baby ducks need advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hereachick, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. hereachick

    hereachick In the Brooder

    we recently let our silkie chicken and our 2 ducks each set on a nest of eggs each(just to be fair- since it's their first hatch), one of the ducks stole the silkies eggs away from her and set on them till they hatched and we brought them inside and put them in a brooder to be safe.Later they'll go back with the other chickens.
    Problem is - we have 4 ducks now 2 male 2 female, each in seperate pens cause the males were fighting viciously with each other. One of the ducks now has 4 babies with 4 more eggs to go and the other is also hatching about 8 I think.It appears all their eggs are going to survive my question is will these new young ducks start fighting when they get older? It's really too late to take the eggs away from them, plus I just wouldn't feel good about it. I have plenty of space for them to all stretch out.However do you think they can all live in harmony in a community pen (just the ducks no chickens)? Or will I have to seperate all these new baby ducks into pairs and seperate pens.Some people say since their wings aren't clipped we can let them roam loose but, we're afraid of predators and spread of disease not to mention them swimming in the neighbors pool some what down the road.Don't think that would go over to well!
    Also I was wondering about a swimming area for them all.I never realized just how many eggs ducks actually hatch at once.Currently we use lg kiddy swimming pools for each pair and empty and refill them daily so they have clean water.Would digging a large pond work better now with all these little ones? Or will it be too hard to keep clean? Anyone have alot of ducks? How do you manage them and their ponds?Anyone have any experience with man made duck ponds? How well do they work? Upkeep?
    Sorry full of question this site is great for getting info. thanks!
  2. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    So here is what I've noticed with all my ducks and geese. Whomever they grow up with seems to be their "family". I have two runners who grew up with 4 buff geese and 3 dewlap and they are all a big happy family.

    I have a group of 10 runners who grew up with 5 buff geese and 4 embdens and they are all a "family", then I have 3 calls and 3 runners who grew up together and they are a "family", plus another pair of calls and a trio who are each their own seperate "family" but who have each other over for dinner and dancing every night.

    All the runners (except the ones that think they are calls) live with all the geese and get along fairly well. The older ones still chase away the younger ones a bit, but the embdens are so much bigger than the buffs that they can't really get away with it.

    My ducks don't seem to give a hoot who they mingle with now that they are grown and there are a LOT of males out there - at least 5.

    So that has been my experience. Now I have noticed that as ducklings or goslings, the older ones are MUCH more aggressive to them. But as they mature and start looking eye to eye, they all calm down.

    As far as swimming goes - I have 8 baby pools scattered around for all my guys and I change the water at least once a day, sometimes twice. If I had a bunch of money and a landscaper husband I'd go for the pond and get a real nice pump to keep it clean, but I don't! [​IMG] So I just have the baby pools which are easy to dump out.
  3. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I like the idea that your ducks need advice! [​IMG]
  4. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    As Duckyboy pointed out, whomever they grow up with is their family or flock and they don't usually fight. Sometimes the older ducks will try and get them in line and push them around, but usually they find their own territory.
    As for the advice for the baby ducks: Keep your tails down and watch behind you in the water!
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  5. LV426

    LV426 Chillin

    Jul 16, 2008
    From watching my flock I've noticed that the ones that grew up together all get along fine. I had some problems earlier in the year with the boys fighting but I left them at it because the duck guy I spoke with said it was just them establishing a pecking order. I believe that's probably what your males were doing. They will pull out feathers and jump on each other and be mean but as long as there is enough room for the picked on male to escape to then you won't have to worry about them, they will figure it out and settle down.

    Introducing new ducks takes some time because it upsets the whole pecking order. Girls are usually accepted first but drakes can be harder to integrate. Don't let the drakes in with the ducklings though because they sometimes will kill ducklings. I've had my drakes go after them even with mama duck bristling and fighting back. I don't bring ducklings in until they are about 20 weeks old and can hold their own. I put them in a separate pen that the ducks can see each other and get to know each other through the wire sides. I feed them all at the same time so they realize there is no competition for food. Finally I bring let them out in the morning together and sit with them. I watch to make sure that they don't gang up on one of the new guys. There will be some fighting and boundaries to establish. Feathers may even fly. I put them to bed in their separate pens and then every day let them out together. Usually in a few weeks the pecking order is established and boundaries are mostly made (although some chasing will still occur) and then I can lock them in with each other for the night.

    I let my ducks free range but no one here has a pool. I did fence off the perimeter of the yard which mostly keeps them in but occasionally I come home and find them in the neighbor's yard eating slugs. You might want to fence off a section of your yard for them to range out in the day time and then at night lock them back up. My ducks herd easily back into bed every night and usually beat me to their pen to be locked up. I used plastic poultry fencing around the perimeter and just staked it down on the edges so they couldn't push it up. They can fly out if they are really determined but for the most part they know where their food is.

    For a swimming area I picked up a water trough from the feedstore. One of those rubbermaid ones. I have one 70 gallon and two 55 gallon troughs with a ramp for each one and they love their pools. I installed drain valves on them and use the used duck water on my garden and lawn. Duck tea is great for fertilizer. I change their water out about once every 2 weeks because they rotate usage on their pools. I find this better than a kiddie pool because they are much more durable and they are easier to install a drain plug on.
  6. hereachick

    hereachick In the Brooder

    thanks for the tips....We were really worried with the possibility of so many ducks especially males.Our 2 fought so bad they would draw blood from each other-- it was scary! They were relentless.With death grips on each other.
    One of the duckling is kinda funny looking compared to the others supposedly all the ducks are the same but, so far 3 of the ducklings look like all the older ones did at that age but, one is all yellow with a white bill and white feet.Do you suppose as it ages it will be just like the others? They're all sooooooo cute!
    I think we had a skunk that visited last nite and got one of the eggs from under the other duck.The pen was scratched at and so was the ground in front of it along with a egg with a bite sized hole in it.Also had some blood on the wire and it wasn't the ducks. Anyhow we reinforced the outside of the pen with another barrier and put it high enough so the ducks can't be seen.The wire goes under the ground quite far so that shouldn't be a problem.
  7. LV426

    LV426 Chillin

    Jul 16, 2008
    My Pekin beat up my Cayuga male Pip pretty badly at first. I had to separate them off and on because Pip is a scrawny duck as it is and the Pekin outweighs him by about triple. He cracked his bill and about plucked the back of his neck bald. He also had scratches from the Pekin's claws from being mounted. I just treated each injury to avoid infection and separated if he was too hurt. Eventually they all figured out where they needed to be in the pecking order and they don't pick on each other.
  8. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    When i introduced my female pekins babies to the older ducks, the older ones wanted to attack the babies.

    The instant each one pecked a baby, i tapped it on the beak with my finger. And scolded them. Within 5 minutes, everyone had the idea and they accepted them from then on.

    I think i had to give each older duck a tap on the beak or two to get my point across. But it was extremely effective.
  9. camille

    camille In the Brooder

    Jul 6, 2008
    Thanks alot for the advice. I just got my first ducklings.

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