Introducing new littles into the brooder with older littles...


In the Brooder
Feb 12, 2015
Our Pekins are (approximately) three weeks old. I just picked up two Indian Runners from the feed store today, presumably around a week old (or less). Can I put them together? I currently have the newbies in a plastic tub with a hardware cloth window, up against the chicken wire sides of the outdoor pen (where the Pekins are), so they can get to know each other without contact. I didn't think that ducks were like chickens when it came to how you should introduce them, but the Pekins are just HUGE by comparison. Will ducks play rough with littler ones? Should I wait a couple weeks to put them together?

This is what a friend of mine told me & she used to work at a feed store. Ducks generally do get along and they prefer being with at least one other duck. The best case scenario is all similar age and personality (i.e. calm with calm).
What you're doing now is good. Wait 24 hours and then watch them play together. Supervised play time for 2-3 days. If play time went well, on day 4 put them together, but check on them every hour or so. Do this for 3-4 days. So...unsupervised togetherness as long as you can check on them hourly. No overnights until they've had unsupervised togetherness without issues for at least 4 days. Hope this helps. Good luck & enjoy your babies!!
Thank you, that sounds great! I don't work outside our house, so I'll be able to check on them hourly once it gets to that. As soon as I put the crate up to the side of the pen, the Runners went nuts peeping away, and the Pekins were all curious, but only one came all the way up to their window. I don't know what they were saying to each other (obviously), but the Pekin kept repeating the same exact sound and head gesture. It looked sweet, but for all I know it was a threat, lol. :) I'll be looking forward to seeing how they play together. Thanks again!
Okay, so the first physical meeting did not go so well. :/ The bigger Pekins were scared of them! They ran from them for a couple minutes, then started fighting back against their pint-sized "attackers". They rolled them, and grabbed their little heads in their beaks. I had to rescue them pretty quickly. I'll try again tomorrow. Would putting them all in a neutral environment help at all? Or should I wait a bit till the Runners get a little size on them? I have to say, before they started getting attacked, it was quite amusing to see the flock of four big ducks fleeing in a pack from the two little pipsqueaks. :D

This pic was taken after I first released the Runners into the tractor (we still bring them all in overnight. The weather is warming up, but we don't have their house and run ready yet anyway). They ran straight into the shelter tub.


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