Mixing My Flock

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sunnyducks, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello

    Wonder if I might trouble you guys for some advice as I'm running out of space! I have two female ducklings aged 16 weeks that I raised myself. They are currently separated from Mum and Dad who free range all day, as these will too. There was a bit of fence running to begin with once they babes were put in their pen but now they seem to be happy in their company. Are they old enough to mix, or is it safer to leave them another few weeks?

    Second option - I also have fifteen 12 week old chicks, sexes not yet known, but as soon as I can figure it, the roosters have to go as I'm not allowed them. They are Australorps and fairly robust. Would it be asking for trouble if I put them in the ducklings' enclosure for now? It's the chicks that are causing the headache actually, because they are outgrowing their quarters and there would be enough room for them in the duck pen.

    Any thoughts? Thank you very much in advance.
     
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I'm understanding correctly, you currently have your younger and older ducks separated by a fence and they seem to have gotten used to each other. Is that right? If so, I suggest you give them supervised time together. Tossing out their favorite treats while doing so can help keep them from getting too fixated on each other. See how they do for a while and if you're happy with their behavior let them stay all together.

    Once the younger ducks are with the older ones I don't see a problem with putting the chicks in the empty quarters. My chicks were fully integrated with my full grown ducks by 12 weeks. Giving them ways to go up and out of the ducks reach helps keep smaller chicks safe from bigger ducks.
     
  3. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @lomine Thank you very much for your advice. Yes, that's it - my two ducklings have a small pen and enclosure to separate them from their parents. When I first put the ducklings in there, the drake was obsessed with breaking in to their enclosure and there was a lot of feather plucking through the wire. Now it's all settled down and they all four spend much of their days sitting 'together' separated only by the wire so I'll try leaving the gate open and see what happens.

    Yes, once the ducks are able to go into the main pen and start free ranging with their parents, it will remove my headache of what to do with the growing chicks. I wouldn't have been caught in this bind - I'd had plans to construct a proper pen for them but a month ago my husband had a heart attack and we were both flown to the city hospital 7 hours away, where we've been until two days ago. A friend has done a wonderful job feeding the menagerie. My husband was moved back to the local hospital and needs me there most of the days.... the playpen in the shed full of fluffy little chicks I left a month ago is now crowded with half grown chooks and I have no time whatsoever to build the pen. That's why I'm in this mess, but fingers crossed the duck mix goes to plan!
     
  4. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh gosh, sorry about your husband. I wish him a speedy recovery.

    I didn't mean to make it sound like you were doing anything wrong, sorry if it came out that way or if you felt you needed to explain yourself. Some folks keep their chicks indoors much longer than necessary because they think they are too fragile. I just mentioned that mine were integrated by 12 weeks so you would be reassured that yours weren't too young, if that was the case. Sounds like you were spot on with your duck integration process so I'm sure your chicks will be just fine. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @lomine Thank you! No, don't worry, you didn't come across wrong at all, it was a really helpful reply! I just feel really bad at how my poor little chooks are now so crowded, and that the only option I'm left with is to risk my ducklings going out their with their father about four weeks earlier than I had intended!
     
  6. twinsmom6

    twinsmom6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lomine- I hope your husband recovers well. God Bless
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Little misunderstanding, it was Sunnyducks's husband. I'm not even married. [​IMG]

    @Sunnyducks from what you described, I think the ducklings will be fine. Don't beat yourself up. You've had a lot on your plate.
     

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