Silver Appleyard Miniature relaxing pondside. These attractively marked ducks are increasingly popular in Australia.
For more info on breeds kept at koljash, scroll across Ducks Inc. tab at top of page and select from drop down menu, or click on link with pictures below.
Ducks are Great!
They're comical, entertaining, inquisitive and sure to cause many hours spent enjoying their daily antics and interactions. We have found that even when run together, the various breeds tend to stick in their individual groups. While ducks are generally quite hardy and don't suffer many of the diseases or illnesses the dry fowl does, like all livestock, for optimal production and performance and general wellbeing, they benefit from proper husbandry practices, including-
Shelter - from inclement weather in all seasons. While ducks will swim any time of year and happily spend the day dabbling in water/mud no matter the weather, they also need somewhere clean and dry to rest and sleep and maintain their feathers as well as shelter from wind and sun.
Water - Ducks are naturally messier than chooks due in part to their feeding habits, but also require access to water deep enough to maintain eye health and maintain feathers. They don't require a pond - heavier breeds may benefit from this to aid in mating - but the phrase 'took to it like a duck to water' was coined for a reason and they come equipped with an innate fascination with water, even as a day old.
Feed - While renowned for bug and weed control in gardens, and especially good at this, it must be noted that ducks will readily eat a variety of plants (vegetable and other) and will take out favourites such as lettuce totally, if given the opportunity. Feeding does not have to be any more complicated than for other poultry breeds - a mix of grain/pelleted foods, greenstuff and access to grit, especially when laying.
Safety - from predators on and above ground - foxes, and even domestic pets such as cats/dogs, hawks and eagles all of which can take eggs, ducklings and mature stock. Young children can also overly stress ducks if they decide to chase them, with less than favourable outcomes.
Company - While it may be nice for the family to have a pet duck or chook, they are social/flock animals and we'd recommend having at least one other as a companion - a different breed is acceptable.
Management - of parasites such as lice and mites, and internal worms. Waterfowl aren't susceptible to scaley leg mite and lice etc are generally controlled via swimming/preening and not an issue in healthy birds. It is advisable to check your flock from time to time for external parasites, as well implement an internal worming regime for optimal health and vitality. For dry land fowl, a product such as Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can treat both internal and external parasites.
All birds health is routinely monitored at koljash, and birds given a dusting with DE prior to leaving the farm.
This website isn't intended to be a HOW TO.... for your poultry, but koljash suggests checking out the reference materials listed here for professional information and advice on caring for your birds.