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Chicken as surrogate mother

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PatS, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    If you have had a chicken hatch out duck eggs and raise the ducklings successfully, can you please give some suggestions as to what works/doesn't work?

    I have read the eggs should be misted with water once a day when Mama chicken goes off the nest to eat/drink/poo (sounds like a movie title...). Other than that, any helpful hints? My concerns are: the babies will hatch and the mother will think something is wrong with them because they don't look like chicks, and will kill or neglect them. Mama won't know they need to blow their little noses in water after eating and will neglect to teach them or will try to stop them from doing it on their own. The little ones will grow up thinking they are chickens and when they mature the males may try to mate with (and injure) female chickens. Will this latter problem be lessened if, once Mama is ready to rejoin the flock, the young ducks are kept separate from the chickens for a couple of weeks before being allowed to free range?

    It was so nice last year having Mama chickens raise the baby chicks -- no brooder in the living room with the noise, light, and dust. The babies seemed so happy to be outside on grass from day one. They seemed less neurotic that the ones who had spent their first two days of life in a shipping box. I was thinking it might be nice to have a broody Mama chicken do that all important job of raising the little guys for their first six weeks.

    Oh, and what are your favorite feeders/waterers for baby ducklings? I have the usual plastic chicken set, but is there anything better for a duckling's habits/anatomy?
     
  2. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
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    141
    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Please, hasn't any of you done this?
     
  3. SparkyCrows

    SparkyCrows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2010
    Kansas
    I've reared them together in a brooder but not under a broody hen - very curious to find out how it works as I heard this guy at a swap talking about it years ago. I think maybe he had a silkie with an exceptional tolerance....
     
  4. Soaring Chicks

    Soaring Chicks Soaring Hawks Farm

    Jan 3, 2010
    Henderson,NC
    I have not done this,but my granddad tells me stories of how he trick a hen into hatching a duck egg.
    He was walking home from the feilds and someones duck had laid a egg near his house so he picked it up and at night put it under a hen that was going broody.
    She sat on the eggs till hatched and did not even relize that one was not hers.
    She would walk the chicks to te stream to get water and the duckling would jump right in the water and swim up and down the stream with the hen and chicks running back in forth having a fit.
    He tells me alot of folks back then did that when something would take their ducks ,geese and so on. They would just have a broody hen hatch some more out for them.
    good luck and hope someone can give you more info.
     
  5. SparkyCrows

    SparkyCrows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2010
    Kansas
    That's pretty much what the guy at the swap meet said too! I haven't wanted more ducks bad enough to jeopardize the broody losing interest in her clutch because of the giant egg.... The incubation periods are different.
     

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