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My chickens think they are ducks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shannondee12, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered day old chickens and ducks from a hatchery. 5 Buff Orps, 5 Silver laced and what was suppose to be 2 Khaki Campbell ducks and 2 cayuga ducks. None of the ducks are what I ordered but my issue is, I raised them in the brooder all together then took them to the coop for 3 weeks so that they would become used to sleeping/nesting in the coop. When I started letting them out during the day, I started with an hour and then worked my way up over several weeks to free ranging all day. But every night I would exhaust myself trying to gather them up and put them in the coop. They would come back to the pen at dusk but they would never go into the coop on their own. I tried every suggestion on coop training that I had read. The chickens would pile up on the ducks in the middle of the pen/run. I assume for the body heat. Now my chickens sleep on the ground with the ducks no matter what I do. I put little perches in the run for them and they do get on them but not at night. The chickens even stay in the creek all day foraging for bugs with the ducks. Ive never seen chickens that act this way. I tried to separate them several times but it was a disaster.

    So long story short, will my chickens "grow into" wanting to go into the coop to nest and sleep? They are only 8 weeks old now and I worry since winter is coming that they will freeze if they continue to sleep with the ducks. I also want to have a predictable nesting area so I know where to collect my eggs.
     
  2. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    Have you tried hanging a flashlight in the coop at night. I hang it from the ceiling and turn it on about a half hour before it gets dark. Get one with led lights because the batteries last longer. If you can use rechargeable batteries that helps too.
    Also you could feed them treats in the coop right before dark and when they go in there just shut the door. Start out giving the treats in the daytime for a few days so they know they must go into the coop to get the treats. Then only give them in the evening before it is getting dark. Baby chickens get real anxious once its dark out and will whine and cry and not pay attention to the treats so do it before it is actually dark. Make sure the treat is something they really love. With mine, they love white bread, green grapes, and cornbread is #1 with them lol. Another thing they usually like is scrambled eggs or boiled egg yolks.
    They usually are afraid of the coop when they are little cuz its dark in there lol. Once they get used to sleeping in there they will want to go in because they feel safe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  3. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions but neither have worked for me. I have had the light on for some time with no luck. I even built another coop on the ground instead of using a ramp. I set it right beside the other. They will go in and out during the day but that's it.
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] sounds like they have imprinted on the ducks
     
  5. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought that as well but I read somewhere that ducks imprint but chickens don't but then again, it was referencing imprinting on people and not ducks. I have found a home for 2 roosters and warned the new owner that they thought they were ducks.:lol:
     
  6. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Left Hand, WV
    Ok, so no luck with getting the chickens to be chickens yet. I have another group of chicks that are only 3 weeks behind in age and am trying to integrate them into the flock. I was worried that 2 that appear to be roos would try to pick on the 4 newest members but they could care less. The ducks however are tormenting the little fellas. They seem to be roos as well, at least 3 of the 4 do. Large red combs and long wattles. I was under the impression that ducks were easier to introduce new flock members to.
     

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