Been reading about integrating newbies to a flock and still have ?'s **UPDATED**

RacerWife7

Songster
6 Years
May 20, 2013
155
6
111
Northern, NJ
I have spoken to some of you over the course of the past year of being a DM (ducky mama
). And, now that it's spring, I have to deal with the reality of having 2 drakes and 1 duck. I have 1 mallard drake and a bonded pair of Swedish blues I acquired last May as ducklings. The 3 of them are the same age. They've been living together, happily, until recently. Now, my drakes fight and I have to separate them. Unfortunately, until my hubby builds a separate coop (SOON, as he now has the materials), that means, one of them stays closed up inside their house all day. I hate doing this. But, I can't have them together right now while they're so bent on showing each other who's the alpha male or, worse, hurting my female; especially since I work full-time and can't be there with them to monitor them.

In the meantime, we also have 2 female mallards that are, now, 5 weeks old and, currently, housed inside our house in a Rubbermaid bin. What we are planning on doing is keeping separate pens for the Swedes and the mallards. I have read, here, that my ducklings should be 5 months old before they live with the adult drake. ...Really??? That would be the end of July!


So... (1) would it be okay to keep the little ones outside with the mallard drake during the day and bring them inside my house at night until they're 5 months old? And, if so, at what age would it be okay to start doing this?

Or (2) would it be better to house the males in one pen and the females in another? Or would it work out better (aka happier duckies) if I separate them by breed, as mentioned above?
 
Last edited:

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,974
113,896
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
I have spoken to some of you over the course of the past year of being a DM (ducky mama
). And, now that it's spring, I have to deal with the reality of having 2 drakes and 1 duck. I have 1 mallard drake and a bonded pair of Swedish blues I acquired last May as ducklings. The 3 of them are the same age. They've been living together, happily, until recently. Now, my drakes fight and I have to separate them. Unfortunately, until my hubby builds a separate coop (SOON, as he now has the materials), that means, one of them stays closed up inside their house all day. I hate doing this. But, I can't have them together right now while they're so bent on showing each other who's the alpha male or, worse, hurting my female; especially since I work full-time and can't be there with them to monitor them.

In the meantime, we also have 2 female mallards that are, now, 5 weeks old and, currently, housed inside our house in a Rubbermaid bin. What we are planning on doing is keeping separate pens for the Swedes and the mallards. I have read, here, that my ducklings should be 5 months old before they live with the adult drake. ...Really??? That would be the end of July!


So... (1) would it be okay to keep the little ones outside with the mallard drake during the day and bring them inside at night until they're 5 months old? And, if so, at what age would it be okay to start doing this?

Or (2) would it be better to house the males in one pen and the females in another? Or would it work out better (aka happier duckies) if I separate them by breed, as mentioned above?
I'd say they are too young to be with the drake for now, but can you put up temp fencing inside so they can meet but he can't get to them? that way they will be very use to each other once they are old enough to be with him. To me this works the best because these young ducklings wouldn't fair well with an adult female either. and they will be happy with the mallard drake once they are old enough. Congrats on your new babies.
 

Mama Ducker

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 17, 2013
46
2
34
Southern NH
I have just introduced my 4 week old Pekin pair to my flock of 6 mallards I have 2 drakes that are a year old. I took the babies out for supervised visits to the yard and we didn't have too much of a problem. After a week of this I left them in the yard all day with the mallards and a week later started putting them in the duck house at night. Our duck house is 8' by 4 ' and has 3 large duck boxes. We are on night 5 tonight with no trouble yet. Good luck to you, Id say if they intergrate in the yard ok, hen put the young ones in the duck house first, then let the older ones in. You may need to supervise at first but they will work it out.
 

RacerWife7

Songster
6 Years
May 20, 2013
155
6
111
Northern, NJ
I'd say they are too young to be with the drake for now, but can you put up temp fencing inside so they can meet but he can't get to them? that way they will be very use to each other once they are old enough to be with him. To me this works the best because these young ducklings wouldn't fair well with an adult female either. and they will be happy with the mallard drake once they are old enough. Congrats on your new babies.
Hi Miss Lydia! I can't figure out how to do it, to be honest. We have one coop right now that looks like this:

My hubby is going to make another, similar pen using our old dog house for their house. Maybe we can use the temp fencing inside that. ...I'm going to talk to him when he gets home and see how we can do something like that.

Thank you for your response!

And thank you, Mama Ducker, too!
 

HollyDuckFarmer

Songster
7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
2,683
165
208
LP Michigan
...but they will work it out.

I think that we all must figure out what works with our individual ducks and our own flocks, but I must respectfully say that in my opinion leaving ducklings with adult drakes to "work it out" is not a good idea. Drakes can kill ducklings, even their own. Please whatever you do, protect the ducklings that really can't protect themselves.
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,974
113,896
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
Hi Miss Lydia! I can't figure out how to do it, to be honest. We have one coop right now that looks like this:

My hubby is going to make another, similar pen using our old dog house for their house. Maybe we can use the temp fencing inside that. ...I'm going to talk to him when he gets home and see how we can do something like that.

Thank you for your response!

And thank you, Mama Ducker, too!
I'd say encouraging hubs to get to building would be a good idea. then give the littles a small space of their own when you can be out to watch, some plastic poultry fence inside of the run to keep them separate with a plastic bin made into a lil house, once they get around 4-5 months old start letting them be together while your there to make sure the drake behaves but since they will have already gotten to know each other through the fence he should be fine with them. Keep us updated.
 

RacerWife7

Songster
6 Years
May 20, 2013
155
6
111
Northern, NJ
I'd say encouraging hubs to get to building would be a good idea. then give the littles a small space of their own when you can be out to watch, some plastic poultry fence inside of the run to keep them separate with a plastic bin made into a lil house, once they get around 4-5 months old start letting them be together while your there to make sure the drake behaves but since they will have already gotten to know each other through the fence he should be fine with them. Keep us updated.
LOL! Yes. LOTS of encouragement to get that coop built. ;) I wish he had done it sooner, as his racing season just started. He drives a #7 racecar on Saturdays - hence my name: RacerWife7. So, that means he's busier now. I hope he can get it done by the weekend. Poor Peepers (my mallard drake) is inside today. Yesterday I had Raspberry inside (Swedish drake). So, I'm not sequestering the same one every day. I feel bad about having to do it at all. But, I'd rather know I'm coming home to ducks that haven't harmed each other while I was gone. And I DO switch them in the afternoon when I get home, so each one of them gets some time outside each day.

Now that I'm thinking about this, further, I have a baby gate - one of those hard gates that snaps together to form a hexagon (or octagon... not sure how many pieces we have). I use that to bring the babies outside for some supervised fun in the sun. Maybe I can just stick that in there? Or does the fencing have to go all the way to the top of the coop fencing? Peepers can fly, as I never clipped his flight wing. I'm afraid he might be able to fly in there... or, maybe not. It might be too close to the top of the coop for him to, accurately, aim and get in there. IDK. I think I will have to see how it goes once the coop gets built. We have another pond to put in. But, we will angle it so there's room to put fencing in and keep them separate. Our existing coop would be a nightmare to fence off, as the pond is, smack, in the middle. :p

Thank you, again. And I will keep you posted. ;)
 

HollyDuckFarmer

Songster
7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
2,683
165
208
LP Michigan
I have found the the younglings rarely fly here. In fact, neither do my adults, for the most part. If they do, typically its just short bursts, as in 'I've got to catch up to my buddies over there' or 'that dog is chasing me!' None of my ducks have clipped wings.

I think the baby gate idea is a great one, just keep in mind that without an overhead cover, it is not predator proof, so it would be unsuitable for overnight/extended unsupervised lodging
 
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