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Up and Downs of having Chickens and Ducks

diannebye

Banned
We moved to Bexhill on Sea from Wallington Surrey in 2000 Townies to Country Folk but also the Sea very close by.
We had to go back to Wallington after we unpacked all the gear because our Cat Oiga decided to do a houdini at the last post and so phoned the next doorneighbours to look out for him until we arrived.all went to some kind of plan....Oiga arrived in new home after midnight.....

We loved thenew way of life...own driveway large front and back gardens...perfect and soon decided via seeing a neighbour with very little chickens....yes that seems like a really good idea. We searched around near and far and ended up at Mantle Farm near Battle and only 10 minutes from our new home.
We purchased a Chicken House and Wire and Wood for a run and had put aside 3 Bantums Chickens.

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diannebye

Banned
We soon were visiting Mantel Farm Often and helped work their land which needed attention. We soon got to see the pigs(sausages) not nice but real life...the grumpy goat they inherited geese...not keen...peacocks...and oh ducks and ducklings. They soon got our emotions rolling and became a want.
Husband built a duck House like he had seem at the farm shop and inch wire for the pen and wood for the structure. Has to be wired under the outside to prevent foxes getting under the pen.
 

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diannebye

Banned
There is always one Boss and that is the one in the picture in the Pond....Ok out of the mating season though......will carry forward soon....it is not I can tell you all a happy tale ok
 
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neil.belton1972

Standard Member
We have had chickens on and off for last 10 years, ups - you get fresh eggs. downs they die with alarming frequency of all sorts of different maladies and if your at all squeamish about bird poo, blood and poorly animals dont bother
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Do ducks need a decent sized pond to keep them happy and active or is a small bath sufficient.

I have no expertise, just based on trips out to the countryside. If I visit a river, lake or pond I always see ducks but if I visit the sea, pasture or healthland I never see ducks. So in my mind, ducks like fresh water and lots of it.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

diannebye

Banned
I only have limited experience gainly from reading and advice from knowlegable people and we would run to Mantel Farm for help on many occasions. My understanding through having ducks and duckling, they had their pen just a few feet away from our 'living quarters, 'in the rear garden so the view was very addictive.....Water is their everything. Cleaning, Toilet, Bonking, Playing they love it. We would change the two pond waters every other day and top them up daily because they only held about 50 litres of water each. We have seen many gardens here with ducks and no ponds and makes you wonder why...ok it is normally food for many so little care seems to be taken for their pleasures. Ours were pets and so the mentality is different.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a disney movie... Ducks and chickens, mortal enemies living together.. Boy duck and girl chicken fall for each other, warring families, famous balcony scene (Donald, oh Donald, where for art though Donald?) and tragic suicide pact ending....
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Do you use the “downs” to make quilts or jackets.:laugh:
Not sure about the “ups”
it's coats
- as in, get yours
We have had chickens on and off for last 10 years, ups - you get fresh eggs. downs they die with alarming frequency of all sorts of different maladies and if your at all squeamish about bird poo, blood and poorly animals dont bother
as we've ducks here, there may also be mallardies
- getting my coat too
 

diannebye

Banned
So the four ducks are all Call Ducks 2 girls and 2 boys One pair are pure Apricot Call Ducks and the other pair not sure but Call Ducks. nethertheless. They soon start laying eggs and one things they would not do like ducks in the wild is sit on them for more than a few seconds...we took advice from MF and gave four eggs to the chickens. Our Grey Bantum was eger beaver and took possesion in their nesting box which attached to the outside of their House. She stayed on the eggs for 3 weeks and took toilet breaks only and a quick grab to eat. The size of the poo was huge...a days worth in a minute....gosh...
we moved her out of the nesting box into a large shed Hubby had built so was Gerry built(that his name well one of many to be honest)
One egg had a crack in it and we could here life inside but the next 24 hours were tense cause the little thing could not get out. Phone call to MF and was told you need to peel it now...WHAT...otherwise duckling aint gonna make it....Gerrybuilt peeled it and if you saw him cry you'd be correct...he said I think I am murdering him.....huge emotions kicked in and then apart from a little shell still stuck to his back he was out and living......one day later another just popped out from the Grey Chickens wing...wonderful...two out of the 4 hatched....litter trays has many uses....
 

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diannebye

Banned
Sounds like a disney movie... Ducks and chickens, mortal enemies living together.. Boy duck and girl chicken fall for each other, warring families, famous balcony scene (Donald, oh Donald, where for art though Donald?) and tragic suicide pact ending....
Ducks and Chickens never bothered each other...Our Cats had to give the chickens a wide berth sometimes.....we took on a rescue Cockerel a Bantam Type from MF but that is a whole different story.
He arrived on trial because we did not want him really but felt so sorry for him...fools....
He bowed down to the girls and his wings open on the floor in 'peace' he was submissive to the point of OMG what a wonderful little fella....next day once he got his foot in the door he was actually terrible.
He started picking on the ducks when they are destroying our perfect garden...whoops animals friendly garden is what I really meant and then by the next day he started on us two...really he did a little tiny Bantam Cockerel flying at our legs and pecking us....then the Cats had there share...that was not going to happen...he went back to Mantel Farm but did find another home and was pretty different with the 2nd peeps..
 
D

Deleted member 202217

Guest
I got excited for a moment and thought this thread was cockney rhyming slang... Apologies, I'll move along 🤭
 

diannebye

Banned
some days later one of the Bantams was not well and off to the Farm Vets in Battle and turns out she was egg bound...did not think she was...he said I have trained for this procedure but never performed this on a live hen.....ooooo omg......he was from what we observed very professional and succeded in removing the stuck egg....He did tell us the downside and so quite prepared that she would not make it. I sat wih her all night and she was very up and down but she did collapse suddenly by day break and died. It was the shock the Vet had told us. Was worse than sad at the time.
We did get another hen and introduced her to the others slowly and it worked out, luckily as new uns do not always get accepted. If they start pecking and draw blood they can go into a frenzy mode like cannibals...true. We had it happen to one of the trio and it was like the hen had been shaved around the neck...seen the advert for opiticans with the sheep shaven but was actually his dog...looked very simular.
The terrain of the property in Bexhill was it sloped verymuch it sloped and the front garden we had made at the top a natural pond which then gave us the idea of a stream meeting up with another little pond near the b ottom of the garden with a pump system from one to the other and down the stream then back to the bottom pond....really was great..I will have a look to see if any photos of it.
Ducks loved it..duck heaven for them little wreckers can destroy anything in minutes...I mean cute and perfect surely.......when they waddle about it makes you smile.
 

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diannebye

Banned
One morning many weeks later with the new ducklings Fluffles and Pebbles now in the main pen with the other two pairs.....We had a call from our daughter who followed us to Bexhill through necessity another long story......her car was not going to start and work to go to...so off we went in a rush...sorted out the car and returned home...few mins away only...we looked in the pen and Pebbles was very still so we opened the top lid and picked her up and blood was where she was sitting and one of her legs was missing...off to the vets imediately and she was put to sleep...the story is horrid I know and Fluffles was beside himself.
What happened when we inspected the scene was blood on the side of the pen and our Pebbles had been sitting next to the wire and ducks do stretch out their legs quite often like we stretch sometimes...her leg managed to go through the 1inch square wire and a Fox must haves been near the pen and took her leg off. Next to our Garden was farmland although it was very built up we were at the border to the countryside for miles......plenty of badgers and foxes not shy like they are here.
Very very sad time for us and Fluffles fretted for days until we managed to find a duck...not easy at the time because it was not the right season and also we wanted a duck that was not a duckling...we got Bibbib who was noisy bossy and funny. Fluffles was penned in with her and eventually excepted her but never really was a twosome..more like friends...Bibbib was unique.
The Vet did not give us any bill.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
We have chickens and 2 ducks. The ups are the eggs and they are generally cute (silkies particularly). The downs are foxes. One of our two silkies was taken last week. Had an Isa Brown taken a couple of years ago.

All are safely out of harms way at night. The foxes are active in daylight here as well :(
 
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diannebye

Banned
Bibbib the first week was so annoying she bibbed constanley and would go around in circles bib bib all day long just a metre from the bungalow...then after the first week we could see her charactor.bossy and stroppy and generally do not mess with me.......funny as well. Fluffles had his act cut out with this one but he was a little intigued at least so there was some action between them but never felt the love like the next born from the original foursome... Bob and Sue a devoted pair of different parents(our ducks and drakes) but very dramatic for them but Bob was an ace partner that would go the extra mile for Sue when serious drama happened out of the blue......
 

diannebye

Banned
We had Bob and Sue the youngest ones them separated from the other mob within the pen because Splash when in season he just can't get enough sex and we were not going to encourage forced affairs.......he got very pushy and a little aggressive as well.
One morning we noticed Sue's eye looked odd so took her off the Farm Vets with Bob in tow for company. Turned out she had lost her sight in that eye and no cure could put that right.
Bob was on hand to help her move around because she was a bit disorienated wth moving around outside their pen... you had to see how he was with her to believe the extra mile he constantly took with her. A few weeks past and she did get better generally getting around but we were horrifield when we saw her other eye looking a little swollen and sore looking one day...rush to the vets and she had an infection in it and could hardly see at all...But it did heal and so she was back to herself again in no time at all.
 

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Morty

Active Member
We have had chickens on and off for last 10 years, ups - you get fresh eggs. downs they die with alarming frequency of all sorts of different maladies and if your at all squeamish about bird poo, blood and poorly animals dont bother
Our hens live typically 3-4yrs. Never had any real problems except the dredded red mite.The only thing I would advise after having chickens for nearly 20yrs don't bother with wooden coops they rot spend a bit of cash and get an omlet eglu, they're plastic, you can power wash them and they last forever.
 

diannebye

Banned
Loved the Duck Eggs so large and not strong in taste like I was lead to believe. More baking and purchased a cheapo Lidl mixer that done the job for a few years and gave up the ghost so bought an expensive one and then I got a bit carried away with the attachments a bit like buy a handbag/shoes syndrome women can suffer from on a regular basis. Can make sausages now if I had skins and soup smoothies crush nuts even....
The pleasure we had from them was larger than life and we let them out as often as we could to mplay(wreck)our garden. We were on a slope from the garage and driveway as the land just went upwards, so when we decided on a natural stream it was going to be FUN.
The digging clay soil was not fun and we never really planned it just went with the flow.... where you see the granite rocks is where it is. Top end a little pond and then the base another little pond pump installed with pipes so we could have it flowing with water. You can imagine the ducks just loved it and although they would manage to catch and eat some of the wildlife we would overllok them and scare them off when we could so not too many lost lives...
The second Photo is where we had to section off Bob and Sue for their sanity and health...not for many weeks just to get over Sue's eye problems and Splashes on heat period.

It was after one of Splashes much too much hot sessions that a horrid thing happened to Puddles.
It is grim but just to say she came out the other side without any Vets intervening ok. I did become Dr Di for a good many weeks. Read up what seemed to be happening to her spoke with Mantel Farm of course and got on with the horrible task to keep her alive...it felt like a miracle when she became her old self again....Cant bring myself to type it right now...for the best maybe.Well the best is she lived on good and truly a happy bright Duck.
Third Photo is Splash with the white with Black, Pale Apricot is Sweetie Pie and the other true Apricot Call Ducks is Quackers with the green beak which tell you he is a Drake whilst the Girly Ducks have yellow becks.(Bob and Sue's offspring)
The last duck Photo has Puddles in it ...2nd from the left
This Photo is one of our Little Chickens called Bantems. Lilly the grey Hen was the one always keen to sit on any Duck Eggs... the Black Hen is Sootie and The Speckled Hen...I cannot think....but they all layed half the size eggs of a Regular Hen, they were good eggs and all a deep yellow yolk and tasted wonderful.The Garden was a reasonable size and although on the edge of a built up estate we where one of the last properties and next to a Farm...well it was a proper Farm with cows and really we enjoyed them especially when they gave birth unexpectly next to our garden fence...baby calves are truly beautiful...for a while anyway! When we finally moved it was not a Farm and became an industrial estate very simply would you believe........I have mention some of that before, somewhere...Hope you enjoy the pics.
 

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