Chickens and Ducks co-raising?... help

Cole Campbell

In the Brooder
Aug 22, 2019
36
12
36
I have a varied flock, about 18 chickens (3 are roosters, yes, I know, I have too many roosters.) and I have 3 ducks. We had 4, one passed away, so now I have two drakes and one hen (two Rouens and a Blue Swedish male) (I also know I have too many male ducks!). Our female Rouen has been disappearing entirely each day for about 3-5 days now, and we have searched frantically to no avail, just to have her show up at night time when I come to close the coop door. Well, I found her today, sitting broody on a nest of about 20 eggs (yes, TWENTY) a mix of duck and chicken eggs... I guess the hens were in on her game. I have to admit, she hid herself pretty well! Thankfully it was in an old stable area, so I was able to rig it up to be predator safe. However, tonight she did not return to the coop, and there she is sitting on all her and her sisters eggs. So, I need some advice. She’s only 7 months old, I was not expecting any of them to go broody (we got them all early this spring.) I am worried about her motherly talents. I’ve read about ducks not being the best of brooders anyways and that a lot of people try to get a broody chicken to help her out on her shortcomings. However, I don’t know if my hens are ready to be broody yet! Should I remove the eggs and try to incubate them? Should I just let nature take its course? I’m at a loss for what to do, and I don’t want to end up with a lot of dead chicks and ducklings on my hands. Or a lot of rotten eggs. Should I stop removing the hen eggs and see if I can get one of them to brood? I’m not worried about egg production at the moment, so broody hens aren’t a concern for me.

Help! Does anyone have any experiences similar to this?
 

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penny1960

Yippity do Da Yippity ay
Premium Feather Member
Dec 29, 2015
46,193
181,196
1,657
Mossyrock, WA
Hi there welcome to Backyards Chickens are you able to incubate them as in you have one that would be the best option
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,383
602
Idaho
I have a varied flock, about 18 chickens (3 are roosters, yes, I know, I have too many roosters.) and I have 3 ducks. We had 4, one passed away, so now I have two drakes and one hen (two Rouens and a Blue Swedish male) (I also know I have too many male ducks!). Our female Rouen has been disappearing entirely each day for about 3-5 days now, and we have searched frantically to no avail, just to have her show up at night time when I come to close the coop door. Well, I found her today, sitting broody on a nest of about 20 eggs (yes, TWENTY) a mix of duck and chicken eggs... I guess the hens were in on her game. I have to admit, she hid herself pretty well! Thankfully it was in an old stable area, so I was able to rig it up to be predator safe. However, tonight she did not return to the coop, and there she is sitting on all her and her sisters eggs. So, I need some advice. She’s only 7 months old, I was not expecting any of them to go broody (we got them all early this spring.) I am worried about her motherly talents. I’ve read about ducks not being the best of brooders anyways and that a lot of people try to get a broody chicken to help her out on her shortcomings. However, I don’t know if my hens are ready to be broody yet! Should I remove the eggs and try to incubate them? Should I just let nature take its course? I’m at a loss for what to do, and I don’t want to end up with a lot of dead chicks and ducklings on my hands. Or a lot of rotten eggs. Should I stop removing the hen eggs and see if I can get one of them to brood? I’m not worried about egg production at the moment, so broody hens aren’t a concern for me.

Help! Does anyone have any experiences similar to this?
Welcome to BYC
oh boy, she is going to be to heavy for the chicken eggs for one, 2 when they hatch she is going to be wanting to take them to the water and will leave the duck eggs to chill while most likely drowning the baby chicks trying to teach them to swim.

I would say best option is if you can incubate the chicken eggs take the chicken eggs away from the duck and let her just brood her duck eggs, most ducks do have a natural motherly good sense but I have yet to see one try to brood chicken eggs, my friends would kick the chicken eggs out of the nest on their own. If you don't have an incubator maybe someone local would have one they could lend you
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,170
18,189
622
South Park, Colorado, USA
I agree with the others. This is day one of incubation since she spent the night. Duck eggs need an entire week longer than chicken eggs to incubate. If you let her hatch, all the chicks will hatch first and then while she leaves the nest and tends to them the duck eggs will likely quit because temp wasn’t maintained. You need to decide if you want her to hatch ducks or chickens (or anything at all). You also have the option of putting eggs in an incubator. If you want to terminate incubation, just remove the eggs, you can pop them in the feeezer before disposing of them if you want. Make your decision sooner rather than later, but know that just letter her keep all the eggs is probably not a good option. Also, if you decide to hatch them in an incubator, know that you will have to raise them in a brooder, you won’t be able to just pop them under mama and have her accept them.
 

DellaMyDarling

Songster
Dec 13, 2017
624
869
186
Mass Hilltowns
I wouldn't even worry yet.
Had a duck go broody-ish for about twelve days. I got all eggcited.

She quit on her own.
Candled the nest around day ten and they all showed signs of being potential stinky explosives. Glad she simply quit in this case.

I'd say since she kept returning to the coop at night, she may not be quite serious about it all yet, and that's ok.
 

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