chick ,chick, duck?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Strange_Screams, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Strange_Screams

    Strange_Screams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ive had six hens for almost two years and they are doing smashingly, one of which I got at 4 weeks old and raised in the house.

    My neighbor works with me and loves my chickens and eggs. Some of our coworkers got ducks or have had ducks as pets, so she wanted one too. So we went to the feed store and even though I had hoped to find day old ducks and 4 week old chicks, that didn't happen. Everyone was born on the same day 3/20. Most of it has gone as planned, they have all bonded with each other, as I was hoping to introduce them to my current coop and build a shallow ramp for the duck, after explaining to my neighbor the true horrors of having a full blown house duck.

    They are Ideal Hatchery birds, a pullet barred rock, an Ideal 257 or some such, she is supposed to lay white eggs, and my best friend wont eat the brown ones, and a straight run Mallard.

    I have them in a 55 gal tote with a chick waterer and rabbit hopper feeder, I've been keeping the house at 85 so only a 60 watt light bulb.

    My problems are: THE CHICKS ARE EVERYWHERE, they are even hopping out of the bin, which I didnt know those little legs could do, is that normal for there age?

    And I told my neighbor that she needed to be walking the duck every day, but she mostly takes it for swims in the livestock feeder outside. I finally just let them all run around the house because they are so excitable and the duck is only taking a few steps at a time, when it walks it seems to do ok but I'm concerned about spraddle leg or weak legs in general.


    Everything ok here or is my broader just not big enough?

    They are a sight though, they are running around and playing and flapping there wings.

    Since ducks grow so much faster then chicks, will I need to separate them at some point? Or will a larger enclosure do? Once the duck is fully feathered will I be able to trust him around my pullets since they are bonded?

    Any other issues I may need to address?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  2. Strange_Screams

    Strange_Screams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Come on BYC, do I not even get a bump or an someone asking for pics? anything?
     
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At what age you eat the duck I really don't know. I can't imagine why somebody would want a duck other than to eat is beyond me anyway.
     
  4. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your asking if your brooder is large enough, do you have a pic? I know my chicks would jump out by time they were a week or so old if I opened the door. I used an old guinea pig cage for 25 chicks and 4 ducklings. I kept all my birds together from day 1 when the ducks arrived. But then again I moved all my babies outside to the coop when chicks were 2 1/2 weeks old. I do have the heat lamp outside in the coop for them just in case for nite time. Right now I have 5 ducklings in the brooder that are a week old and will soon be going out to live with the others. My chicks are 5 weeks old, and the other ducklings are 4 and 3 weeks old.

    I'm curious why does the duck need to be walked everyday? I have 8 ducklings and have not walked a single one and have no ill effects from not doing it.

    If your worried about the chicks being everywhere put a wire lid on their brooder. 2 chicks and a duckling should be ok in the size brooder you have for the first week or two then it may start to get crowded.
     
  5. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I've read on the subject of ducks during my travels through the BYC forums, I have found that people want ducks for the following reasons:
    1. for their eggs: they are maybe slightly larger than chicken eggs, and the taste is similar, just maybe a bit richer.
    2. they are generally quieter than chickens, so for those who live in an area where noise level may be a consideration, keeping ducks is a good alternative to chickens.
    3. they like ducks; i.e., personal preference.
    I have no idea what age a duck has to be if you are keeping as meat birds, [​IMG] because if I were to raise ducks, it wouldn't be for meat.
    Maybe doing the search engine on this website will find you the answer.
     
  6. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many chicks do you have in your brooder bin? Maybe you could make a lid out of hardware cloth for your bin, so that there is still plenty of light and air circulation? Also, a larger enclosure never hurts, IMHO: Less chance of "arguments" because of close quarters.

    I'm no expert on either chickens or ducks other than what I have learned on this and other websites about them, in preparation for my own flock, but from everything that I've read, it seems that if birds are raised together, they consider each other part of their flock. I have seen quite a number of mixed backyard flocks (ducks and chickens) and get the impression that the two species get along very well together.

    Re: any other issues that you may need to address, hopefully someone with more knowledge or practical experience in this area will respond to your post. I don't know, but am interested in learning about happy healthy chicken/duck co-existence too, just in case ... [​IMG]

    Just curious - why won't your best friend eat brown shelled eggs?
     
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    A duckling won't need the extra warmth of the brooder for anywhere near as long as the chicks will, though it won't hurt it to be in with the chicks. Though as you noted, it will grow much faster than the chicks will. It will also be much messier with the food and water, though I expect you've noticed that already.

    I have kept ducks and chickens together; most of the time there have been no problems. Last year, I wound up raising a lone Call duckling with some bantam chicks - not a problem; it turned out to be a female Call. She was integrated into our small Call group without a problem. The only time I did have an issue was when the lone Pekin/Runner/Heavenknowswhat cross that we hatched a few years ago turned out to be a male. He did have a bit of "species confusion" (ever see the movie "Babe"? We named him Ferdie, lol). Like his namesake, he "tried it with the hens; that didn't work out." We wound up penning our Ferdie with only ducks for company, and he did eventually figure out that he was not a chicken. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  8. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dude, come on, you never had duck eggs? They are great. I really like them when baking. They have a very large yolk. And Ducks are just so much fun to watch.
    Hey Strange_Screams...... I'm a neighbor.....Right here in Killeen/StillHouse Hollow
     
  9. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had chickens & ducks together for about 2 yrs now - most of the time they just ignore each other. They do have separate sleeping quarters though, ducks are just very messy and seem to be more active at night. I have heard that the larger male ducks can hurt hens if they try to mate with them though I haven't had that problem. We got some ducks from Ideal last year and they added 5 male chicks for "warmth". That was a laugh since the ducks were a lot bigger than the chicks and the chicks snuggled with the ducks to stay warm. The chicks even cried when we took the duckies out for swims and they all got along very well. However, we eventually had to rehome the males so I've never raised any ducks & chicks together from hatch to full grown. As some one else stated, ducks grow much faster and don't need added heat for as long as chicks.
     
  10. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 [​IMG]
     

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