I have wanted to have ducks for some time and finally in March we got a small group. Charles, my ever willing husband, made a beautiful duck house for the new arrivals who promptly refused to use it! We had some fun evenings rounding them up and getting them inside but eventually gave up and found them somewhere they preferred. Ducks don't roost like chickens. Wild ducks assure their safety by sleeping in a group with a lookout for threats and if one is detected they make a dash for the pond or take to the air. Most domestic ducks are too heavy to fly and we don't have a pond so we had to make other safety arrangements for our three. They now recognize their safe area in the storage shed with a safety run attached and happily go there at dusk - thank goodness. We will re-purpose the duck house for new chicken arrivals.
Dabbling ducks make a real mess of any water supply very quickly. They swish their beaks through the water to sort out all the food which leaves the mud and bits to get filtered out into the water creating a soupy morass! Just like chickens ducks are omnivores so they enjoy both plants and small creatures.
As the girls matured we had a good supply of eggs from them but they had a predator-scare one night and they stopped laying after that. I'm not sure if it was the scare or the time of year that put a stop to the laying. As with hens, eggs are a seasonal gift - who wants to raise ducklings or chicks in the winter?