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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We ordered some baby chicks to get back into having our own eggs again and on a whim decided to get 2 baby ducks to add to the order. We thought they'd be fun to try, never had ducks before! We got two pekins b/c we heard they were a friendly bred and are wondering how we can make them good pets for our kids? any special handling techniques that will make them more trusting and comfortable around people? My first thought is to just handle them a lot as ducklings and interact with them frequently. Also the grain store we have ordered them from said pekings dont require water but do they still prefer it? We can certainly set them up a kiddie pool to paddle around in if it will make them happier with us. Oh and last question what gender do you usually get when you order just 2 ducks? we forgot to ask the feed store and I kinda assumed we'd get females like when you order laying hens but now im not sure? could we end up with one of each and then have a whole flock of ducks before we know it!?<br>
oh and actually I have a fed question too- what is good natural fed for ducks and laying hens also?<br>
thanks!
 

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Oh ducks are such fun!<br><br>
For making them into pets, just handle them as much as you can. Wrap them up in a towel and have them sit with you in the house all the time, they love to watch TV or read books. Keep a paper towel around to catch their glitches or you can make/buy diapers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><b>Pekins</b> do LOVE water, if you get them a kiddie pool, they will be very happy. They also like to be hosed off. Don't try to take them swimming until they are a little older though as they won't be getting the oils off of their mama and will sink like rocks until they are able to preen themselves.<br>
And it's a crapshoot for the sex of the ducklings, unless you ordered sexed ones, you could get two males, two females, or one of each.<br>
Pekins aren't overly prolific, and their eggs are VERY tasty so when they start to lay, if you take the eggs away you won't have to worry about being overrun.<br>
Have fun with them, ducks can be very addictive <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Super! thanks for the reply. I have two toddlers who are 2 and 3 and very excited about their ducks! I have never had duck eggs but if we do end up with a female i'll be interested in trying them out. I'll be careful about swimming for a little while and will hand down the old kiddie pool to them when they seem ready!<br>
also the grain store said they'd be fine living with the hens-does anyone have any experience with this?
 

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I have a pair of Pekin ducks living with my hens. It works fine except for one thing--the male duck chases and mates with the hens. It's totally torture for the chickens. It upsets the roosters, hurts the hens, and causes a lot of chaos. I'm thinking of getting rid of him...after I hatch their babies and save a few females. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I have a kiddie pool for mine to swim in. It gets nasty very fast, especially in summer. I empty it once a week, and by the end of the week it's disgusting! The easiest way to get the water out is to put on your boots, lean a board (like a 2x4 or whatever you've got laying around) up against one side, and step on it. That way you don't have to get too close to the smelly water!<br><br>
My ducklings were fine swimming in the sink when they were brand new. They got tired and cold after about 10 minutes, but it was fun! Then they graduated to the bathtub (which had to be bleached afterward, yikes they poo a lot.) Ducklings are so much fun!<br><br>
Mine were super friendly as ducklings, but now as adults they will eat out of your hand and that's about it. They don't like to be touched. They're still so much fun to watch though.<br><br>
Also, if no one mentioned this to you--don't feed ducks medicated chick feed. The amprolium in medicated feed is poison to ducks!! They're fine eating any unmedicated chicken feed.
 

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Forgot to add--the only other important thing is that you give them a place to blow their noses in the water right from the start. Otherwise their nostrils get clogged. I used a plastic jug with a head sized hole cut in it when mine were tiny. I wired the jug to the side of the brooder cage so they couldn't tip it over.
 

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Can't believe they said pekins don't require water. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused"> My pekins are 3 weeks old (wow they grow FAST, they are huge already!) and they seem to NEED water every day- and lots of it. If they run out their food gets all crusted around their mouth and their nostrils get all clogged up and they seem to wheeze on their food w/o water. Just my 2 go through about a litre each day- they are MESSY!! They like to throw their water all over and they blow bubbles in it (kinda like blowing raspberries in the water!). My pekins were inside the house for the first week and handled daily, but they are still pretty skittish of us, they are not at all aggressive or mean, just fearful. They need to be together or they will FREAK out! If I pick them both up and hold them close to each other they snuggle up and calm down. I don't know what the sex is of mine, I suppose the only way I'd find out is if they started laying eggs or made babies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> We just bought the grower duck feed from our feed store- they cannot eat medicated feed as they eat so much of it they overdose, but my chicks and ducks and turkeys were all in the same brooder for the first 2.5 weeks and the chicks did fine on the duck feed, though it is unmedicated, I've had no problems. They are now separated as the ducks are so big they are in a separate pen and my chicks and turkeys are on medicated feed. Beware, a few days ago I brought one of the ducks out in the yard on a nice day and he took off- he was FAST! If the dog hadn't cornered him I don't know that I could have caught him! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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We have 3 mallard ducklings. They have been so much fun.<br><br>
Everything the other posters have said are all things we have learned too. They are fun and now we have 3 little ducklings (7 weeks old) running around our yard!<br><br>
Have fun with your new babies!
 

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They always have to have water when they eat or they will choke! They also love running through the sprinkler. When they were ducklings last year my DD got in the sprinkler with them almost every day.<br><br>
You can tell what sex they are by their quacks as they grow bigger. The females have a loud honking quack and the males are much quieter...my male sort of whispers "mwack mwack mwack" and my female screams "QUAAAAAAAAACK".<br><br>
The males when mature get a drake feather, which is one curly feather at the end of their tail. It will happen way before the female lays eggs!<br><br>
We had a mallard too, but it was a lot more skittish than the Pekins and I was afraid it would fly away once it grew up, so we gave it to a farm with a pond and other mallards.<br><br>
I had a dream about baby ducklings last night. I need some more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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