Getting my first set of day old chicks


In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2015
Hello, today I ordered my 2nd set of (4) chicks, and got two ducklings as well! However, the first time I bought six chickens they were already 5 weeks old so they didn't need a heat lamp or any extra care that day old chicks needed. So I have a few questions...
  1. Should I separate the chicks and ducklings completely? They're all pullets, they're all going to be indoors for the first few weeks and I can put them in separate containers, or I can just keep them all together which is what I would prefer to do. I know there's non-medicated bird feed that I can use to feed them both as well. I don't mind cleaning their living area if it gets wet from the ducklings either, I just want to make sure it'd be okay to keep all six birds together.
  2. How should I safely heat these birds since they're inside my house? A heat lamp seems extremely dangerous to me, are there safer alternatives I don't know about? I know that there's heating pads out there, I just want something that's not a fire hazard. The chicks are coming with 10-15 baby males as well to keep them warm, should I keep the males around for the first couple of weeks to help keep the rest of the flock warm? Right now the males are going to the local feed store to be given away to local farms, but I can keep them for awhile if it helps my flock stay cozy.
  3. Is there anything else I should know about raising ducks that's different than chickens? I know ducks are messy and fling water everywhere; but I'm assuming the ducks will eat tomatoes and corn and feed the same way my chickens do (as long as its not layer's feed with that added calcium). Any additional input would be wonderful. :)
Thanks to all who share any advice!

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
It's been many years since I've raised ducks. You can brood them together with the chicks, if you are able to keep the chicks bedding dry. Ducks are slobs. They have different requirements for feed (as I recall, they will need unmedicated multi-flock starter which is much higher protein than chick starter.) They also MUST be able to dip their faces in their water to keep their nares clean. That's why they are such slobs! On the other hand, if you have the water deep enough for the ducks, the chicks are likely to drown in it. That being said, I know that some folks do brood chicks and ducks together successfully. I agree that a heat lamp is too much for in your house. Better off with this option: It should work equally well for chicks or ducklings. Keep in mind that ducks grow way faster than chicks. You might have better answers if you post your question on the ducks thread. Many duck people have chickens, but not a lot of chicken people have ducks.


11 Years
Jul 10, 2010
southern AL
You can brood them together, but have the 2nd option ready of separating. When I had ducks and chicks in the brooder, the chicks were the ones picking on the ducks.

But as long as they get along ok together, you can leave them together. I used the quart waterer for both the ducks and chicks. When the ducks are small, it is deep enough to get their bills in to clean up.
Water management will be key. Ducks really like their water. Everywhere.

I had the chicks inside for a few days (my ducks have always been brooded outside) and just used a normal bulb and raise the lamp as needed to have a warm spot at one end of the brooder - same as I do outside.

Feed - the ducklings are fine with unmedicated chick feed, but they will need niacin added (brewers yeast or niacin tablets in water).


In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2015
Thank you guys so much! I appreciate the advice.

Will the added niacin tablets to the water affect the chickens?

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