Hi all! My mom works at an elementary school where the kindergarteners hatched duckling this year, and their teacher was having trouble finding homes for them. Of course, as soon as I heard, I said I'd take them! So this weekend I'm picking up 18 ducklings that are 2 weeks old. I think they're Pekins - the teacher didn't know what breed they are, but they're simple yellow babies, so I'm guessing Pekin is most likely. Anyhoo, I've never had ducks before (only chickens), so I've got quite a few questions! First some more info: I'm planning to put the ducklings in a 6x8' stall in the barn until they're ready to go outside. The barn floor is concrete. I live in Vermont where it's been 50s-80s during the day and 30s-60s at night over the past week, but it'll be getting warmer and staying that way soon. I have a small pond on my property that will freeze over during the winter. We plan to keep probably 1 male and 3-5 females - the rest will either be sold or slaughtered in the fall. Now the questions: What do I use for bedding in the barn? I was going to use pine shavings like with my chicks, but I read that ducklings will eat them and choke - is that true? I can't see myself covering that much area with towels and washing them every day! How long will they need to stay inside? Will they outgrow the 6x8' stall before they're ready to be moved? What kind of square footage do they need in a coop/house? Is it possible to keep chickens and ducks in the same coop? I have a 12x15' coop with only 7 chickens in it that free-range (I plan to free-range the ducks too), and the coop is right next to the pond. What can I do in the winter when their pond freezes (and don't say put them in the barn - my husband would kill me!) Do they really need a place to swim, or could they just deal with no water for the winter (they'd have water to drink, obviously)? If there's anything else I should know, please tell me! Thanks so much!!