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How do you deal with free range ducks and chickens?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, we are going to be getting some Welsh Harlequin ducklings and baby chickens soon and I have a few questions about them being free range during the day when they are older. Are there any daytime predators that go after ducks and chickens? (I live in Georgia.) Would they lay eggs all over the yard, or in their nesting boxes? I want the ducks and chickens to breed, and lay eggs for eating, so would I have to candle the eggs all the time? Do they know if there is babies inside their eggs? Will the mother ducks and chickens keep their babies safe from hawks, and other daytime predators? Thanks in advance for any information. smile.png
post #2 of 4
There plenty of day time predators that will happily snack on both chickens and ducks. Hawks, coyotes, and dogs are just a few common ones. And of course there's no guarantee that night time animals won't sometimes venture out for an afternoon snack.

You can encourage them to lay in the best boxes provided via the addition of fake eggs, but birds will be birds and in the end, birds will lay where they please.

Fertile eggs will not just begin developing on their own. They need to be sat on for 4 hours before they even start to grow, and it'll take 1 or 2 days of steady incubation before they become anything more than a blood spot. You only need to watch out for embryos during the brooding season, when hens begin to sit. And no, they do not know if an egg is developing or not, and will sit on fake eggs and golf balls just as happily as fertile eggs.

Mother hens will protect their babies to an extent, but they're just as likely to be killed by predators as their offspring.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
If the males and females are kept together, how would you know which eggs you can eat, and which ones are fertile? I know that the female will lay a full nest of them if they are fertile, but that would take a couple days, and if the eggs are collected right away I don't want to end up taking a fertile egg inside to eat! How long would duck and chicken eggs stay good without being refrigerated? Thank you for helping me. smile.png
post #4 of 4
Today I found a nest in my pasture where my ducks are, with six eggs. I'm assuming they started laying in the past 5 days because I just got back from out of town. And they weren't there when I left. And u never noticed this before its in tall grass. They were laying on them this afternoon, but this evening there not laying on them what should I do? Also I only have two females 5 males
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