Chicken hatching ducklings

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by quackcluck, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. quackcluck

    quackcluck New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2016
    Hi all,
    I have a RIR sitting on some of my Indian runner x duck eggs. They are 1 week off hatching (I've candled and they are in there). My question is- do I leave the ducklings with the chook to be raised or do I take them away from chook to a brooding box once fully hatched? If I take them away, will that depress my chook? And if I leave them in the nesting box with chook will they fall out and wonder around?
    Thanks
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG] I've heard of and seen chickens hatch and raise ducklings successfully, so by all means let her take care of the little ones when they hatch. If she is a good mom, they will do fine. I have seen with my own flock that hens get very unhappy when you take their hatchlings away from them, so I personally prefer to let them raise their young, unless the hen is an unfit mother, but those are are thankfully in the minority.

    Once she is ready to get off the nest she will leave the box and call the ducklings to follow her. Is your nest box off the ground? It may be a good idea to make a nest area on ground level for her and the little ones, once they've hatched and left the nest, where they can sleep at night.
     
  3. quackcluck

    quackcluck New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2016
    Thanks sumi. My ducks sleep on the floor of the coop and chooks sleep on the perches.
    Mum is in a nesting box off the ground right now. Do you think if I move her and the ducklings to the ground for the ducklings safety that the other ducks might bother them?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It's impossible to predict how the rest of the flock will respond to the little ones. What I can say is that I've had very few issues letting my hens raise their young in the with the flock though, so I'd say give it a shot and see how they do. Be prepared to separate mom and the little ones, if there are issues, but if she is a good mom, she will protect them and if the flock is good, there won't be more attention than some initial curiosity.
     
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  5. quackcluck

    quackcluck New Egg

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    Sep 29, 2016
    Great, thanks. I'll see how they do. Would love for red to raise the babies as she's such a friendly chilled out chook. Let's me pat her and check the eggs while she's on the nest. She's my favourite!
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The most cruel act in my short life was hatching duck eggs beneath a hen.

    The first time that the little quackers went into the water the old mother hen had a nervous break down.

    She was never the same and required years and years of psychological intervention. [​IMG]
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    LOL Then there is that, but I think limited "pond time" while the young ones are under mom's care should spare the nerves all round! [​IMG]

    This reminds me of a story I read here on BYC some time ago. A hen hatched some guinea keets and the keets grew big enough to fly… Straight onto the house's roof. With mom hen having a nervous breakdown on the ground, because she couldn't get up there and they wouldn't come down...
     

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