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Birds for Dummies

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  • Birds for Dummies

    I know all this info is probably here, spread out amongst various threads, but if you could humor me and help me get it all here I would MOST greatly appreciate it

    I'd really like to get a few birds - eggs, not meat. Well, and some insect control

    I KNOW I don't want Guinea Hen

    I have looked around and *think* I would like either Toulouse Geese or Muscovy Ducks. But, I really don't know.

    I want something that doesn't wander (much), isn't too loud, not terribly aggressive by nature (though I know individuals can vary), doesn't have to be a prolific egg layer.

    We do have a pool, so if anything that would give decent eggs is going to be murder on a pool, then I won't do it.

    If there is something, then assuming I go forward with this, what's a good, simple book I can start with to learn about these critters?
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

  • #2
    Is the pool fenced off? Otherwise I don't see how you could keep ducks or geese out of it. This would probably be true even if you provide them with their own kiddy pool, cleaned it daily.

    You might want to check out the electric netting for containing them and protection from wandering dogs and wildlife. I hear netting is pretty easy to move around, so they are on new ground often. Have you got any way to
    prevent hawks getting them? Hawks eat ducks and small geese, could come from above into the electric netted area. Our local Redtail Hawks could carry off a duck, small goose. Just a thought to consider. You will lose birds if you have them, could be hawks, raccons, weasels, loose dogs or cats. They are only safe if fully enclosed, and then birds can't work for you in the garden.

    Chickens might be more egg productive. They do have to get older to be laying an egg a day. Some breeds take a LONG time to get productive, Buff Orpingtons are one like that. Chickens are way different than ducks in temperment. Chickens wouldn't get into the pool!

    You might find some older birds, chickens or ducks, geese, on Craigslist. They would be laying sooner for you than baby birds from a hatchery. You would need to keep them caged/penned up until they learn where the food and water are, so they stay at your place.


    • #3
      I adore my Muscovies. But they are excellent at flying, so short of fencing off the pool AND keeping their wings clipped, I think you'd have to plan on swimming with ducks and duck poo


      • #4
        Khaki Campbell's are fabulous egg layers. And very friendly if you spend time with them when young.

        As for your pool, you want ducks or geese? *oh my* Hope you have a fence.
        "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


        • #5
          we have muscovies at my barn and they are so charming, and don't bother anyone.
          I've had araucana chickens before and they are like feathered dogs that lay turquoise, pink, and yellow eggs.
          chaque pas est fait ensemble


          • #6
            Also, I think ducks & geese bond easier to humans than chickens. I did not say imprint, as we prob are far from the first humans most see.
            "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


            • #7
              We have a small flock of Speckled Sussex chickens. They are great at bug control. Pretty good egg layers too. I've handled the rooster to keep him from getting aggressive and he's pretty easy. The hens are sweet. Last summer they ate grasshoppers so well that we almost didn't have to feed them. They roam the farm and go to their coop every night.
              Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


              • Original Poster

                Hmmm, the Speckled Sussex sound like they might be something to look at

                I'm not at all set on ducks or geese, and truly if they are going to be just a pita with the pool, I'd rather not get any of them.

                But if those SS chickens will give me some eggs, not be too aggressive, eat some bugs, NOT eat my crops, and stay relatively close to home, they sound nice.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                  Hmmm, the Speckled Sussex sound like they might be something to look at

                  I'm not at all set on ducks or geese, and truly if they are going to be just a pita with the pool, I'd rather not get any of them.

                  But if those SS chickens will give me some eggs, not be too aggressive, eat some bugs, NOT eat my crops, and stay relatively close to home, they sound nice.
                  My SS's have personality plus, they're by far the most clever of my chickens and they're really quite attractive too. The only downside is that they lay medium size eggs and are not the most productive layers, I get about 3-4 a week from mine. If you're looking for primarily egg production they're not the best choice, but for what you said you need...I think you'll enjoy them.

                  In regards to the ducks and the pool... I imagine it would be a little like leaving a box of firecrackers out next to a thirteen year old boy and expecting him not to notice them, much less use them.
                  "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                    NOT eat my crops,
                    Crops as in vegetable garden? From what I've heard chickens will do damage to a veggie garden and any other garden you have. I have my first batch of chicks coming soon. I'm planning on fening off my garden.