Introducing new ducklings to my flock

Lauren Thompson

In the Brooder
Oct 31, 2017
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Hey I’m new to this posting thing but here it goes; So I have a total of 10 birdies; 2 Australorps, 6 Americaunas, 1 runner duck and 1 rooster. I recently lost another runner duck(both females) to hawk, and have lost a chicken also to a hawk. I have recently secured their run and been keeping a close eye on them to make sure they are safe. No other loses so far .

A week ago I purchased 4 ducklings (Pekin and Rueons) not sure about the sex yet but I’m being optimistic that they can get along happily to keep the other runner duck happy, eventually. I’m aware of the time it takes to introduce new birds to a flock and keeping them segregated but together for a time to insure they are ok.

My question is can one duck raise these ducklings? Will it help to seperate her from the other hens and rooster that she’s use to, to be around these ducklings? Or should I just introduce them slowly like I’d planned on. I know she has been lonely since her friend has gotten attacked by the hawk. But has seemed to adapt also. She is laying now and it is spring time so I don’t even know if that has anything to do with their instincts.

Any advice will help! Thanks for reading!
 

aart

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Welcome out of the lurking closet! :D

My question is can one duck raise these ducklings? Will it help to seperate her from the other hens and rooster that she’s use to, to be around these ducklings? Or should I just introduce them slowly like I’d planned on. I know she has been lonely since her friend has gotten attacked by the hawk. But has seemed to adapt also. She is laying now and it is spring time so I don’t even know if that has anything to do with their instincts.
Not sure about ducks, but if a chicken hen is not broody she is not likely to 'mother' added chicks, and even then it's best if the hen has been broody for at least a couple weeks, and the chicks need to be very young less than a day or maybe two or rejection could happen either from the hen or the chicks.

Keeping ducks and chicken together has it's own problems,
mostly wetness and drake hurting chicken hens.
If you separate the duck hen from the chickens,
then put the ducklings adjacent but separate form the duck,
the duck hen might be more open to accepting the ducklings.

@WVduckchick probably has a much better answer tho.
 

WVduckchick

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Hi Lauren!
Sorry for your losses. Hawks are a danger for many of us, I've lost a few to them too. (favorite drake a few weeks ago!)

I think you should have good luck introducing them. The runner being female and smaller will help, as your new ducklings will grow fast! If you can separate them, I would start with short meet and greets, after the ducks are maybe a couple weeks old, in a sectioned off area, away from the chickens. Monitor her to see how she reacts to the babies. She won't actually mother them, but she will hopefully bond with them and teach them. Alot will depend on the runner's temperament, so take it slow, watch them carefully. The young ones will likely run to her, but she will likely run from them to begin with.
Sneaky critters will wait till our backs are turned, so make them think you aren't watching too.

Hope it goes smoothly for you!
 

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