Over the winter I kept my duck in the run with the chickens during the day (a lot of snow) and after about the third day he preferred going into their coop instead of his duck house at night!
raising chickens and ducklings together? - Page 4
How much space do ducks need? I live in So CA, my backyard is really small. I know others in my area who have chickens and so I think I am going to be ok with them. I plan on only having 3-5 hens. I would really like to add a duck or two. I have chicken eggs in an incubator now, should be hatching on / around Fri March 20. I was thinking if within the first week I added a baby duck or two.... In my yard I could add one of the small hard plastic kiddie pools with some gravel underneath it. I do have space in my yard but I am wondering HOW much space ducks need.
When they are adults, mine stay together..though they are free range and the ducks scurry off to the pond the second the door opens...so they don't really bother each other. A couple scuffles once in awhile but nothing serious. The ducks always start off with their own coop but for some reason always gravitate towards the hen house for sleeping.
As duckings and chicks, I've tried twice brooding them together and it always ends in disaster. For some reason I usually end up losing ALOT if not most of the chicks by the time they get large enough to go with the big chickens. I think it's a combination of the constant damp (making the chicks sick/stressed) and aggressive ducklings.....they like to jealously guard the water dish and to a lesser extent the food dish.
I have an order of call ducklings coming next week and chicks hatching at the same time so...will be running two brooders lol. Hopefully the ducklings can get outside sooner, weather depending. Ducks are just the absolute worst to keep in a brooder, they just prefer swamp vs dry and clean....they're just lucky they have the super cuteness factor going for them, especially little call ducks.
We have 6 grown hens (1 buff, 3 Ameracaunas, 2 Rhode Island Reds). We recently added two female ducks (breed unknown). We bought the ducklings when they were very tiny. We thought raising them with chicks might help integrating them into the flock. We bought 1 silkie, and 2 Cochins...all female. Our ducklings and chicks love each other. The ducklings did gain size much more quickly but they never hurt the chicks. And, now at 8 weeks, we have put the ducklings in the yard and still bring the baby chicks into the house (we have a dog crate we will keep them in until they get more size on them then put them in the coop). The ducks were and are very messy with water but that did not pose a problem for us or the chicks. We did have to closely monitor the water at all times when they were together throughout the day to ensure the chicks had clean water and their pen wasn't too damp. Now, we put the baby chicks in a "playpen" in the back yard during the day. The ducks would much prefer to be with them but we let them was wonder freely because their size keeps them from being picked on by the grown hens. I often find the ducks snuggled next to the playpen with the chicks to be near to them. And, the chicks cry for the ducks when the ducks go too far. Likewise, the ducks quack when we take the chicks too far from them. Last night was the first time we let the ducks sleep outside in a crate and the chicks remained inside. I put a small perch in the chick crate thinking they might attempt to roost. Instead I found all 3 huddled together like they slept with the ducks. When I put the chicks in the playpen, the ducks rushed over to get them. It will be interesting to see where they all choose to sleep once we integrate the chicks with the flock. Hoping they choose the coop because the ducks are so messy and wet. But, I guess we'll figure that out as we go.
Edited by mmicheal - 5/31/15 at 6:34am
I have to tell the story of my last ducklings, hope you don't mind. When I bought them I didn't have chicks and the feed store just had ducks left. I was looking fir a coupke of pekuns so bought them. When they were a couple of weeks old I saw a man selling young pullets by the road and he had Australorps...something I wanted! I bought one and brought her home to see if this would work. She was about 6 to 8 weeks old and close in size to the ducks. The ducks were TERRIFIED! They just knew this monster was going to kill them. Lol She just stood there acting sweet. By tge next morning both ducks had fallen asleep with their heads on her back and they sleep that way to this day. She refuses to roost, but sleeps on the floor of the coop between her best friends. She wades puddles with them and patiently waits while they are in their kiddie pool. They are (of course) solid white and she is thst gorgeous deep black. I call them my reverse oreo cookie. I wouldn't trade having my ducks and chickens together for anything! Good luck with the babies! Oh, and I am a Christy, same spelling.
Edited by TXchickenchick - 5/31/15 at 7:07am
My lesson this year!
This year we tried chicks for the first time. A friend of ours had given us a brood of bantams whose mother had been killed b a hawk but they were about a month old. All but one ended up being roo's so they are gone. We got 12 pullets from TSC and had them in a giant tote brooder until they outgrew it, then they went into a big dog cage. When they were a little over a week old, we got two ducklings at a 4H auction that were about 24-48 hours old. They all grew up sleeping together and at first I felt sorry for the ducks, the chicks trampled them but they loved sleeping under the chicks. It was quite amusing!! Then the ducks outgrew the chicks and the chicks fought over who got to sleep under the ducks. When they began messing the dog cage, I put it in the garage and took some portable plastic fencing and made them a large play area that opened from the cage. No water or food in the cage only bedding. I put a LOT of straw down outside the cage with their tote pool, food, and water. I had to change drinking water daily, thier pool every couple days and straw in the play area weekly. What was amusing was watching the ducks play in the water, run into the bedding area, shake off, then run back out to the pool. The pullets were hot! I take it they do not like getting showers while sleeping!!! Madder than a wet hen jokes prevailed!
When they were all feathered we decided to move the ducks to the coop/run first. I thought with them being a different species the adult chickens would leave them alone. That was a disaster! They all attacked the ducks pretty savagely. Even the adolescent bantams mentioned above. I broke it up real quick and got the ducks out of there. Since the 12 and 2 ducks were the replacements for the others, we decided to harvest them all then put the whole new brood into the empty coop/run. That did work great! The ducks and chicks call to each other, play with each other, etc. I do think both Pekings are female, they are quite quacky and loud! The funny part is they still slept together. They'd huddle up in the middle of the run, cuddle up, then go to sleep. Ignoring the coop. We'd catch and put them all in and shut the door. Next day, they'd leave when the door was opened yet still try to sleep outside. I read a article to lock them in the coop for a few days and they will associate it with home and begin sleeping in there. We did that, the chicks now sleep just inside the door. The ducks however have not figured out how to walk up the ramp. They walk under it but won;t walk up it. They pace quacking, looking anxious. It really sucks watching them but they need to learn how to go up the ramp. They have a house in the run, they lay in it during the day, but the chicks are with them. So, that is where we are, chicks sleeping just inside the door, ducks frantically pacing outside, and us scratching our heads on how to get them to walk up the ramp.....
My lesson learned is if we do this again we will brood them separately but where they can see each other. Also, later in the spring/summer so they can be outside vice in the garage or house. Smell, moisture, etc. Cleanup outside is much easier but here in RI the early spring was really off and on.
Has anyone else dealt with duck/chick anxiety? How long do they do this until it goes away? How do you teach 2 ducks to walk up a ramp?? I'm also going to post this in the raising babies section. This is our first with chicks and ducks, we love it!!