New Duck Owners


In the Brooder
May 1, 2015
Western Mass
We bought some baby ducks 4 weeks ago. We were told the were born on April 1st 2015. They almost seem pretty big for 4 weeks old. We purchased 6 of them and lost one

Today we bought 3 female ducks (about 1 year old) because we found out that out of our original 5 ducks only 1 of them was female (do to the coloring of them) We didn't think it was fair for 4 males to gang up on one female! So now we have 8 ducks. We put the original 5 and the new 3 in the pen together. They really don't like each other. LOL. The 4 week old ducks kind of rule the roost!!!

We usually bring the ducks in at night but now with the 3 new ones we can't, so we are leaving them out all night in the duck pen/house. The pen is closed in on the sides & top. There is a duck house in there too. It took us forever to get them in the house. I can laugh about it now! But I sure wasn't laughing then!! I just hope that they can get along all night. It is only in the 40's tonight so hope they will cuddle together.

Our Duck Pen

our 3 new ducks in the front. Our 4 week old Pekin in the back.

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I am concerned about your new ducks. How old are they?

I do not want to sound unkind to you - I appreciate that you are sharing your duck story, and the photo's are very nice.

But based on what I have read about taking care of ducks, and what I have done, and what many others have done, I will share what some of my concerns are.

Mixed-age ducklings - the bigger ones often beat up the little ones. That seems unkind, if you know that is what happens. They are unsafe left alone with the bigger, older ducks, if the new ones are youngsters. Are they the same age, or younger? Even if the same age, tossing them in together unsupervised is risking their lives. You need to do better by them. Tonight.

Is the duck shelter ventilated? That is an important thing along with temperature.

At four weeks old, the ducklings need to be around 70 degrees F. If they huddle together (and not all ducks do), they might make it through the night, but their systems are being stressed at a time when they need to be developing. How thick is the bedding?

They are beautiful, and the pen area looks like you have put some good effort into it, so I can see that you care about them. Ducklings are not as tough as you may think.

(Looking over this, I know I am being very urgent - it is because I am that worried about the ducklings. If I have misunderstood something, please let me know. From the look of the pen, you have done a lot of work and it shows you care.)
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Thanks for your reply.

Our 3 new ducks are a year old. Our 5 original ducks are 4-5 weeks old. They are not fighting with each other just kind of nipping at each other a little bit. The older ones are not bothering the littler ones. It is the other way around.

There is lots of straw in the duck house along with food and water.

After reading your post my husband & I went out and checked on them. The 3 new ones are in their nesting boxes and the other 5 are all huddled up together like they do every night.

The people that we bought the 3 ducks that are a year old, told us that they have been staying in the duck house at night since they were a couple weeks old.
Okay, thanks - I know I got really concerned, I am very conservative with raising ducks (I have seen too many tragedies, perhaps).

I think my biggest concern was the new ones were little - - - I will hope all goes well, and at the same time I would feel negligent if I did not let you know that those situations can end up with injuries.
A agree with amiga. Also I am worried about your ratio 4 males to 4 females is not a good one. Your ducks are still young and will not start to mate soon but when they do they could hurt or kill a female. Male ducks can gang up on one female, or even just over breed them. Most people keep a 1 male to 3 or 4 female ratio. I tend to keep a larger ratio. I have 2 males to 11 females and i find some of my females are still getting overly bred by the males.

May i ask what you mean "do to the coloring of them" Are your males turning green already?

Good luck with your ducks and welcome to BYC! Your ducklings are adorable. What kind are the new females you got? They are very pretty.
They are great! They did great during the night. We let them out of the duck house this morning and they all seemed happy! They have been swimming and eating and walking around all day. We had 3 eggs this morning!!
Some of the Roeun ducks have a green patch starting on the top of their head. We were told if they are males they will look like a Mallard duck with the green head.

The new ducks we were told they Welsh Harlequin.
We had 4 males to 1 female. That is why we bought the 3 more females yesterday. When we bought the duckings from Tractor Supply they don't sex them so we didn't know what we were getting. Yesterday we noticed the tops of the Roeun's heads had a green tinge to them making us think they are males. So we bought the 3 Welsh Harlequins that are 1 year old.

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