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Can I brood chicks and ducklings together?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by walkaflockagame, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. walkaflockagame

    walkaflockagame In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2017
    l currently have seven buff Orpington day old chicks brooding quite nicely in a homemade contraption. I am due to pick up two Welsh Harlequin ducklings in one week? I have space to spare and I know it may be a bit messy but is it possible for me to brood my ducks with my chickens?

  2. KuneKune

    KuneKune In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2016
    Franklin, Georgia
    It is possible but wouldn't advise it the ducks will play in there water and leave the chicks wet plus ducks have slitly different diet needs. But after they are old inuf to go outside their are no issues as far as I know.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I've done it and swore never ever again.

    ducklings are so messy. They keep everything damp. Damp chicks are a recipe for sick chicks.

    I don't brood anything in the house, but especially not ducklings. We had water and ick splattered on the walls up several feet from them playing in their water.
    1 person likes this.
  4. KuneKune

    KuneKune In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2016
    Franklin, Georgia
    Oh I forgot welcome to byc!!
    1 person likes this.
  5. Justjered

    Justjered Chirping

    Oct 4, 2016
    Galesburg, Illinois
    I know nothing about ducks. but wanted to say Nice tattoos! It's time for more ink, I need to quit putting it off. Welcome to BYC :D
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jrose

    Jrose Songster

    Jun 6, 2013
    I do it! Granted I have Muscovies, who aren't as 'water obsessed' as some ducks I've met.

    These are valid points though; ducklings will splash and waste every last drop of water they can get to. There are a few ways to integrate them;
    1. Make water access very restrictive; use water nipple, or use a watering can (the gravity fed kind that fill a tiny ring around the base with 1/2" of water) with most access blocked off, etc.
    2. Put the water location somewhere where it will not soil bedding. Put it over a drain or grate, over sand, etc. That way the ducklings won't sop the bedding and promote mold
    3. Give everyone a very large area to run around, so if the bedding around the water gets soiled it's not a big deal. I'm talking like a 4x6 space where they can run around and get away from any moisture build up.

    If anything it's probably best that your ducklings come in a week late. My experience, though with meat ducks granted, is that ducklings grow exponentially faster than chicks when it comes to size. So your bitty ducklings won't take long to overshadow your chicks who got a good head start :)

    You can try anything, really! It might be a disaster you learn from, or you might figure out a cool new trick to make it work smoothly!

    As for food; I put my ducklings on a 18-20% protein mix, and I just let my chicks eat the same stuff. I've yet to have a problem with it- GRANTED, I buy whole bulk grains and grind them in the blender for the wee peeps, I also add a bit of unrefined salt for added minerals and a dash of wholesome locally made goat mineral supplement for vitamin and mineral boost. They have the ability to selectively feed- so the chicks can avoid extra legume pieces if they've had enough protein (as they often do) and the ducklings can inhale the legume/high protein bits for extra protein if needed (as they often do). A cooked pellet does not allow for selective feeding like this, the result may be different, I don't know. Another trick is adding alfalfa (break off a piece from a bale, you don't need much). The chicks and ducklings LOVE eating the alfalfa leaves, and its great supplemental protein.

    My philosophy is that variety enables self-regulation, which can remedy a lot of problems :)
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    1 person likes this.

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