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Our Call Ducks

 

  • These little ducks are addicting.  My husband got me some call ducklings for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  We started with whites and grays, and now have snowy and butterscotch.

  • Gray is the original color with white being a sport from them.  They were used as decoys in England to “call” in the wild ducks for the hunters.  The females are quite loud.  Ours tend to start calling anytime one of us steps out the backdoor.  They have a lot of personality, and can be easily tamed.

  • They should weigh from 1 ½-2lbs. Depending on the age and sex of the bird.  Heads should be round and full with a short wide bill.  Legs should be centered in the body and short. 

  • Calls are a challenge to breed, hatch, and raise, but it is worth all the extra effort.   They are seasonal layers.  Last year mine produced eggs from February until June.   They were put on Layena pellets in January with supplemental rabbit pellets. They were also given greens daily either grasses or leftovers from our garden.  I found that the rabbit pellets increased my fertility and amount of eggs produced.

  • I used breeding hutches and ground pens for breeding.  I found that when given larger spaces my fertility dropped.   They were more caught up in hunting for bugs and eating grass than mating. 

  • I used a Brinsea Octagon 20 as my incubator, and a tabletop incubator as a hatcher.  I also used Muscovy hens as broodies. I had about the same percentage of hatch using either method.

  • Once hatched most ducklings are vigorous.  There are always a few delicate ones.  These usually turn out to be the better quality breeders or the show ducks.   I start my ducklings with a duck starter, but try to switch them to a lower protein grower at 2-3 weeks of age.  They need clean water for drinking and swimming.  I add Oxine to their water for the first few weeks.  They also get lots of greens.  Please see my page on duckling care.


Calls

Calls


 

Gray Call Female

Gray Call Female

 

Gray Mallard Female

Gray Mallard Female

(Note Obvious Differences)

White Call Female & Gray Call Drake

White Call Female & Gray Call Drake