Ducks under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by catchthewind, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
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    Hi there,
    We just got some ducklings today and are hoping to put them under one of our broodies. We have three broody hens right now, and the one I was thinking I'd put them under has raised chicks before and was a good mama. The other two have never gone broody before. I know it's better to do it in the evening, but I put the box out next to where our hen is, let them peep in there for a few minutes, then snuck one under her. She pecked at it once, but then seemed fine and settled back in with it under her. So I snuck a second one under, and she jumped up and went to the other side of the broody box she is in, and wouldn't go near them. I ended up bringing them into the house and am going to wait until this evening when it's dark to try again. Should I try again under the same broody or would she be wise to me or something now? As I said, I do have two other broodies I could try (though one has only been broody for less than a week, so it may be too soon, but the other is sitting on eggs that are due to hatch any day, so I could put those eggs under the one I wanted to raise ducklings.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Catch, I haven't done this myself but I'll pass on the advice I've received here. People have been able to get a broody to accept ducklings. It does need to be done at night so the broody will think they're her hatch, also the chicks need to be really young - like a day old - or they will have lost their ability to imprint. I've read that ducks imprint a lot more than chicks, so it might work if they're a little older. Good luck! Don't forget to take lots of pictures :)
     
  3. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    Thank you! Okay, I'll try tonight once it's dark. I think I might get up really early in the morning to check on them too. They're not even 24 hours old so I think they'll still be okay in that regards. I'd love for them to imprint to us as well, but don't know if that's possible if we put them under a broody.
     
  4. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my good friends had ducks, and she said there's no problem getting ducks to imprint - the problem is when you want to go inside and they don't want you to leave them! Hope it goes well - I'd love to see pictures of them with their mama :)
     
  5. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    Will they imprint to people and a hen at the same time though? I am nervous. They are under the hen now but she was pecking quite a bit at them. As long a they are under her she seemed okay, but occasionally if one came out she would peck quite aggressively at it. At one point she jumped up off of them, but they went back under her (with her still pecking). When I left them finally though, she seemed content and had them all under her. I think the second it starts to get light I am going to be out there checking on them. I think I need a Silkie or two haha.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  6. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
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    Didn't work. :( I went out to check on them and the ducklings were in one corner shivering and she was in the opposite one. So they are inside now and I put the eggs she was sitting on back under her. The eggs are starting to make noise already (I hadn't noticed when I first moved them), so I hope I didn't mess anything up moving them around, and that she will take to the chicks after the duck fiasco.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  7. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shucks! Hope everyone has settled down by now. Bet it's a busy day at your place with all those babies!
     
  8. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Were all the ducklings ok (other than being a little shaken, of course)?? Would love to hear an update on the eggs... hope that turns out well for her. Maybe she was already hearing the vocalizations of her eggs and knew the duck noises weren't the same? Good luck! Would love to see pictures of both if all works out well!!
     
  9. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh SonnyGirl, I didn't even think about that! I thought the peeping would be a good thing, but it does make sense that it would sound different. So I don't know. They were all fine though. They're happy as clams inside and my girls are thrilled to have house ducks. My husband, not so much, but he likes them too. ;) I've caught him in there watching them.

    Here are a couple of pictures and there are more plus a video on my blog (and in my newest post I put pictures of our chicks that just hatched) http://citygirlinthecountry.ca/2012/ducklings-and-chickens-and-bears-oh-my

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, so so cute!! Did your broody's eggs hatch okay?
     

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