Adult ducks with baby chickens question

drjulian

Songster
7 Years
Mar 23, 2014
66
31
114
Punta Gorda, FL
We have 3 grown pekin ducks (female 1 year old) who reside happily in their "quack shack".

This year we decided to add some chickens to the group and 6 weeks ago we purchased 6 Rhode Island Red pullets.

We live in FL and I am getting ready to put the chicks in the pen and coop along with the ducks. Toward that end, I have put the chicks in the coop every day for the last two weeks, closed in all day while the ducks roam outside in the pen, in the hopes of a) getting the chicks used to the safety of the coop and b) getting the ducks used to the chicks.At night, I put the ducks in the coop and the chicks in a cage in our house.

These last couple of days I have let the chicks out (supervised) in the pen with the ducks.

When I do this, one of the ducks always runs over, head low, in a clearly aggressive posture toward the chicks, occasionally snapping her bill at them. Fortunately, in the unrestricted area of the pen, the chicks are fast enough and fly high enough to get away before any harm is done.

I am nearly ready to put the chicks in the coop overnight with the ducks (they are getting too big for the cage they are in) however I am afraid that I will find injured or dead chickens in the AM.

My questions:

1. Can adult ducks injure 6 week old chicks? (I have read of adult chickens being dangerous to baby ducks but nothing on the other way around.)

2. At what age can I safely and confidently lock the chicks in the coop with the ducks overnight.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

mhopson19

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 6, 2014
83
16
53
Central Illinois
I can't help with age or ideas for integrating, but I would say that adult ducks can most definitely kill 6 week old chicks. I am not 100% sure on this, but I would assume because they are much bigger than the chicks, and knowing that adult chickens can kill chicks, I would say that could. But, that being said, I am not sure if they would.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,087
581
Southern Oregon
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Can you leave the door between the coop and the pen open to allow one or the other to get out? That could help, most animals conflicts are solved by the beta animal running away. They just need somewhere to run!

A duck is fully capable of killing a chick that age, if they can catch it. I'm not sure what the magic age would be....my adult drakes are much meaner than any of my birds, even my mature roosters. All the chickens stay way away from them.
 

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