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Duck Course Certification — The Grow Network Community
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Duck Course Certification

I went through the Grow Network duck course and got a few ducks. I didn’t expect to fall in love. They are charming and quiet. Their tails waggle in the cutest way. They think the rain puddles are an amusement park. So I’m thrilled to say the whole world needs ducks. We started getting eggs and I love them. Unbelievable yolks and a great size! Unfortunately all 5 flew away. But today at the feed store I found their last two Pekins! So it begins again!


  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 2,001 admin
    edited April 9

    @Megan Venturella

    Did you have pekins that flew away?

    If they have more pekins I would get a few more so you know you have layers.

    My pekins are laying like crazy! and I love them too. They like to follow me all over the place.


    Man, you guys are really making me want to get ducks! I've heard they make a huge mess. Is that true? And how many do you need?


    Oh, and can they eat chicken food? Thanks!

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 409 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant We had two Pekins and 3 Muscovy. The ones from the feed store I bought today are Pekins. The eggs were fantastic!

    @COWLOVINGIRL I’ve seen and smelled some big duck messes, but I think it comes down to space and management. Chickens are gross too if you don’t clean their coops, right? But I guess ducks poop twice as much. So if you’re gardening, it’s a win! In the course she recommends just composting it in place by adding straw and red wrigglers. I thought that was a great idea.

    You feed them UNMEDICATED chick starter- the medicated feed will kill them. They also have greater niacin needs than chickens, but everyone where I am just feeds them chicken food and they’re fine.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 409 ✭✭✭✭

    @COWLOVINGIRL Sorry I forgot your other question. I’d get at least two so they have a friend. Apart from that, I guess it depends on how many you want or need.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 2,001 admin
    edited April 10

    @COWLOVINGIRL Pekins lay more eggs and over a longer period than Muscovy. I love Muscovy. My pekins love me but they are a bit dumb.

    Ducks get attached to people, at least mine do.

    When ducks are younger I give them more niacin just to make sure they don't have issues. You can tell if they are lacking niacin by their legs.

    They need a water source all the time. It does not have to be a pond but they do like to toss water around or swim if they can.

    My duck free range during the day and I discourage them from being in the front yard. I know they can make a mess but I never see it. They are great to let forage in an orchard as they fertilize it as they eat insects.

    If you set a house area up right its easy to clean and not bad as in stinky,

    I really enjoy my ducks and their eggs.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 2,001 admin
    edited April 10

    @Megan Venturella If you pen muscovy when they are younger they will be more willing to stay put when they are older. Where I am located I cannot have flying ducks. They would get hit by a car.

    The pekins are cute! Enjoy.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,903 admin
    edited April 10

    @COWLOVINGIRL If you want layers, Khaki Campbell are some of the best.

    Are ducks messy? Yes.

    Are they fun to own? Yes!

    Water helps keep them bug free. They also need water to dip their whole beaks in to keep their nares (nostrils) clear. Mallard types also prefer to do their breeding in water. An aggressive drake can drown a hen, so I've heard.

    Niacin is found in grasses (reading @Denise Grant's good post).

    Indian runners are upright birds. They are layers of lots of large eggs. They are fun to watch. They are shy, run in groups, lay lots of eggs and don't fly very high. They lay large green or cream colored eggs and come in many fun colors.

    A muscovy will lay less, are pretty good setters & moms, and the females can perch on buildings & in trees. The drakes are too heavy once matured and can weigh in at 15 lb. They are South American tree ducks, the only duck breed not related to the mallard. They are not related to geese. They are supposed to taste really good. The breed is fairly quiet and very personable except in breeding season, but a good straw broom is scary to them, so it isnt a big deal. I'm sure that the hens could take your finger off if you try to grab eggs while they are setting. They lay large eggs.

    Call ducks are tiny, the size of a brick of butter. They are NOISY and were meant as live decoys for calling in wild ducks to hunt. They lay tiny blue eggs and have the tiniest ducklings. Being a bantam, they take little space.

    We only have call ducks at the moment because I needed to make room for more of a variety of fun birds, as you already know.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,903 admin

    @Megan Venturella My oldest daughter taught our runners to go into their hut from when they were young. As she put them in, she said, "duck, duck, duck," and they would run right in after a while any time when hearing her say those words. It was pretty fun!

    If you have ducklings or Indian runners, never give them a steep ramp to fall off of or a deep step. They can damage their legs too easily.

  • marjstrattonmarjstratton Posts: 349 ✭✭✭

    Sounds like I need to take the duck course. I really like duck eggs. I would assume there is a way of keeping them from flying the coop.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 2,001 admin

    I have never had Indian Runners. I need to find a good source for them. They are funny to watch.

    I may have to get a few call ducks too just to see if I like them.

    Khakis are great layers but a bit noisy for me.

    Its funny how we all get our preferences.

    I have noticed a lot less ticks with my ducks and that is a good thing!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 2,001 admin

    Thank you everyone for the help! I just might be taking that course and getting some ducks!

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 746 ✭✭✭✭

    I miss our ducks! Our last ones were Khaki Campbell but we had a runner before that. She was given to us with some chickens. At the time she lived with the chickens and was the only duck. During breakup season here (for those who don't know, it is when all the snow melts) we always get a lake in our driveway. One year we had a pretty deep lake as there was a lot of snow and breakup came quickly. Went outside and here she was swimming and having a blast in our driveway lake.

    Unfortunately, shortly afterward we had an issue with a fox and it managed to grab her and run off. Certainly miss her. She had quite the personality.

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