Hello, today I ordered my 2nd set of (4) chicks, and got two ducklings as well! However, the first time I bought six chickens they were already 5 weeks old so they didn't need a heat lamp or any extra care that day old chicks needed. So I have a few questions...
Should I separate the chicks and ducklings completely? They're all pullets, they're all going to be indoors for the first few weeks and I can put them in separate containers, or I can just keep them all together which is what I would prefer to do. I know there's non-medicated bird feed that I can use to feed them both as well. I don't mind cleaning their living area if it gets wet from the ducklings either, I just want to make sure it'd be okay to keep all six birds together.
How should I safely heat these birds since they're inside my house? A heat lamp seems extremely dangerous to me, are there safer alternatives I don't know about? I know that there's heating pads out there, I just want something that's not a fire hazard. The chicks are coming with 10-15 baby males as well to keep them warm, should I keep the males around for the first couple of weeks to help keep the rest of the flock warm? Right now the males are going to the local feed store to be given away to local farms, but I can keep them for awhile if it helps my flock stay cozy.
Is there anything else I should know about raising ducks that's different than chickens? I know ducks are messy and fling water everywhere; but I'm assuming the ducks will eat tomatoes and corn and feed the same way my chickens do (as long as its not layer's feed with that added calcium). Any additional input would be wonderful. :)
Thanks to all who share any advice!