I have 8 wonderful hens that all get along beautifully. Our 10 year old son has begged for ducks for over a year so we decided to get him some. We bought 2 Khaki Campbell ducklings that have stayed inside for the last month in a brooder. Also, I work at BOCES and the class I work with is raising chicks and now that they are a month old, they need homes so I am bringing 4 home with me next week (they are all female and a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a Rhode Island White)
Ok...so now my questions and concerns:
Our ducklings have been miserable inside...when we come near the brooder, they are terrified. We finally moved them outside and partitioned off a section of the chicken run and added a 250 watt heat lamp in the brooder box. It was 55 degrees here today and the lamp kept the brooder at 90 degrees. Its supposed to go down to 30 degrees tonight....will they be ok in the box? (please see attached picture...the heat lamp is in the high part of the brooder box) I'm assuming since the heat lamp keeps it at 90 degrees, it will cool down considerably when the temps reach the 30's tonight. At 4 weeks old, they should be able to handle 65 degrees...thats what i'm hoping it will stay in the brooder box.
also, when I bring the new chicks home next week, is it safe to put them in with the ducklings? I know you can raise baby chicks and ducks together but I am adding 4 chick that are already a month old to the duck pen...i'm afraid they will fight.
Our plan is to keep the ducks and chicks separated from my 8 older hens for the first month so they can get used to each other. During this time, when my older ladies are outside free-ranging, I will let the ducks and chicks loose in the rest of the chicken run so they can explore the coop without being harassed. Hopefully by June, I can allow all of the chickens and ducks to have supervised time together and if that goes well, i'll take down the separator wall and let them co-exist.
so again, because i'm long-winded.....
Will my month-old ducks be ok in 30 degree temps as long as they have a heat lamp on them? We plan to go check the brooder temp at 8 & 10pm and lower the lamp if needed.
Will my ducks and chicks be ok if I put them together at 5 weeks old?