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How soon can I mix my one week old Runners with my two week old Pekins?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am currently brooding two different ages of ducklings. Some of my ducks didn't survive the journey, so we got a hatchery reshipment.
 

The first , older group are 12 days old. The second, smaller group are 6 days old.

 

The first group is composed of 6 Pekins, some of whom weigh 15oz already (and one black Runner).


The second group is composed of 3 Black Runners who weigh about 2.5oz. 

 

How soon can I mix these guys without having to fear the little Runners just getting totally crushed by my big fat Pekins? This is my first year with ducks.

 

Thank you!


Edited by Westmarch - 3/12/16 at 9:19am
post #2 of 5

I would do it soon because it won't be long and the Pekins will drastically be outpacing the other birds in growth and will be asserting their dominance over the smaller birds.

post #3 of 5

Actually, for the most part, putting little ones in with much bigger ones leads to injuries and worse.

 

The best would be to set them side by side separated by a plastic poultry fence, food and water on each side - so they see each other, get used to each other, but I would not put them together till the Runners have grown quite a bit.

 

There will always be a size difference between them - you will need to watch that and intervene if there is aggression.

 

Now then.  Each flock is unique, and I have read about Runners terrorizing larger ducks, I have read about Pekins beating up on Runners, and so on....

 

I would work to keep each group healthy and content, and closely supervise their time together when the time comes.  And I would not just put them together and leave them at first.  I would let them be together, then separate again until I was sure they would not be aggressive with each other.

 

@Westmarch 


Edited by Amiga - 3/12/16 at 8:11pm

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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you Amiga, that is exactly what I did! I put a permeable fence barrier between their sections of the brooder.

I did a few experiments before settling on this setup. I (while very closely supervising, of course) put the week-olds with the older group. Not only did the Pekins pick on them, it somehow stimulated the Pekins to also pick on the older Runner, their hatchmate - bummer!

So I split the week-olds off into their own little section and put the older Runner with them. She is barely bigger than they are, unlike the Pekins, and she doesn't pick on them. I felt like this was the best time to put them together since the Runners are permanent additions to the farm whereas the Pekins are going to be converted to confit in five weeks, so it's best that she bonds with her buddies now.
post #5 of 5

Good move!

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