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Duck and chickens - intro

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by QuackyMomma, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. QuackyMomma

    QuackyMomma In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2013
    I'm new to the world of chickens and ducks. I purchased a chicken coop from ebay and then two chickens and a duckling last week, so they are 6 days old today. The duckling is a pekin and the chickens are isa brown. We live in Brisbane, Australia (inner city).
    I read quite a bit of information before making the purchase and it was only after I brought them home that I realised there's so much more to learn.
    First couple of days were great, the weather was super warm and the temperature was constantly above 30, so I didn't even need a brooder. The "children" were eating and drinking water. I bought them primarily because I wanted to have real free range eggs... but then the inevitable happened - I fell in love with the duckling!!! The little yellow fluff ball is so darn cute I spent every minute of the day with her, feeding her out of my hand, talking to her etc. I housed her with the chicks as that's what the lady I bought them from told me to do - so the duck would think it's a chicken.

    She was bigger than the chicks when I got her and then every day, she was getting bigger and bigger and is now 3x the size of the chicks. All was going well initially. The weather got colder overnight and the temperature dropped to about 26 degrees (celsius... I know, this is cold for Australia haha). The chicks were pecking at the ducky's head so I kept her with me most of the time during the day. I put the duckling into a separate box overnight because she plays with the water and she made a big wet mess which I thought was no good for the chicks. The chicks looked miserable in the wet pine shavings and the whole area was wet in no time, even if I changed the shavings 2x a day. I put a little table lamp in the box where I kept them to keep them warm.

    Then two days ago, I checked on the chicks before going to bed and had an oh **** moment. I wasn't sure if I'm seeing right as it was 1am already... but one of the chicks had here eyes closed shut and the other one was really mean at her, pecking her all the time and running into her. So I put the poor chick with the duckling and left the bully in her own crate. I observed the situation for a while and was really angry with myself for not noticing the pecking sooner. The ducky trampled all over the chicken and decided to squat on her. So at 3am, I put the each one of them in a separate cage and none of them were happy about it. Oh, the dramas! It's day two since the eye pecking incident and I feel like on of my chickens is dying. She's pretty lethargic in her crate, I have not seen her eat or drink. I washed her eyes 3 times already and it doesn't look like she's opening them. I'm hoping that the eyes are still actually there and that she only has her lids closed over them but it's not looking good. She feels smaller and lighter compared to the bully chick.

    Ducky, named Quacky for now, is my best buddy in the mean time. I put food in a double cat bowl in her crate and that seems to work better. I only pour in a little bit of water at a time and she loves to play in it with her beak, wiggling her head around. It's like a shallow pool for her, whereas she seemed to be frustrated with the water bottle for chicks where she couldn't fit her beak in and was therefore thrashing it around. I'm afraid to put her together with the bully chick so she doesn't peck her eyes out too and I can't put her with the poor chick cause she tramples her. She nibbles my fingers, crawls on my feet to warm up, calls me when she looses sight of me, follows me around the house, poops everywhere :) and has tons of personality.

    So that's us. As to how it's all going to work out with a posh house in inner city and chickens & a duck in the backyard... we'll see. I'll probably be known as the crazy duck lady.

  2. Rosepath Garden

    Rosepath Garden In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2012
    New Hampshire
    Sounds like a typical duckling they trample all over each other, make lots of messes and are full of personality. I don't know much about chicks other than yes they will bully don't put the week one back with the pecker.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    [​IMG]I'm sorry to hear about your chicks, first let me say when first hatched they need temps of around 90* or they can chill and die, the duckling doesn't need it that warm thats why it's not a good idea to brood ducklings and chicks together. You'd need to get a thermometer to make sure they are warm enough, ducklings do make messes but need to be able to wash their eyes and bills out so giving some kind of bowl that she can stick her head into but not climb into would be a good idea. you can find ideas on BYC by typing Ducks waterers at the top search bar. You might try getting some poultry vitamins for your chick and I'm sure you know this but they need feed and water 24/7 when that young.your right it wouldn't be a good idea to put the sick chick with either of them but saying that both birds need a companion either get another chick for your chicken and also ducks are flock animals and do better if they have one of their kind. Sounds like you and your duckling have bonded well but she is going to be very dependent on you for all of her life are you willing to make that commitment ? I hope so because we on here see alot of good intentions end up at local parks etc. because people decided the duck/ducks were too much trouble and they didn't want them anymore. Because you have a Pekin she will get pretty large and they are heavy weights, I'd get her some Niacin in capsule form or Brewers yeast to help with the niacin she isn't getting in her chick feed, ducklings need more niacin than chicks and can develop leg and neurological problems if they don't get enough . I'll post the link to info about it. Also you can post about your chick on the Disease/emergency thread here on BYC if you haven't already. Giving your duckling a stuffed animal will help some in separation anxiety it has if not with you. Wishing you all the best with your chicks and duckling, please keep us updated on her and pics when you can.
    http://metzerfarms.blogspot.com/2011/03/are-my-ducklings-leg-problems-due-to.html https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/426909/non-spill-duckling-waterer
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  4. QuackyMomma

    QuackyMomma In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2013
    Thanks for the advice. I posted another thread in the emergency section to see if there's anything else I can do to help the poor chick.
    We're now going into week 2 and I keep the chickens in a room with 35 degrees.
    I'll look into niacin for the duckling. I'll have to figure out where to get supplies in my part of town. I saw they sold brewers yeast in the supermarket for brewing beer - can I buy that and feed it to her or is that no good?
    For now, I'm feeding her chick starter which the seller said was also suitable for ducklings. I have a bag of chick grower for them when they get older. I also give her some peas.
    Her feet look normal, strong & healthy. The first couple of days I was concerned because the skin on her feet was peeling, chunks were hanging off. I figured that must be due to too much humidity in the crate. The waterer for the chicks has a very small opening around the edge and she couldn't get her whole bile into it so she thrashed it around and made a wet mess. Since I put her in a separate crate with a bowl of water, she gets into it and makes a bit of a mess but a lot less than before. So she's able to dry off her feet. Her feet look a lot better now, there's a few flakes on it but I guess that's normal as she grows.

    A fluffy toy sounds like a nice idea too. She does seem to get separation anxiety if she's not with me. Most of the time I just carry her around with me.

    I'm aware that the duckling will grow to be quite large and that she'll need attention. I also have 4 rescue cats so I'm aware of the dumping problem. I'm just simply not the type of person who would do something irresponsible like that. I get a pet sitter to come on a daily basis or live in the house while I go on holidays.
  5. QuackyMomma

    QuackyMomma In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2013
    Here's a few photos

    The chook pen
    I put it at the side of the house for now but I'm thinking of either buying a separate one for the duck or moving this one to a grassy area. I read that stones can hurt duck's feet and that's what we have along one side of the house. So the duck would have to walk around the house to get to the grassy area and the patio where I intend putting a pool for her.

    I put her in a bucket of water once per day for about 5-10 minutes and then dry her off with paper towels.

    She followed me when I went to check if there's any new mail.
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    She is adorable [​IMG] That is a nice coop but i think because Pekins can get quite large she may have a problem on the ramp so you may want to get or build her a house thats sits closer to the ground and maybe has a ramp that isn't as high or steps. I have quite a bit of gravel around since i have 13 ducks and 2 geese they can make a muddy mess pretty quick so we laid down shade clothe and gravel to try to keep it from getting too bad, they do alot better on grass yes. with just having the one duck you maybe able to keep the grass. LOL That is one adorable lil girl you have there, and how is your chick doing today? I would think as long as it says Brewers Yeast that it is what we use, just sprinkle about a 1/2 to a teas on her feed. leg issues can almost happen over night. usually till about 12 weeks is a good idea on the BY. they are growing pretty fast till then.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. Carcajou

    Carcajou Songster

    Jul 3, 2012
    Delhi, New York
    X2. Hope your chick is doing better today. And, [​IMG], glad you joined. Best of luck. Pretty little duckling [​IMG]

  8. QuackyMomma

    QuackyMomma In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2013
    I thought the blind chicken is almost gone yesterday, very lethargic. Then I got her to drink and she perked up and we saw her pecking at food too. A lot of people say we should cull. I'll do that if she gets worse again... but I simply don't have the heart to snip her head off when she's realtively okay.
    I'll wait a bit with the duck housing to get a feel for what she needs and look at how others house them. I thought requirements are the same for chickens and ducks but I now realise that while it may be okay, it's not optimal for ducks.

    You got me a bit worried with the grass and mess now :) What do you mean - mud??? I have a 612m2 block of land, so not very big. We just spent heaps on landscaping. Surely one duck and two chickens can't turn into a mud pit. I expect some collateral but hopefully not lunar landscape
  9. goose4

    goose4 Chirping

    Aug 16, 2012
    Up North MN
    Ducks love to play in mud. Mine are happiest when I dump their kiddie pool. They run to to mud puddle and root around. I think they are looking for bugs etc. Then they climb back into the pool with the clean water and it starts all over again. [​IMG] They like to eat grass too so you may want to limit their time on the grass.
  10. DenverDucky

    DenverDucky Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    What a cutie <3

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