Duck Newbie Few Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by m2wandc, May 21, 2011.

  1. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2009
    We have had baby chicks and currently have a couple in the brooder...I went to the pet shop today to pick up some fish and the kids talked me into two baby ducks. They are the same age as the baby chicks. The pet shop person told me I could put them in with the baby chicks in the brooder, no problem, then they could live their days out with the big chickens once they are adults as long as I supply them with a kiddy pool of water to swim around in.....this seemed all tooooo easy.

    So here I am at home with two baby ducks and two baby chicks in the brooder...the ducks couldn't drink out of the waterer I had for the chicks, so I had to modify that situation...and they couldn't eat out of the feeder I had for the chicks either...so I modified that...now the food and water are in shallow bowls instead of feeders. (which I'll end up having to change out a couple times a day I'm sure, due to poop)

    BUT as I research some of the duck stuff, I'm finding out it's not all that simple...or is it? Maybe the web site's I'm reading are babying the ducklings a bit???

    the topics of concern are:
    1) can't be on shavings....they are...they were at the pet shop too. (they are a week old)
    2) can't eat medicated food...the pet shop told me the chick starter I had was fine (it's medicated)...web site info is saying medicated feed will kill them. (they ate a little tonight...right now there is lay mash in there, but the baby chicks shouldn't have the lay mash if I'm recalling correctly because it will give them a calicum overload???)
    3) can't go out with adult chickens until they are 8 weeks old...but they are full grown at 3 to 4 weeks according to the info I'm reading.

    Questions:
    1) can they be on shavings with the baby chicks?
    2) can they eat medicated chick starter? If not, will the amount they had this afternoon kill them? what can be done?
    3) what age do you generally take them out of the brooder and put them in the chicken yard?
     
  2. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2011
    West Tennessee
    I have ducks and chicks...
    I keep the "baby" ducks and the "baby" chicks separate, but the 8 week old ducks are out with the 8 weeks old chicks. (did that make sense?)

    I was also told NOT to use shavings for the ducks.

    It is true not to use medicated, but all you can do is not give it to them anymore... I did the same thing and a couple of our ducks ate some medicated feed... they are fine.

    I hope this helped a little... I am NOT a duck expert by any means, but I had a good bit on conflicting advice as well when I started and it is VERY frustrating.
     
  3. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2011
    West Tennessee
    Sorry... as for the chicken yard question...
    IMO it depends on the weather... it has been 85 here during the day... so the big chickens get to free-range, the big ducks and little ducks get to mingle in the backyard with the baby pool.
    They all go up at night... big chickens and big ducks to the coop, little ducks to the bathtub (yes... I said bathtub... it is their current brooder... and super easy to clean)
     
  4. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah considering the ONLY reason my husband agreed to letting the kids get the ducks is because they could go in the same brooder with the chicks and basically they would be no more hassle then the baby chicks already were. [​IMG] I don't think I have much of a 'separation' option...I hope I can find a solution for the two birds to eat the same food. Maybe I can get NON-medicated chick starter Monday...(feed store is closed until Monday morning)

    As for the shavings, I do happen to have a bag of goodwill clothes I could use as "blankets" and toss once they are too pooped on, but for tonight they will be on shavings...I'd rather have them on shavings because it's easier to clean up...I just dump in the compose pile. Yet shavings do get in the water and they could easily drink one up...??? Wish there were some 'hardy advice' like...ahhh they'll be fine, they're tough birds, yada yada yada...ha, ha... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  5. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:do ducks roost or go in a coop at night? we have a coop, but don't close it up at night, the chickens come and go as they please in their 'area' ...it's a fenced off yard with the coop inside of it. The door to the coop remains open at all times...the chickens go in during the day and lay their eggs, come out and free range about then go in on their own at night....what changes will the ducks bring to this routine???
     
  6. lovin my birds

    lovin my birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Odessa, MO
    Okay first to answer all your questions. Q1: Yes they can be on shavings thats what all of mine have been on, it just needs to be big enough so that they cant eat it. Some will not kill them but alot ingested can. Q2: Yes they can eat the medicated chick starter. It USED to be that they couldnt because of something that was put in it. But they have taken that out and it will be fine. Q3: I took my ducks out at around 6 weeks. Though they didint go in with the chickens. But they were about the same size and get to free range with the chickens and they dont mind them. They actually get along alot better than a chicken meeting a new chicken does. LOL! [​IMG] So yes they can stay with the chicks. Anyway! Just letting you know, ducks are not the same as chicks. [​IMG] They are WAY messier! lol! You will find out in the next week or so how messy they can get. Right before I moved them out I was cleaning the brooder all the time (which was a huge 150 gallon water tank, then moved into the grow out pen which was 10'x10'). Even in the grow out pen they made a huge mess. While they where in the brooder(150g tank) I was cleaning it out about 2 times a day, when they were still young. When they got older right before going into the pen, 3 maybe 4 times a day. Then in the pen back to only 2 times a day. But this is for 6 ducks. A kiddie pool would work great for them, they will love it. Oh and congrats on all the babies! [​IMG] BTW! WE NEED PICS! [​IMG]

    Oh and they're tough birds, yada yada yada.... [​IMG] But seriously they are!
     
  7. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2011
    West Tennessee
    Quote:do ducks roost or go in a coop at night? we have a coop, but don't close it up at night, the chickens come and go as they please in their 'area' ...it's a fenced off yard with the coop inside of it. The door to the coop remains open at all times...the chickens go in during the day and lay their eggs, come out and free range about then go in on their own at night....what changes will the ducks bring to this routine???

    No, the do not roost like chickens.
    You should be fine with what you have...our big ducks and chickens are in a modified horse stall in the horse barn.... They get locked up because they do not currently have a "fenced" area to roam in and I do not want them out at night due to predators.
    The big ducks are not easy to round up as they were not socialized when we go them and are still a little timid of people... therefore.... they have to be moved to the fenced yard and are not allowed to free-range at this point.

    I think your setup is fine... If I read this correctly... the coop has shavings, but then they are allowed to go in and out into the yard at their own free will? if this is the case... I wouldn't worry about the shavings.
     
  8. lovin my birds

    lovin my birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Odessa, MO
    Quote:do ducks roost or go in a coop at night? we have a coop, but don't close it up at night, the chickens come and go as they please in their 'area' ...it's a fenced off yard with the coop inside of it. The door to the coop remains open at all times...the chickens go in during the day and lay their eggs, come out and free range about then go in on their own at night....what changes will the ducks bring to this routine???

    Most likely the ducks will follow the chickens routine. Mine since they are in their own pen usually like to stay out at night, in their run. But the door to the coop is open at all times and they go in and out. But when we have a cold night they do go in the coop. They like to sleep outside.

    ETS: They do not roost. They are ground dwellers. LOL!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  9. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:thank you...what I needed to hear...yada yada yada... [​IMG]

    It's two baby ducks...so hopefully I'll get away with once a day cleaning for another week or so...HA, HA...jokes on me...I know...tonight we were holding the birds (ducks and chicks) and the duck laid a big giant poop on the entry way of the house...luckily on tile...hubby got the honors of cleaning it up...kids went screaming to their room laughing and screaming and laughing, thinking the duck poop was hilarious! [​IMG]

    Pics coming soon, once I can figure out how to download them on this computer...might need to go post from the other computer [​IMG]

    ****************

    The Set up.....Yes we are near wild life...coyote or other preditor COULD eat up our pets, but so far it's never happened ... the chicken coop with attached run is inside a fenced yard, so we leave the coop/run door open and let them in and out as they please...basically they are locked up in the fenced yard 24/7.

    IF they were to get out of THEIR yard, they would next land in the kid's play ground fenced yard area.

    IF they were to get out of the kid's play yard, then they would be in our fenced yard that surrounds our homes. (and most likely one of the dogs would eat them up)

    If they were to get out of that and escape the dogs, they would find themselves in several acres of vineyard which is surrounded with deer fencing.

    YES Preditors DO come close to our house at times, but so far they haven't gone after the chickens or any of our other pets. I think they are pretty safe. [​IMG]

    As for the shavings...there are shavings IN the coop and a few boxes in the coop's run...but the most of the run's ground and then all of the fenced yard area is dirt. Their food and water are out in the fenced area...nothing is in the coop but bedding and nesting boxes. My plan is to put a kiddy pool in the fenced yard and let them come and go with the chickens as they wish....

    NOW off to the other computer to get access to photos for you guys. [​IMG]
     
  10. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    I don't put the babies together as I feel like the ducklings are too messy for the chicks. But when they are older I do put them together and they are fine. I give everyone chick starter but I also add Niacin to the water. After the first week I put them on shavings. As for medicated feed I don't give mine any, supposedly the new medicated feed is fine but... I looked at my feed store and it was the "bad med" so to be safe I don't give it to them.
     

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