Hens Raising Ducklings?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by paulandashia, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my best broodies (CeeCee) decided 3 weeks ago she was in the mood to hatch her some eggs...
    I gave her some ceramic ones, and she has been sitting on them faithfully.
    I was unable to find any 'newborn' chicks, but someone offered me 2 ducklings that were 24 hours old. I brought them home, and put them under CeeCee. A few hours later, I moved her, and the ducklings, out of the elevated nestbox, and onto the floor of the coop, into her own private nestbox...
    It's winter time in Alaska, and though it is insanely warm this year, it's still cold...
    My birds are being fed a diet of fermented feed consisting of oats, barley, BOSS, and wild bird seeds, and they get finely chopped greens every day... (ALL of my chicks have always been raised on fermented feed, with additional protein in the form of cooked meat provided, and all have always thrived)

    Will the ducklings be OK with their chicken mom?
    Can she raise them successfully?
    Are they OK to eat what the other birds are eating?
     
  2. Dry Creek Ranch

    Dry Creek Ranch Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2014
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    Will the ducklings be OK with their chicken mom?
    If the hen accepts the ducklings then you should be good to go. I had a turkey hen adopt 16 Rouen ducklings (no idea how that happened) and they would follow her around and sleep next to her at night. At two weeks old I provided the ducklings with a shallow pool and the hen would get worked up when the ducks went for a swim. At 6 weeks the ducklings figured out they were ducks and did not follow the turkey hen anymore.

    Can she raise them successfully?
    Ducklings are pretty hardy on their own after hatching. The hen is really not needed except for warmth if you do not provide them with a heat lamp.

    Are they OK to eat what the other birds are eating?
    I would not go over 20-22% protein on the duckling food. They may have an issue with angel wing if you do. Make sure they have grit available to them and I would probably not let them have BOSS till they are 3-4 weeks old. Ducklings will try to eat anything small enough to fit in their mouth but may choke on BOSS if they are not shelled.

    You will find that ducks are messy eaters and will get water everywhere. Ducks don't mind damp bedding but it can make chickens sick and uncomfortable.

    Good luck.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    That was VERY helpful. Thank you SOOOO so so very much! The hen HAS, in fact, accepted the ducklings. They spent the night tucked underneath her in the coop, and when I pulled one out and placed it in front of her, she acted just as she did with all the other clutches of chicks she's raised for us. She's one of the best mamas I've ever seen.

    I know exactly how messy they are when it comes to eating. LOL I have 9 other ducks and 2 geese. These 2 new additions were picked up just so CeeCee (the hen) had babies to raise, since I could not find chicks for her...


    PS: I am trying to post a picture from PhotoBucket. WHY won't it let me!!? None of the links are working. What am I doing wrong?
     
  4. Dry Creek Ranch

    Dry Creek Ranch Out Of The Brooder

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    Great to hear about the ducklings! I have never used photobucket. When you post on BYC you will see the following bar:

    [​IMG]

    Click on the icon that I highlighted in yellow and it will walk you through the steps of uploading a picture. It will place the picture wherever you had your cursor when you clicked it. I hope that helps.
     
  5. kyexotics

    kyexotics Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll be fine! We let silkies lay on duck eggs all the time, they do wonderfully!
     
  6. hdf201

    hdf201 New Egg

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    Myakka City Fl
    [​IMG]
     
  7. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awwwww super cute babies and beautiful hen. Great job
     
  8. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2014
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    My Coop
    The ducklings will be just fine with a chicken brooding them. I had a young hen raise three pekin ducklings last year. She did an awesome job. She even seemed to realize that they needed some water to swim in and would regularly take them to a small wading pool I had set up. The only thing I would be concerned about the feed. Ducks need more of certain minerals than chickens. If you have raised ducklings on this feed mix before and they did well, then it should be just fine.
     

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