Ducklings about to hatch -- need some advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bardsatyr, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. bardsatyr

    bardsatyr New Egg

    Dec 7, 2012
    We have two runner duck hens who have done a great job nesting for the past few weeks.
    We have a brooder built and ready to use, but we'd like to hear some feedback on the thought of letting the ducklings be raised with the rest of the flock. I'm not finding any articles on this, in spite of a fair amount of looking, so I'm hoping for feedback from other duck owners.

    More information:
    We have 7 ducks - 3 mallards (one drake), 4 runners (two drakes)
    They share a poultry coop with:
    13 guinea hens - 7 are boys (oh, and there are two guinea eggs hiding in the clutch as well)
    10 chickens - 2 are roosters (there are also a couple of chicken eggs mixed in)

    We are growing the flock, not trying to raise meat or ducklings to sell. So our goal is long term members of the farm.

    Everyone shares a 10x10 coop with plenty of roost space, which opens into a 10x10 fully enclosed dog kennel (chain top), and then into a 12x30 barn area (the open area where you'd typically park a tractor, chain link on both ends) which they have 24x7 access to, and are free roaming thoughout the day (after we get up and let them out).
    Everyone coops up at night when it's cold, though many like to roost in the barn area in warm weather.
    The wood floor of the coop is covered in straw, which we change out weekly, a little more often if they've all cooped heavily due to weather. With 30 birds, it gets a good layer of poo in the straw pretty quickly.
    We keep a plastic tub (a large dog litter box, actually) under the gravity waterer, and there is nearly always a layer of water in the tub due to playing and splashing.
    The roosters are randy. The drakes are occasionally as well. We've lost a couple of eggs due to rambunctiousness.

    I'm worried the combo of constant poo, ever present access to standing water, and general chaos may be the deal breakers to our hoping to keep the ducklings from mixing in before they're a few weeks old. We are quite happy to make some changes, but we're also realistic as to how many changes are viable.

    Ok, I'm hoping that's enough information for a decent level of feedback.

    - Doug
  2. Onewiththeducks

    Onewiththeducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2012
    Use a brooder until they are a few weeks old. This way, thay won't drown or get trampled.
  3. Onewiththeducks

    Onewiththeducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2012

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