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Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
by Kiwi Fluff
We've finally moved to a house with a fairly decent (yet modest!) outdoor space which is being transformed into a forest garden. I'm trying to work out whether we should have ducks or chickens.

We're a family of three (LO is still a month off solid food so he won't need too many eggs :lol: ) and live in a town.

I was all for hens despite my childhood dream of duck-ownership :icon_smile: , but have just read that (contrary to what I'd previously heard) ducks are easier and quieter?

We've got an established orchard down the end, with a brook/boggy area. Would chickens be unhappy in the wet, would ducks be better? Could have both....

P.S. I used to post here a fair bit years ago but forgot my log on. Seems a bit quiet round here now!

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:13 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I have ducks, geese, hens and bantams. The best laying ducks for eggs are khaki campbells, first thing though, do you like duck eggs, not everyone does, lots of other breeds of ducks are available but maybe lay a little less reliably or some very seasonally. Ducks do need somewhere to bath, even runner ducks, they do make muddy places muddier, they push their bills into the ground and can make a mess, they also do far more poo than chickens, I also have call ducks which are miniature, they lay eggs more seasonally but are less messy, but quite noisy. Only female ducks quack and they can be quite noisy at times. If you have a brook, you may find your ducks will take off downstream and you might have to go looking for them at times. Chickens are more reliable layers, you would have more people willing to take gluts of hens eggs as opposed to duck, the best layers are the hybrid hens (ginger ones) but most hens do lay quite well, the younger the hens, the more they lay, as they get older they drop off laying a bit. They do not appreciate wet very much, and again can make mess with scratching etc, they are more destructive towards plants, but both chickens and ducks will eat your vegetables. Hens mostly make noise when they have laid an egg, but most of the time are pretty quiet. I have a nice big run for my hens, plus they forage in a meadow, the run has woodchips put down the stuff the tree surgeons chip up when they take branches down and this stops the run from becoming waterlogged and muddy, and give them something to keep their interest as it always has bugs and seeds in it, becoming more full of worms as it breaks down, then you have something to shovel out and put on the garden

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:31 pm
by bonniethomas06
Hi Kiwifluff! :wave: Welcome back - who were you before?

I have kept both and vote chooks - I suppose if you are going to keep them contained it isn't such an issue, but whereas I sometimes let my chooks out in the garden for a bit of a scratch around, it isn't something I would want to do for ducks - their little paddy feet and ridiculous amount of poo very quickly turns a lawn into a cesspit!

They are cute though, no doubt about it! And chickens don't like wet feet.

Sorry not very helpful, but sounds exciting whichever you choose. Could you have both?

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:11 pm
by Green Aura
Hi kf, welcome back to Ish. :wave:

We had a few technical problems a while back but folks are slowly starting to return, happily.

As for ducks or chooks, I've never kept any but I'd have both, given the opportunity. I adore duck eggs though, so if pressed to pick one they'd win.

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:09 pm
by Kiwi Fluff
Hi everyone, thanks for the advice!

The woodchip idea is genius, we're talking of getting a chipper as we have a bit of a problem with ash popping up all over the shop. The house was previously neglected so a lot of the clusters are quite large now.

Bonnie, I was some variation of 'Green Pea' I was a member in 2010-11, so probably long forgotten :wink: .

My main reason for considering ducks is they could make use of the splashy watery area down the end which is good for nothing else. Hmmm...

Those of you with both, which are quietest/most neighbour friendly?

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:49 am
by bonniethomas06
Yes the halcyon days of 2010 seem a long time ago...

In terms of noise, I don't remember my ducks being very loud at all. Neither are the chooks - I recon they are about even stevens on that front.

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:00 pm
by diggernotdreamer
female call ducks are very noisy, in spite of being miniature ducks, but I guess the clue is in the name, my ducks only make a lot of fuss if one of them gets separated from the rest or it's getting near time for their food, they like to eat well. Cockerels of course make noise and I have loads of them, probably about 16 at the moment, as I said hens make noise when they lay but it is only usually for a few minutes.

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:58 pm
by Odsox
Kiwi Fluff wrote:Bonnie, I was some variation of 'Green Pea' I was a member in 2010-11, so probably long forgotten .
Welcome back.
Out of interest your "old" account is still there, green_pea with 109 posts between 2011 & 2014
You could reinstate that if you like, I could reset your password for you, or you can of course carry on with your new account.
Either way it's nice to see you back. :wave:

Re: Ducks or Chooks?

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:39 pm
by Kiwi Fluff
Wowzers I didn't realise I was still actively posting in 2014! I'll have a think but I'll probably just stick to the new username as I think my old account is on a dud email address. Thanks though!