Beginner Duck questions

chickieluver26

Songster
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
623
27
123
San Antonio Texas
Hi fellow byc members I recently bought an incubator and I'm thinking about hatching some ducks. I have never owned ducks but have always wanted to. I would hatch call ducks or Cayuga ducks. Can either of these go in with my bantam chickens? Do ducks need constant access to water to swim in? I'm thinking about putting a pen around a baby pool and opening it for only a part of the day. Do ducks roost or just sleep on the ground? I have my bantams in a large fully enclosed pen. Do ducks need to have any vaccines to be with chickens? Can ducks be fed chicken scratch and laying crumble? I have no roosters will drakes be ok with bantam hens or will he mate with/kill them? I'm hoping to have call ducks cause they are just so darn cute!!!!! Is there anything i need to know about ducklings any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
-Alicia
 

Carrosaur

Songster
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
1,789
95
156
Nashville, TN
Ducks do not need constant access but a couple times a week AT LEAST!!! Your ducks and chickens could give each other diseases in some situations, you could try to keep them together, lots of people do! Some people have separate runs and houses because ducks are VERY messy. And they throw their water and food ALL over and like to make soup. I think you should feed adult ducks game feed... I guess opinions vary. Your drake ducks might go after your hens and rape and injure them. Possibly killing them.
 

Richb353

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 4, 2014
173
40
83
Howey In The Hills, Florida
Welcome,
I have yet to see a designated duck food, but I have been using Purina Layena Pellets since day one. I think it is intended for hens, but the ducks love it and all are healthy. I recently tried to mix in whole corn kernels, but they just spit that out. A week ago I tried the Purina Flock Block. It's a 25 pound block of food that smells like it's "glued" together with brown sugar and honey. It took the flock about a week to finish.
 

rancher hicks

Crowing
11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
17,675
885
436
Syracuse, NY
I've got my ducks on chick grower. How long do they need to be on grower?

Also I've been mixing it with water to make a mush so they don't waste it. How much water do I need for them to drink? Is there a special waterer that would be better than what I have for my chickens?

I've been putting in with the chickens at night is this okay? I only have five.

I've been seeing some postings about sick ducks but have read that they are very hardy. Why all these postings?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,635
531
Southern New England
I had my ducklings on starter for two weeks, then over the course of the next week, added more and more grower to the starter so they were on grower by 3 weeks of age. Around 8 weeks, I think we started maintenance rations, and then at 16 weeks four days someone started laying and we went to layer.

Hard to estimate how much water, there is some variability depending on the ducks, the weather, the waterer, etc.

I went to a five gallon poultry waterer when my ducks were maybe six weeks old. Then once outside, we went to open pots, about two gallon capacity, and swim pans.

The ducklings also, by about week 2, had head washers to prevent sinus, eye and ear infections, and we went for a bath - no soap - once a day in warm water up to the belly. Only lasted 5 or 10 minutes, but it cleaned them up - they had crumbles (and then the little pieces of the straws that wrap around new feathers) in their feathers, so I got them in the tub daily.

I would not leave ducklings alone with chickens - the latter could go after the ducklings. I would use some plastic poultry fence or similar to separate them. And wouldn't the chickens hate all the water splashing? How old are the ducklings? I let mine have water and food 24/7 for their first 8 weeks, then only took it away overnight. They grow so very fast.

Once the ducks are adults, no drakes with the chickens - equipment mismatch could lead to injury or death to a hen, I am told.

Why all the postings about sick ducklings? My sense of things is that, in spite of ourselves, when we first start out with ducklings, we don't always get everything right. We may not know that many ducklings need much more niacin than is contained in chick starter. Or we miscalculate the brooder temperature, or we don't realize ducklings need a head washer so nares get plugged up, or the duckling swallows some bedding. Most often it is those kinds of things, seems to me. Ducklings can get dehydrated in transit, or not quite perfectly tended at the feed store. Several people on the forum have brought home ducklings because they were obviously neglected or imperfect. Those are my thoughts. Nothing official.
 

rancher hicks

Crowing
11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
17,675
885
436
Syracuse, NY
I had my ducklings on starter for two weeks, then over the course of the next week, added more and more grower to the starter so they were on grower by 3 weeks of age. Around 8 weeks, I think we started maintenance rations, and then at 16 weeks four days someone started laying and we went to layer.

Hard to estimate how much water, there is some variability depending on the ducks, the weather, the waterer, etc.

I went to a five gallon poultry waterer when my ducks were maybe six weeks old. Then once outside, we went to open pots, about two gallon capacity, and swim pans.

The ducklings also, by about week 2, had head washers to prevent sinus, eye and ear infections, and we went for a bath - no soap - once a day in warm water up to the belly. Only lasted 5 or 10 minutes, but it cleaned them up - they had crumbles (and then the little pieces of the straws that wrap around new feathers) in their feathers, so I got them in the tub daily.

I would not leave ducklings alone with chickens - the latter could go after the ducklings. I would use some plastic poultry fence or similar to separate them. And wouldn't the chickens hate all the water splashing? How old are the ducklings? I let mine have water and food 24/7 for their first 8 weeks, then only took it away overnight. They grow so very fast.

Once the ducks are adults, no drakes with the chickens - equipment mismatch could lead to injury or death to a hen, I am told.

Why all the postings about sick ducklings? My sense of things is that, in spite of ourselves, when we first start out with ducklings, we don't always get everything right. We may not know that many ducklings need much more niacin than is contained in chick starter. Or we miscalculate the brooder temperature, or we don't realize ducklings need a head washer so nares get plugged up, or the duckling swallows some bedding. Most often it is those kinds of things, seems to me. Ducklings can get dehydrated in transit, or not quite perfectly tended at the feed store. Several people on the forum have brought home ducklings because they were obviously neglected or imperfect. Those are my thoughts. Nothing official.
I was not aware of the "nares" what are those?
 
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