Newby Chicken/Duck

From Orpingtons to Ostrich. Hybrids, pure breeds or just your breeds. Watermael to waterfowl. Put all your general posts here.

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Dagi67

Newby Chicken/Duck

Post by Dagi67 » 08 Jul 2012, 14:12

Hello,

A newby to the forum but also to all things poultry! We are set to have our first chicken coop arrive on Monday and look forward to having some lovely pets and eggs soon! We are still debating slightly which way to go on breeds, even species! I think the most important factors for us are:

1. Want a pet, so something relatively friendly and will interact with us (yes, I know it is up to us to interact and handle the feathery friend)
2. Eggs - would be nice to have eggs for us and maybe a few to sell off/give away to friends and co-workers
3. Resilient - as newbys we're embarking in areas we aren't experienced in - have books but books only take you so far but we have no real-life experience!
4. Of adequate size - not too big as we do not have a big coop but big enough to scare off the curious cat (they'll mainly be in fenced areas but it would be good if they were bold enough to push back - in our previous location we lived next door to multiple chickens and it seems our cat did not mess with/bother them - so he must have been frightened enough!)

So we still debate chickens/ducks/both?

I've never had chickens but have had ducks though it was short-lived as they ran away. I love the personality of ducks and think they can be amusing and fun pets but in reading some say chickens can be quite rewarding as well. I think for eggs both - depending on breed - can be quite prolific in providing eggs and if you are happy to accept duck eggs (as it can be different from what you're used to with chicken eggs) you probably won't suffer from number of eggs. I get the impression from reading that it is all about breeds, breeds and breeds both for character and egg laying!

I should mention that we live close to a river - as it runs alongside our garden, though about 10 feet down the wall that keeps our garden from flooding in times of heavy rain (which seems to be fairly often these days). We have loads of slugs - so good treat for ducks?

So questions - if ducks, will they enjoy our wet weather more than chickens? and would they want to run/swim away if given access to the river?

If we decided on both - and I understand from reading that both can be challenging as their needs can be in conflict - one loves wet and the other loves dry, excessive poo and other bits. Are there breeds that get along with one another better than others (do not plan on getting any males!) and if we had a chicken at POL and got a duckling (to imprint and therefore remain loyal to this home) will the larger chicken abuse and hurt the duckling?

I know they are social creatures and if we started out with one of each and then upon finding our way with a preference of one due to how they adapt here and we with them, and add one more chicken or duck (so in total 3) are we ok with one of each species initially and then subsequently adding another?

Are we going to want to smack ourselves for getting one of each? And are there difficulties in pet sitting if we are away for a weekend in finding sitters for now two species?

Sorry for all the questions and background but want to try to get this right, have animals that we can enjoy and that will enjoy being here!

Many thanks for your advice and help!

Ginelle

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