Author Topic: Land Ducks  (Read 292 times)

R.R. Book

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Land Ducks
« on: April 11, 2017, 03:26:18 AM »
Hi all,

I thought maybe some folks might be interested in a little info about land ducks, specifically Khaki Campbells.

We have chickens too, but here are some advantages and disadvantages of land ducks:

Advantages:

-cold hardy and need less insulation in their house than the chickens need
-can also thrive easily in high heat and humidity
-long-lived
-few diseases
-quiet, including males
-lay nearly an egg per day per hen at maturity
-eggs are larger and more nutritious
-can quietly produce offspring without drawing unwanted attention
-can get along with chickens
-adorable, as they wag their tails like puppies when happy
-don't need a pond to be happy
-won't fly away, and will stay close to home even if foraging
-male goes into mating mode in spring, leaving all summer for babies to mature before winter
-don't destroy ground cover like chickens do
-will gladly eat mostly whatever the chickens (if any) are fed, with few additional needs
-are comparable in size to a small (but not bantam / miniature) hen, so eat less feed
-males are extremely protective of the flock

Disadvantages
-gamey meat (are kept mostly for eggs)
-shy around humans unless imprinting before 3 weeks of age
-need daily greens
-need to mate in at least a small tub of water
-make a splashy mess when they drink water and bathe
-often lay their eggs in odd places other than the nest box
-have excrement that is more liquid due to all the water they drink
-like to eat and play in mud
-don't brood (sit on their eggs) well

For us the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, and here are some coping stragies:
1. Do without meat and give thanks for the rich eggs
2. Appreciate that their aloofness (unless they imprinted on you) is a sign of their ability to defend themselves
3. Greens are easy to grow and to store long-term in powdered or freeze-dried form
4. Coop can be kept cleaner and dryer by placing a splash pan (like a cement mixing tray) under their water bucket, and by feeding them in the tray space around the bucket
5. Can provide either a tiny pond or tub if offspring are desired
6. Enjoy the egg hunt as part of the challenge; can also place a dummy egg in their nest box
7. The frequency with which their litter needs changing means more mulch and compost for the garden
8. Can prevent acquisition of parasites from mud-eating easily by adding a pinch of diatomaceous earth and French clay to their feed (i.e. Geobond)
9. Can either confine a female to encourage brooding, or incubate eggs (which can be done in a furry cap without electricity

More here a the Livestock Conservancy: https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/campbell


 

Socrates

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Re: Ducks
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 08:53:31 AM »
I have collected some info and links on ducks and other fowl, i invite all to visit

meta query: why animals are under Divine Feminine is beyond me; they are as much a part of 'agriculture' as any plant.

Mr. Book, i'll see your ducks and raise you a scobie...  ;D
So many fowl to choose from and they all have their niches, both in nature as well as on a farm-/homestead:
Moorhens
Geese
Swans
Guineas
Jungle Fowl
Pheasants
Partridges
Grouse
Quail
Turkeys
Emu
Ostrich...

Just another reason for a community; imagine you have ducks but your neighbors focus on turkey or quail or whatever... Having a few fowl is something altogether different than being caretaker of a petting zoo...!


When i learned about scobies [i.e. Muscovy 'Ducks'] i fell in love with them [much like i fell in love with the Rhodesian Ridgeback once i started reading about them]. And as much as chickens are popular, scobies are my favorite fowl. Having said that, i've never had any fowl, so...
Ducks [scobies, btw, are not ducks, but rather somewhere in between ducks and geese, genetically speaking] have some advantages over chickens but they are not (as) omnivorous as chickens or scobies and in 'survival situations' that can be a drawback.
In a community, however, as long as some people keep chickens, it might even be considered foolish for no one to be keeping ducks (and/or scobies).
Survival is also about redundancies and not putting all your eggs in one basket [pun intended...]
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R.R. Book

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Re: Ducks
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 06:44:48 PM »
Survival is also about redundancies and not putting all your eggs in one basket [pun intended...]

 :D Ha ha!  Thanks for the informative link Socrates.  I always heard that Scovies couldn't be bred with other ducks, and now you've explained why.  It's interesting that your source mentions that they don't quack.  I had mentioned that Campbells are quiet - must modify that to say that they are "mostly" quiet - I cleaned a bunch of black bananas out of the freezer today and threw them on the compost pile, and the Campbells had a wild party on top of the heap.  Young adults these days, you know...

Yowbarb

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Re: Land Ducks
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 06:53:38 PM »
R.R. Book and Socrates, thanks for the great info on land ducks!
Learn something new every day! :)

 

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