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Adding ducklings and chicks to my existing flock...2 questions & pictures

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

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. 

 

and

 

Will my ducks and chicks be ok if I put them together at 5 weeks old? 

 

post #2 of 8
What age are the chicks?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Percheron chick View Post

What age are the chicks?

The chicks are the same age as the ducks. They were both purchased from Tractor Supply the same week. Both are 4 weeks old. But the ducks are bigger then the chicks. 

post #4 of 8
The thing I would worry about is the water mess the ducklings will create and the chicks not having enough space to stay warm and dry. The brooder is way too hot for 5 week olds. I would work on getting the heat lamp off during the day and down under 70* at night.
Edited by Percheron chick - 4/30/16 at 6:16pm
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Percheron chick View Post

The thing I would worry about is the water mess the ducklings will create and the chicks not having enough space to stay warm and dry. The brooder is way too hot for 5 week olds. I would work on getting the heat lamp off during the day and down under 70* at night.

The water and food are outside of the brooder box. Inside the box itself, it is warm and dry. We went out 3 times after dark last night and the temp of the box was 75. This morning the temp is 80. My worry will come in as it warms up during the day outside....then we will most likely turn the heat lamp off and only use it at night. Its set up with the heat lamp at the back of the brooder and the opening to the run in the front so the ducks and future chicks can move closer to the opening leading outside and manage their own comfort levels. So far, i've seen the ducks directly under the heat lamp for long periods of time so based on that behavior, I have to think the temps are fine for them. Also....if I turn the heat off during the day, they will be too cold..its still in the 50's here during the day and they dont have all of their feathers yet. With them playing in their water, I want them to have a warm place to go to.

 

Keep in mind, this is a temporary setup until everyone is fully feathered. :)

post #6 of 8
A hot brooder will slow down them feathering out.

Your setup should work. Now it's up to them.
Edited by Percheron chick - 5/1/16 at 8:53am
post #7 of 8
I got two new chickens and one of the chickens from the existing flock is attacking them for no reason! The others don't do it as much. She is the lowest in the pecking order from the orginal flock. What should I do ??
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Chickenlover3 View Post

I got two new chickens and one of the chickens from the existing flock is attacking them for no reason! The others don't do it as much. She is the lowest in the pecking order from the orginal flock. What should I do ??

From what i've read, you have to keep them separated for awhile....can you put up a divider between the new and older chickens so they can get used to each other before they try living together?

 

My new ducks and chickens are kept in a different area so the older chickens dont attack the younger ones.  

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