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First foray into ducks

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I impulsively bought five ducklings when I picked up my yearly chicks. They were just SO CUTE! If anything could be cuter than a chick, it's possibly a duckling. Anyway, they told me, "they're pretty much like chicks. Keep them together feed them the same, not a big deal..." I'm finding that not to be the case. I usually research things to death before getting into something new, but farm animals may be my weakness.
For one, they EXPLODED in size! They're 6-7 times the size of the chicks already! And they are terribly messy! The water is always full of food, the brooder floor was always soaked, the chicks were wet and splashed with sticky food water. DIY pan with wire to put the watered on helped with a lot of that! But with their size difference, thinking I just need to separate them. They are big enough to go out in a pen and they LOVED eating the grasses and a on of water to swim and splash to their hearts content. Doing internet research, learning a lot, but wanted to get some experienced opinions.

First: what kind of ducks do I have? I know two are Khaki Campbell. I suspect one is a Cayuga. Solid black and now the feather tips are coming in, they were shining green in the sunlight.

One is mostly gray with yellow. Gray back, neck, head, bill, feet and yellow chest and face markings.


The last is a yellow duckling but the bill and feet are tan and the feather tips are brownish. So guessing that's it's not Pekin.
Here's a pic of the gang


It won't let me add more pics. Hmmmm. I'll try in the comments.

Other question involves feed. Can they really just eat chicken feed? I'd like to pasture them as much as possible since we have acreage. Or do they need special supplements?

Thanks all for your insight!
Edited by bbhorsefly - 4/21/17 at 10:52am
post #2 of 13

Your gray one I want to say is a blue swedish.  Looks like mine did if I remember correctly.  I would say the yellow one is a Pekin and the black one I am going to agree with you and say Cayuga.  I could be wrong I havent had any of those.  As for the feed I feed my ducks an all flock feed which chickens can have as well and ducks and chicks can both have it from start to finish.  It makes it a lot easier to feed mixed flocks verses buying this and that feed for different ones (which I am currently going through right now anyways).  I have heard ducklings need niacin which wont hurt the chickens if they get it.  Now, I am not sure if purina all flock has enough niacin or if I was just lucky but I never needed to give my ducklings any and there are no problems here.  

 

And yes ducklings are super messy!  I know some people have no issues brooding chicks and ducks together but as my preference I would never do it.  The brooder alone I was cleaning every other day!  

post #3 of 13
I had the same problem. I went to Tractor Supply and on impulse decided I wanted chickens, AND THEN I saw those ADORABLE ducklings. When asked, the associate stated that ducklings and chicks can be raised together...... WRONG. 
 
I now have 5, started with 3 Pekin and then saw a CUTE black and yellow/black one, jerks who want to make paste out of their water and food. 
 
Over the last week I have been researching what to do with ducks. The duck section on here is amazing! Here is what I have so far: 
 
1) You need to have Niacin within the duck food or add Brewers Yeast: 55 mg/kg for starter and 40 mg/kg for grower. The amounts for the Brewers Yeast are in the Duck Education section of BYC. 
2) DO NOT feed medicated chicken food, unless formulated for ducks/waterfowl as well. 
3) Once old enough give water that they can dunk their head in to clean their eyes, nose, and such. A kiddy pool works amazing. 
4) Not sure if you need this or not: Drakes have curled feathers on their tails. Females are smaller in size/weight. 
 

Here are my jerks... ehm... I mean my LOVELY DUCKIES!! 

 

 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryGirl1120 View Post

Your gray one I want to say is a blue swedish.  Looks like mine did if I remember correctly.  I would say the yellow one is a Pekin and the black one I am going to agree with you and say Cayuga.  I could be wrong I havent had any of those.  As for the feed I feed my ducks an all flock feed which chickens can have as well and ducks and chicks can both have it from start to finish.  It makes it a lot easier to feed mixed flocks verses buying this and that feed for different ones (which I am currently going through right now anyways).  I have heard ducklings need niacin which wont hurt the chickens if they get it.  Now, I am not sure if purina all flock has enough niacin or if I was just lucky but I never needed to give my ducklings any and there are no problems here.  

And yes ducklings are super messy!  I know some people have no issues brooding chicks and ducks together but as my preference I would never do it.  The brooder alone I was cleaning every other day!  

You'd still guess Pekin even though the feathers are coming in brown? Or do they go through a brown phase before white? Ah! I have no idea! Haha
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yep! "Flash" definitely looks like a blue Swedish!
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbhorsefly View Post


You'd still guess Pekin even though the feathers are coming in brown? Or do they go through a brown phase before white? Ah! I have no idea! Haha

I really dont know either!  Sadly I have never had a pekin and all my brown ducks now started out as brown ducklings.  Maybe a fawn colored duck of some sorts?  Does it stand up particularly straight?  If so it could be a fawn runner.  They start out as yellow ducklings (I just had to check metzer's website to double check myself).  And just wait after ducks comes the meat birds and turkeys!! haha.

post #7 of 13
Haha...wink.png.....lol..wink.png......


Yes, ducks are messy little puppies ..smile.png......They will be fine out in the Coop....I think the one is a Cayuga...smile.png.....

I do not house my two species together..smile.png.....They all have their own houses and runs...smile.png
Bouncers Mom..........Quack!
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryGirl1120 View Post

I really dont know either!  Sadly I have never had a pekin and all my brown ducks now started out as brown ducklings.  Maybe a fawn colored duck of some sorts?  Does it stand up particularly straight?  If so it could be a fawn runner.  They start out as yellow ducklings (I just had to check metzer's website to double check myself).  And just wait after ducks comes the meat birds and turkeys!! haha.

I've been watching for a runner like stance on any of them, but they don't stand upright at all. Perusing the breeds a Saxony looks like it, but then I read they are rare and I highly doubt they just happened to be in an assortment at a farm supply store.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissyLynn89 View Post












Here are my jerks... ehm... I mean my LOVELY DUCKIES!! 










So cute....I love your jerks...smile.png
Bouncers Mom..........Quack!
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbhorsefly View Post


I've been watching for a runner like stance on any of them, but they don't stand upright at all. Perusing the breeds a Saxony looks like it, but then I read they are rare and I highly doubt they just happened to be in an assortment at a farm supply store.

Can you call the store and see where they get their birds from?  At least then you could check that hatcheries website an it would give you a idea of what they sell and what it could be.  There are a couple hatcheries that do sell them so it could be possible depending on where the birds came from.

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