Introducing new chicks to a duck...advice needed

Krysea79

Chirping
Jun 25, 2020
45
143
91
Hi there,

I wanted to see if anyone had any advice for us on how to integrate our new chicks with an established flock and duck. We hatched our first chickens and two ducks back in early June. However, we lost one duck. So our small flock of 5 chickens a duck grew up together and they all appear really happy though I do worry about the duck. She has a small pond that she swims in but she mostly just herds all of the chickens around the yard. She is definitely the head of the pecking order and calls any chickens that stray far from her. We love her...but we are hesitant to add another duck as we are afraid she would be much braver with a swimming companion and start swimming in our pool (my husband hates how much they poop in the pool).

In September we hatched out four more chickens. All of our chickens are bantam breeds and the duck towers over all of them. For the past month I have had the babies in their own coop right next to the big coop so they see each other every day. I have also recently started to let them free range with each other. However, the duck bullies the heck out of the new chicks. She will chase them and try to pin them down. We always watch so it has never escalated past the pin down point.

I was hoping to one day add the other four chickens into the main coop. However, I am wondering if this will ever be possible. I know the chicks still have some growing to do....however, they will never be bigger than the duck. Does anyone have any advice on how to help them integrate or do you think it will be a lost cause?

Thank you for your help!
 

Yardmom

Songster
May 3, 2018
1,015
1,408
206
Waterford, PA
The next step would be to put them in the coop at night. If you don't want to repeat for a few days lock them in for about 5 days. I just carry mine in for a few days. You should have things they can hide behind, but not dead ends. As for the duck, I have had duck hens in my coop. They have never been a problem but they were never the top of the pecking order. Your duck's personality sounds aggressive for a duck hen. Any chance it is a drake? Hopefully things will settle after a few days together.
 

Krysea79

Chirping
Jun 25, 2020
45
143
91
I am so nervous that I will wake up and find the chickens dead. We have smaller coups (we use the omlet cubes (2) but we have the one cube the babies are in detached from the large walk in run and would like to eventually attach it so they can have more room during the day. I could easily put the four babies in the coop with the other flock but they would have no where to run. Our duck is a Welsh harlequin. She has not laid any eggs but she is the girls coloring. She is just so mean to the babies. She will literally stalk them...come up from behind and attack. The babies are one polish and three silkies...and she currently lives with 3 polish and two bantam cochins. Here is a picture of her..
IMG_20200930_175634.jpg
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
2,368
11,659
441
Northern California
That is pretty typical duck behavior when you add new ones into the flock. My welsh were big bullies when I introduced muscovy into my flock. My welsh stopped picking on them when the muscovy were able to pin them back. Now they are on the bottom of the flock. Each duck is different and some can take a long time to fully accept each other, while others fit in easily. It just takes time.

You can provide areas the chicks can get in, where the duck is too big to follow. This will give them a safe space. Also, worse comes to worse, you can give the duck away to someone else who has ducks, and just have chickens. Females are always easier to re-home, because everyone wants females.
 

Bigtom Turkey

Crowing
Nov 29, 2020
1,776
3,178
316
Indiana
That is a weird response, my rouen duck was alone for a few months (her mate went to freezer camp) when I put 3 new semi grown ducklings she tried to mother them complete with fighting my 12 lb rooster who tried to mount them!
 

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