most flighty and stupid of all the poultry I've worked with. My birds have been clipped so they won't fly which is supposed to tame them down but it apparently hasn't kicked in yet. Mine are just over two weeks old and still will pile up or run over each other in terror at the sight of me to fill their feed or water. They see me several times a day but they are not learning to not fear me.
I wish it were warmer weather and I'd put them outside but they are not feathered yet and cannot tolerate the temperature extremes yet. They are in a large stock tank in my farm store...and whew...they are wearing out their welcome fast.
Check with me in a few months to see if they are worth the trouble or not. I know I won't do Pekin's again...no way. These are supposed to be quieter and not as messy but so far, I'd say they are plenty messy...so we'll play it by ear.