Getting my ducks and chickens next month.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Massey, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi all,

    I'll apologize now for the essay!!!!

    I'm planning on getting 12 chickens and 4-6 ducks (was going to be 2 at start but the whole duck math thing as already kicked in,[​IMG]) next month, i'm hoping to get 6 diffferent hybrid chickens (2 of each) and 2 khaki campbells and 2 aylesbury ducks.

    My run for both ducks is about 1/4 of an acre and i've used 5ft chicken wire around it, i have them set up in two different houses, the chickens have coop that is 11ftx7ft with 4 different nest boxes but i still need to add the roosting poles, i've made up a automatic door for the chickens with a calender built in so that the door opens and closes a certain time after sun rise and a certain time before sunset, still need to work on the times to make sure they suit the chickens daily routines as in they are in before it closes.

    The duck run is a 4x5 foot basically box that is 4-5 ft high sloping from front to back with an opening in the front and a small ramp up to it, i wasnt planning on having a door to close it as i was going to put a completely secure run around the duck house. it will be completely wired on all sizes and top and bottom. i was going to cut a 2.5ft blue barrel in half length ways but at a diagonal and sink this into the ground, cutting it as a diagonal so that there will be a shallow and deep size to their pond. i will place one of these in their mini ponds and one outside in the big run.

    it is hard to explain what i mean about cutting it diagonally but it the barrel is standing in front of you i will cut from the top left to the bottom right leaving a lip on the short sides, - i'll add photos later.

    ok i'll come to the point of my post now - the questions....

    How should i introduce both the ducks and chickens to the run - i'll be getting both on the same day, do i need to keep either in the coop of a couple of days until they accept this as their new homes, should i let both have free access to the full run at the same time, should i give the chickens full access to the big run and keep the ducks in their small run for a couple of days. just to help with this one, all the birds will be females, no roosters and no drakes, and all ranging from about 18-22 weeks old,

    Will the chickens get on alright together from the start even if i get them from different suppliers??? say 4-6 off one 2-4 off another and 2-4 off a third.

    I've kept chickens before am totally new to ducks so if there is anything i'm missing please feel free to add it in, i've done a lot of reading on here all ready so i've probably included a lot more i havent mentioned here but would be great if anyone sees any gaps i'm missing.

    Feeding-
    i was planning on pretty much starting the chickens on layers pellets as i dont think they will be too far away from laying, will also add in some treats here and there but not sure what yet,

    The ducks i'm not too sure of what to feed just yet, i'll be giving them some sort of poultry feed, as well as some grain - i know its not good for the chickens so was planning on feeding the grain in a bucket of water, grain at the bottom with a few inches of water on top to put the chickens off eating it.

    i know both chickens and ducks need grit but is it ok to provide both with the same type of grit or is there anything individual needs for each.

    Are the ducks ok being in the secure run without their coop being closed at night, i think i've read that they are fairly weather hardened but just want to check,

    I think that is all my questions for now, i'll add photos over the next week or two and of course next month when i do pick up the birds and they are all settled in.

    Oh and as for bedding, was planing on using straw for the ducks and the chicken nest boxes and peat moss for the rest of the chicken coop, is this ok?

    Oh and to help with any of my questions i live in Ireland, lows of -2 to -4 during the winter, rarely above 25 in the summer.
     
  2. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2014
    how long should i leave a post before bumping it is just inpatient???? [​IMG]
     
  3. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2014
    Anyone got any help with the questions I have above???
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Hi Massey and welcome to BYC, I would suggest since your flock is coming from different places and they have not lived together that you keep the chickens separate from the ducks for a while and let them meet through fencing maybe separating your run down the middle for a week or so. and giving your ducks or chickens a separate house to sleep in chickens like to roost and the ducks may not appreciate getting pooped on, unless your coop will be big enough to give the ducks their own space away from the chickens. But they should not be together till they have gotten to know each other, your chickens will be busy working out the pecking order amongst themselves and this will give everyone time to get to know each other. Chickens can really gang up on ducks too so just best to let it come slow with the co habitation. Ducks can eat what the chickens eat but if they aren't close to laying age i wouldn't start any of them on layer it has quite a bit of calcium in it and is not good for young poultry, maybe start them off on an all flock if you can find it they can eat that even when laying and all you'd need to do is offer oyster shell on the side. Or start them on layer once they begin to lay. As for straw, I don't really like it i prefer pine shaving and peat moss, bugs can't hide in the shafts because there aren't any and it's so much easier to clean than straw. My flock of chickens/geese and ducks all eat the same thing and i ferment it so if interested in fermenting let me know I'll steer ya to a good site about it, and mine do eat grains I use whole oats, wheat and scratch along with an all flock in my ff. Ducks do wear little down coats under their feathers and can take very cold temps but I would lock them up at night not only for protection from the elements but also from predators who love a free duck dinner. They get use to being inside at night and it's very easy to train them to go in before dark. Offer grit to both I use a reg poultry grit and just put it into a separate bowl next to the oyster shell. I'm not sure what you mean about your barrel you want to use for housing so pics would be good. again knowing your pen is secure is something you have to absolutely know for a fact because predators can find ways of getting under over and through if there is a slight miscalculation and believe me they will find it. Hope you'll post pics when you get your flock we'll enjoy seeing them. [​IMG]oh and forgot to mention some predators will stick their arms through fencing if wide enough and grab a ducks and try to pull it through which would not be something you'd want to come out to in the morning.
     
  5. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi thanks miss Lydia for your reply,

    I'm planning on having two separate houses for both the chickens and the ducks, and the barrel will be for the pond, I knew I wasn't explaining this too well but I'll take photos which should make it a lot clearer,

    On the food stuff - so its best to use non layers food until I get my first eggs? Then swap to layers food, I can do that,

    I'm not overly sure what you mean by fermenting the food but I would be interested in finding out more about that before deciding to do it or not,
     
  6. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]One thing to be mindful of is that when the chickens and ducks are together, it can be dangerous for the chickens if you have a drake and he tries to breed them. Very dangerous. So, that might be something you want to think a lot about before letting them live together.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Here is the link to the ff I use as far as putting it together, I already told you all I add to mine, https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/no-strain-hot-water-easy-fermented-feed-method-w-video

    I think it's best to wait on layer till you get your first egg then if everyone is close in age eggs should all start coming pretty close after first one and layer would be fine.

    Look forward to pics always nice to get ideas on how to do ponds for out flocks. plus I have a barrel [​IMG]
     
  8. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the into veronicasmom, I don't plan on getting a drank not right now anyway,


    Miss Lydia I cut the barrel today will get photos up before the weekend is over, thanks for the link too,
     
  9. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I went out yesterday to a poultry market to buy a dozen chickens and 4 ducks, and came back with 10 chickens and 5 ducks, well 3 ducks and 2 ducklings, not quite sure how that happened, I got 1 magpie duck and 2 khaki ducks and 2 Aylesbury ducklings (who are in my bath right now) not sure what the chicken breeds are I was told but can't remember them all now, there are 8 hybrids, (2 bluebells and 2 amber stars and 2 light summers not sure on the other two, they are black with a green colour running through them) and two pure breeds cant remember their breed either.

    Once I get them all settled in I'll add the photos, don't want to be annoying them now as they are only starting to settle in,


    One quick question,

    The ducks are very stand offish, probably not helped by the trauma of moving in but will plenty of petting and treats help over time, the ducklings are getting plenty of handling as they are inside but I don't have much need to handle the ducks too much if I'm only going to scare them and its not going to make them any tamer, thanks all!!!



    Woohoo I'm finally posting as a poultry keeping instead of just a wannbie!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  10. Massey

    Massey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2014
    Well I've got the first of the pictures, these were easy as they are the ducklings who are indoor, [​IMG]
     

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