Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Dec 08, 2013
I just wanted to say what an absolute pleasure our 3 ducks are to own..I say 3, we acquired them through an ad in a wanted column..they were happily living in a back yard - a small one in the city center. A neighbor had complained (groan...boring) and so the poor guy was forced to find new homes for all his poultry. They looked happy and healthy even though they had a small type baby bath as their source of water..they didn't look stressed, fat and waddling around really.
Things improved for them rapidly once we got them home, we kept them in the dog run for a few days to get them acclimatized..this was very easy as Aylesbury ducks, ours anyway, are the greediest things out there and live by their tummies! They used to come into the kitchen and nick the dogs' dry biscuits..every day til we got lurcher pups. They are NOT clean in the house, quite the reverse, then they paddle through it all and it gets very messy, very quickly. Ours were never supposed to come in and thankfully, these days they don't at all.
We thought it would be nice to have duck eggs so were happy to have 2 girls and a boy and boy...was he a busy boy - if you know what I mean! On a negative side, despite laying loads of eggs (they must have) we could never find them in the hut we provided for laying/nesting. They are way too clever for that and lay in the center of the pond we have, on the reeds and so even though we don't have eggs, we have several beautiful ducklings every Spring, some pure, some mixed, crossed with standard Mallard ducks we have visit the pond.
The downside of keeping ducks in a very natural pond environment is that we have lost many over the years to foxes, it's impossible not to unless you fasten them up every evening - easier said than done on a large pond. I would suggest that it is possible, they are very easy to train to come for food but you literally have to pen them up EVERY night, Mr Fox comes the one night you forget, and I personally think that ducks like to be out and about swimming at dawn and dusk when the feeding is best so it is very tying and limiting if you are going to do this every day.
We have never had to take one to the vets for treatment - have had no mites or injuries thankfully and have just enjoyed having such a beautiful breed on our pond living as close to possible as wild ducks...only healthy, happy birds breed so ours must be in their element...they just keep on producing!
Another upside for training, keeping as a pet is that they are a flightless bird, they wont disappear to anyone else's pond unless they can waddle there....this did happen in the Lurcher pup early days...we sorted that out and insisted they waddle right on home!!! :)