Integrating ducklings?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by willowbirdks, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2014
    Hello all, just looking for advice about when how to turn my two flocks into one. I have some 4 month Anconas and some month old Magpies.

    Right now they are kept in a coop that is divided by a fence at night, and in adjoining runs during the day... Or more accurately, the big ducks free range and the duckling run is in the middle of that area. We let them out to forage together when we can supervise, and have been gradually increasing that time.

    For the most part they do fine together. There are little disagreements when the big ducks feel that the babies have infringed on their territory. There are also times when the drakes just try to peck at the babies, but we always yell and they stop right away.

    At what age would it be OK to integrate the two groups full time? I know having new ducks introduced upsets the pecking order, and I'm sure we'll have some tussles until it's all sorted out. But right now there's such a size difference that I'm afraid a drake could hurt one of the more courageous babies when she's just standing up for herself. Thoughts? Recommendations?
     
  2. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2014
    *crickets*
     
  3. SouthernPride

    SouthernPride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At least a couple of more weeks. I have five 5-week old ducklings but they have a momma to still protect them and keep them at a safe distance from the others. Because of the difference in size I do not keep them housed together, but they do free range together. I think you would be looking for trouble if you kept them in close quarters. You are socializing them now so that is good.
     
  4. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2014

    Thank you for your advice. Do you ever let them spend time in the coop together? We have found the free range time to be going so well that we put them in the big coop for a little bit both today and yesterday... No issues beyond the alpha female being pushy about eating first.

    How will you decide when they are ready to be together full time? Will you wait until 10-12 weeks?

    Things are going so well here that I'd like to be done with the split coop in the next week or two, but I don't want to be foolish.
     
  5. SouthernPride

    SouthernPride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Because the momma is so protective I can do that now. They have grown so much just in the last 2 weeks that they are practically the same size now. Unless you see some very evident bullying and as long as the coop is big enough for all, you should be OK. Maybe you can give it trial run, having the other coop ready in the event you need to move some quickly. Keep an eye on them and see what happens. I've noticed that ducks can be a bit possessive about their " areas".
     

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