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We just received our first shipment of Khaki Campbell ducklings. I have never raised ducks but am anxious to begin enjoying a steady supply of duck eggs. We read in several places that this breed of duck wilI "outlay" the best producing chickens. So..... I am wondering what advice you might share. I've read as much material as I can and feel fairly well prepared. We have a well-ventilated, sturdy house for the ducks (right now they're inside til they are big enough to tolerate cold weather). We don't have any naturally occuring bodies of water on our place. Questions: Do ducks need a place to go swimming? What is the best feed for them? We are planning to free range them as much as we can and lock them up at night. Any other "wish I had known that before I started" advice?

 

Pam

Tags: Campbell, Khaki, ducks

Views: 40

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Hi Pamela,

You're going to love your ducks! I love mine: Betty, a Khaki Campbell and her daughter - a mix breed. They are droll, smart, noisy, characters who lay really well - in the summer. Of course my girls are older - don't know how old they are, I inherited them - but it seems they are wired to lay with the light, like chickens.

They are also great for slug patrol - my garden has so many less slugs since they came to live here. It is good protein for them (almost all protein, I hear). My two live right in with the chickens, although they have their own house. I find, though, that they generally prefer to sleep outside (in the caged area) unless its really cold. I feed them chicken layer pellets/grains and they seem to thrive. They all get along reasonably well - the ducks mostly stick to themselves. Main downside is that the ducks dirty the chicken's water so I have to change it every day.

Ducks do need a place to swim - or at least get wet. I use the smallest size kids wading pool for my two. They love it. But be aware that ducks are dirty creatures. They burrow their beaks into the mud to find wonderful delicious things we can only dream about. Then they thrust those beaks into the water to clean up. Ducks need to have water available because they need to clean their beaks of mud and slug slime and whatever else they get into. Lack of water can cause their beaks to get stuck - not a happy situation.

I find I have to change the water in the duck pond once a week in the summer and every 2-3 in the winter. I've situated it so that when I empty it, it waters the orchard with duck manure "tea" (yes they will poop in the pond). I've also heard of folks using it to hand water their crops. You'll love how excited the ducks get when they get fresh water - happy splashing and shenanigans.

Anyway, that's all that comes to mind right now. If you get too many ducks - or some ducklings - down the road, I'd be interested in adding a younger Khaki female to my little flock.

Have fun!

Alicia
Thanks, Alicia, I will probably sell some of the ducks eventually. When I was ordering them I found I could buy 10 for almost the same price as 5, which was what I actually wanted. They are only a couple of days old, so I will wait to see how many make it and go from there. I will keep you posted...

Pam
Keep me in mind, Pamela. I'll probably take 2 so that they have company as they get integrated into the flock.
Pamela,
I used to have Khaki Campbells and loved them! They are so entertaining to watch; full of joy in the most miserable weather (by human standards). Can you arrange a ditch for them to play in where water runs from a gutter? They love to swim, of course, but can make do with a tray or kiddie pool that you rinse and refill daily, as the water will quickly become fouled. They will eat grains that chickens are fed, and relish slugs of all sizes. Somehow those slugs are transformed into delicious eggs, I think they are better than chicken eggs. The only downside to these fun and functional pets is the wet poop they leave everywhere- hard to avoid and you won't want to step in it. Also they will kill plants, mostly by trampling them, and the soil becomes compacted where they walk. So think about lots of mulch ( collect lots of leaves now) and manage the drainage issues on your site. Let us know how it goes,
Janaki


Janaki Kilgore said:
Pamela,
I used to have Khaki Campbells and loved them! They are so entertaining to watch; full of joy in the most miserable weather (by human standards). Can you arrange a ditch for them to play in where water runs from a gutter? They love to swim, of course, but can make do with a tray or kiddie pool that you rinse and refill daily, as the water will quickly become fouled. They will eat grains that chickens are fed, and relish slugs of all sizes. Somehow those slugs are transformed into delicious eggs, I think they are better than chicken eggs. The only downside to these fun and functional pets is the wet poop they leave everywhere- hard to avoid and you won't want to step in it. Also they will kill plants, mostly by trampling them, and the soil becomes compacted where they walk. So think about lots of mulch ( collect lots of leaves now) and manage the drainage issues on your site. Let us know how it goes,
Janaki

I am ready to sell a few of the ducklings as they are now big enough to do well and I have been able to identify the one drake I am keeping (the rest are hens). I thought $10.00 would be fair.

 

Pam

Alicia Wills said:

Keep me in mind, Pamela. I'll probably take 2 so that they have company as they get integrated into the flock.
Pamela, I missed your post.  Do you still have the ducklings?  How big are they right now?  Alicia  715-1259

Pamela Novotny said:

I am ready to sell a few of the ducklings as they are now big enough to do well and I have been able to identify the one drake I am keeping (the rest are hens). I thought $10.00 would be fair.

 

Pam

Alicia Wills said:

Keep me in mind, Pamela. I'll probably take 2 so that they have company as they get integrated into the flock.

Alicia, I still have ducklings. They are off to a great start and are ready for sale. They are roughly a foot tall now. I will call you when we get back from Phoenix (end of this week). We can make arrangements for you to come see the little darlin's.

Pam

Alicia Wills said:

Pamela, I missed your post.  Do you still have the ducklings?  How big are they right now?  Alicia  715-1259

Pamela Novotny said:

I am ready to sell a few of the ducklings as they are now big enough to do well and I have been able to identify the one drake I am keeping (the rest are hens). I thought $10.00 would be fair.

 

Pam

Alicia Wills said:

Keep me in mind, Pamela. I'll probably take 2 so that they have company as they get integrated into the flock.

Just don't feed 'em bread, they'll shit a lot more if you do and its not good for 'em. If you build a pond for 'em it would be smart to protect it from predators such as coyotes, dogs, racoons, eagles, herons- maybe put some netting or screen material over it. If you build a pond for 'em maybe you could do aquaculture at same time. Heres a good pond building site http://www.boundary-ca.net/pond/homemade.html  Heres another one http://www.howtobuildapond.net/ If I tried freeranging ducks or chickens here they'd be easy pickin's for eagles and coyotes....

 

Better than free ranging 'em, Might be smart to consider using a chicken tractor for your ducks- that way they're protected from predators but still can eat grass, worms, and get lots of sunlight and you can wheel 'em around on different parts of your land to fertilize it all over- see http://hubpages.com/hub/Chicken-Tractors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSoyFbEDn3Q 

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