Chickens and Ducks co-raising?... help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Cole Campbell, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Cole Campbell

    Cole Campbell In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2019
    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?

    Attached Files:

    slordaz and penny1960 like this.
  2. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    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 likes this.
  3. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

    Apr 15, 2015
    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
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello..Remove the chickens eggs and let nature happen with the Duck eggs. Best wishes.
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    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.
    chickens really likes this.
  6. DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Songster

    Dec 13, 2017
    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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