chicken-n-duck 101

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by teapot spot, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. teapot spot

    teapot spot New Egg

    Dec 6, 2013
    In the garden
    Hello all,

    My family and I had just embark on a journey of raising backyard chicken recently. We are completely foreign to this as my husband and I were focusing on the hustle-n-bustle of building our careers for the past decade. Zippity-zip into the present and 4 children later, I now am a stay home mom; not what I had imagines myself years ago; I suddenly got an itch to turn back time and thinking of running-off to the farm and wanting to spend more time with the kids and craving for a slower pace of life. But reality checks in, so here I am getting on the wagon of backyard chicken after I had learned that one of my co-worker and her daughter were raising ducks in their very own backyard. I figure I might as well bring the farm to me(well, part of it anyway) if I can't go to it. Surprisingly, my husband agree without reluctance, WHOOHOO!!! So here I am burning the midnight oil and started doing research like mad scientist on raising chicken, building coop, etc..... I came across this site and here I am.

    I have several questions and would appreciate the responses from all the expert out there that'll help me out.

    We bought some chicks back in Nov. I wanted to get some ducks but not sure which one I should go with. My purpose of having them are mainly for eggs. Any suggestion of which breed I should get? Also, I don't want the flighty ones if possible.

    We are using wood shaving on the floor with our chickens right now. I've read that they can be house together with the ducks if I choose, do I need to change the wood shaving to straw? Since ducks tend to get messy and I hate of having humidity built up in the house when they get mischievous with the water supply overnight.

    The chickens are residing in our garage right now and I discovered that they taking turn stay super hungry around the clock. How long before I can completely remove the feeder and waterer out of the chicken coop?

    How long before the chickens stop relying on the heating lamp, so I can remove it? Not all the chicken are fully feather yet but thir rate is coming in nicely, I guess.[​IMG]

    I probably will get my ducklings sometimes early spring next year. How do I introduce the ducklings into the group without turning my chickens into a maniac[​IMG] since they probably have establish the hierarchy among themselves? If that's the case do I keep the ducklings separate from the chickens until they get to be decent size before I introduce the ducks to the chickens?

    Will keeping the ducks and chickens together help mellow the chickens aggression behavior?

    Thanks a bunch for taking time to view my thread.[​IMG]
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    :welcome! I keep ducks and chickens together no problem on pine shavings. The ducks are messy, but I don't offer food and water in the coop so it's not a problem. I feed fermented feed, so they get fed once a day, in the morning, and the rest of the day they forage and eat what they find.

    For a breed that's good at egg laying and calm, you wouldn't go wrong with pekins, which are the big white ducks. They lay well and are a friendly breed. If you're looking for something with a little more color, I can't recommend welsh harlequins enough. They are what I breed and raise. They are beautiful in color, very calm, and excellent layers as they are descended from khaki cambpells.

    Your chicks should have started out with 95 degree heat available to them, and you can drop that 5 degrees a week until they're at room temperature, and after that you can start getting them used to colder outdoor temperatures - I don't know where you are or if it's cold this time of year for you.

    As for introducing the ducks to the chicks, don't worry too much about it. Just keep them separate until the ducklings are big enough to stand up to your chickens (and that happens fast, they grow like weeds, it's crazy) and they'll be okay. They'll probably mostly keep to themselves and in most cases they'll dominate the chickens in any disputes. Mine sure do - they weigh more and they know it.

    Hope this helps!
  3. teapot spot

    teapot spot New Egg

    Dec 6, 2013
    In the garden
    Thanks Pyxis. Your respond definitely help us tremendously. I favor the Pekin breed but haven't decide on the breed of the second duckling. I'd love to house them together but might just use the second area mainly for the ducks since it's not serving any purpose but render me confuse as what the previous owner had in mind when they construct the massive eyesore structure for. It'd definitely work perfectly for my mischievous, water-loving addition. We plan to have them free-range with the chickens.
  4. texgardengal

    texgardengal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2013
    Hello from Texas! Good luck with your flock!!
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]Happy you joined us! And Merry Christmas!

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us. [​IMG]
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC, and good luck in your new poultry endeavor.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  9. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG]. Khaki Campbells might be another good choice for ducks. They're excellent layers and fairly calm. Runners are also excellent layers but some of them can be quite flighty.

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