Help figuring out how to introduce my chicks to the duck

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hikergal, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. hikergal

    hikergal Hatching

    Jun 16, 2011
    Got a question about introducing my 10 week old chicks to my "flock". I won't bore you with the details but through a series of events, my flock of 13 has dwindled to just one hen and one Indian Runner that I think is a drake. He was supposed to be a she when I bought the flock of hens from the breeder last spring (he threw in the duck because it was his only one) but has never laid and is very protective of my hen. He talks incessantly, and is especially loud if we get within 10 feet of him or the hen. He's never tried to mount her though. I mention that because when he was smaller, the roos I had were trying to mount him as much as they did the pullets. So I am still confused about "his" gender but assume he's a drake.

    The story is that I'm trying to build my flock of layers again so I got seven peepers about 8 weeks ago. They have been living in a separate coop with an attached run that is in the yard with the hen and the duck and their coop. We open the yard gate to let the hen and duck free range as well. Even when the gate is open the hen often hangs out around the chick run and the duck is usually beside her on guard. The other day we decided it might be time to start letting the chicks out in the yard. By the time we got three out of the run, the duck was attacking them. The hen didn't seemed fazed by their presence but I was afraid the duck was really going to hurt them (maybe I'm just being a protective mother). So we put them back in the run and decided to wait. I know that at some point we're going to have to try again and I'm worried. Are Indian Runners usually that aggressive and protective? Will he end up being the stand-in protective "roo" to my entire flock (assuming all my chicks are pullets)? The chicks are big enough now that I feel they're getting crowded in their run and I'd like to let them out in the big yard. They're fully feathered and at least half the size of my hen but they still peep. What to do??? Help!

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