Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chickens or Ducks?

We have both (chickens and ducks) and even though I originally got the ducks just for fun for the grandkids, I've really come to like them.  In fact I think I almost prefer them to the chickens!  They are voracious foragers and even when they're working their way through the garden eating insects like crazy, they aren't destructive like the chickens are (no hen pecks in the tomatoes, no uprotted young plants...)  They lay beautiful eggs faithfully, and I was surprised to find that our Dora Duck's eggs are a lovely bluish-green (see below)

They do, however, make a mess in every single water trough on the farm - except the horse tank because that's to tall.  The sheep water can't be that high off the ground or the sheep can't reach it (obviously).  It doesn't matter that they have their own duck pool as well as drinking water, they go from pen to pen sampling and sometimes bathing in every water.  I can pen them up in winter, when I don't need them to forage, but they sure make a mess in summer.  Do any of you have this problem?  And if so, do you have any tips to solve the problem?


Lona said...

No experience, Cary, so take this with a grain of salt. But I was looking at a horse hay self-feeder recently that had wire that fit down in the feeder box right on top of the square bale.

If you put large hole wire over the waterers (are they tubs?), would the animals still be able to get their noses in to drink? And the ducks would be discouraged?

If it's a dumb idea, just laugh and move on. =)

June said...

Many, many years ago we had three white ducks we called Huey, Dewey and Louie. But I don't remember much about their upkeep, as we had to find them a new home when we moved. What pretty eggs!

Amy said...

Loved reading about your beautiful ducks! For the sheep tank, here's a trick: empty it out, build a concrete block island, with steps going up to where the tank will be, put the tank on top and fill. The sheep will have to step up the blocks to drink, which takes training, so have other water nearby until they get used to it. The ducks won't usually mess around with the steps and can therefore no longer get the sheep tank messy. This is also a good idea to keep sheep from backing up to the tank and leaving unmentionables floating in the water. This doesn't work for younger lambs though. Sheep love putting their front hooves on 'rocks', so it works good for them. Just an idea to try. Good luck! Amy at Wheely Wooly Farm

A Baker's Dozen Barnhouse News said...

Hi Cary,

Thanks for leaving a link for your duck post! I also noticed that you crochet and so many other things.:)

We haven't had any trouble with the duck in the water troughs. But there are many streams running around the place and most of the animals water troughs are pretty tall.

Love your post and your blog.:)



Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Thank you all for the great suggestions and comments ;) Sherry, I'm glad to see you stopped by!