Today I happened to come upon a lone baby duckling in the middle of the road. There were no other ducks for miles, so I knew it was there on its own and probably had a low chance of surviving. I didn't want to just leave it there in danger of being hit or eaten by a predator.
I have around 60 chickens- around 40 of them are my mom's boyfriend's chickens that are for eating later, they have half of our chicken coop to call their own. They are about three-four weeks old. We also have 15 pullets that will be layer hens for us, who are about five weeks old, and we have four bantams cockerals that we got at the same time as the pullets.
I need some advice for this duckling. He seems very young- still all fluff and no feathers- and doesn't like to be very far from me. I want to eventually put him in with the chickens. When would be a good time to introduce him to the chickens? And is it okay to feed him chick food? Or should I be feeding him specific duck formula, but I also read it is good to make blends of vegetables for ducks. He was all alone when I found him but through my reading, ducks don't like to be alone. I guess that's why he's taken to me so well. My mom's boyfriend says we should just put him in with the chickens now, but from the short time he was in the coop with them (we got back rather late, so they were all roosting at this point and didn't really notice him)
he seemed much more distressed than he was sitting with me.
Also, I am unsure if it's a boy or a girl, so I am only assuming it is a he. Just so I don't keep calling him 'it'.
Any advice would be great. :) We are keeping him inside in a large pet carrier lined with newspaper with hot lamps shining down, a bit of water, and some chick feed.