New to Chickens and Ducks--what I have learned so far

Bwest0526

Hatching
May 4, 2015
2
0
9
Howdy! My wife and I just started to raise chickens and ducks. We love us some eggs!! We have recently gone down to our local TSC (Tractor Supply Company) and purchased 6 layers and 3 ducks (one crested one black-not sure if it's a "runner" or "Muscovy"or how you can even tell, and one Peking). We did a LOT of research on brooding and this and that looking at ALL of the information on the websites around and it can get a little overwhelming at first. So here is what I have learned so far...

Chickens and ducks CAN be brooded together-although at times I think the chicks would rather that the big dumb ducks would not be in there HAHA! We started off with a "tote broader" the first day (just 1 tote) it worked GREAT for about a hour!! and finally we had to make it bigger as there just didn't seem to be enough room. Here is what we ended up with:




This worked great as long as we could keep the ducks out of the water--not an easy task! We were giving our ducks "bath" time for as long as they could stand it (usually 10-15 minutes or until they stopped swimming around like mad ducks) and put them back in. We switched out the litter two -three times a day..that honestly gets old quick!! Finally after only 2 weeks in this "tote" brooder we determined it was just not working, the ducks were getting too big, water was EVERYWHERE and it just seemed as though we couldn't get anything cleaned fast enough. Being new to this we may have been "over" zealous with the cleaning but it was still a mess with the water.

So this past weekend we proceeded to make a bigger, more improved Brooder. 4x4x2 and it looks like:


your basic 4ftx4ftx2ft(high) brooder. I installed a perch for the chickens, we used some PVC pipe to make a feeder out of, I installed a 2x4 "water can" holder (If you would like more pictures of the brooder please send me a message and I will post them or message them back). We moved them out of the house to the garage and I did put in a little larger water feeder on the ground until they figure out the "nipple" system on the big hanging water pail. Our total cost for this was approximately $60.00 but we had one 4x8 obc board already, however our lumber store had "chipped" pieces for $3.99 ea and since these don't have to be perfect it wouldn't have cost us much more to get that one piece. If you would like the materials list just let me know.

We used Sand for little and it has worked out SOOOOO Much better than the wood chips!!!
We still need to make the coop but have probably a few more weeks to do that yet...but this is a GREAT step between newborns and full adults, I am sure we will be getting more chicks in the future so this will come in to use more and more!

As always opinions are always welcome!!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Outpost JWB

Songster
5 Years
Mar 31, 2014
3,467
445
246
Ohio
Sounds good!
welcome-byc.gif
Your next lesson you will figure out is Chicken and duck math! Enjoy that lesson!
big_smile.png
Let us know if you need any additional information. Chickens (and I imagine ducks too) are a learning experience everyday.
 

FizzyChicken

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2015
21
2
26
Sounds fine to me! My suggestion: Cardboard boxes boxes boxes!
They are disposable, you can add onto them,AND you're recycling! Just place a trash bag on the bottom and add a bit of sand and then all you need to do is scoop out the sand and rinse the trash bag! Also, the ducks tend to pick on the chicks and vise versa so keep an eye on them for any sibling rivalry!always check their crops, check their butts for poo build up. If there is build up, just use warm water and wipe it off and apply petroleum jelly to it. If one has any discharge from it's eyes, or noes then immediately isolate it. That is a cold. Always keep the brooder DRY as wetness=coccidiosis! That's why I recommend nipple wateres! The Brooder Bottle Caps are a heavens gift as well!
Hope these helped out, good luck on your journey
1f497.png
 

Bwest0526

Hatching
May 4, 2015
2
0
9
On the ducks, I had read that and this is why we put in the "second" water feeder, they can actually get most of their head into the "troff" and they get "play" time in the kiddy pool a couple times a day. We are getting ready to start building the chicken/duck coop based on the Triple "C" design posted on here, here is the basic design.


One question I DO have though is will the chickens go through the duck house to the pond area? I really would like to keep the chickens away from that for fear of drowning. This was why I am putting this on the opposite side of the duck house. We have plenty of room but the chicks and ducks will not always be watched so we don't want to let them free range because of the coyotes and a LOT of predators around our acreage (woodchucks, coons, coyotes, etc.) Everything you see here will be above ground (The pond will be elevated in order to run a drain out of the bottom for cleaning) and it will all be fenced (including the pond).

I wish we could get cardboard boxes but we live out in the "boonies" of Nebraska and it's about an hour drive to the local town that would actually have a supply of boxes so we have to plan trips to make things work out and to be honest, I typically forget by that time haha! we have been keeping an eye on them and they are checked about 5-6 times a day at least, between myself and the wife(she is home all day) we are pretty excited for the new pets and we are probably "over protective" with them and they will get spoiled more than likely. The sand has REALLY helped with the water issue we were having in the small brooder and now there is only one small wet sand spot (Not standing water) around the water jug. I do not know how to get the chicks to drink from the hanging bucket with the nipples on it though, will they do that out of curiosity later on? I don't think that the ducks will drink from those will they?

The feed we give both the chickens and ducks is from TSC:http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/dumorreg;-chick-starter-grower-20%-feed-50-lb, it says it is good for chickens and ducks up to 10 weeks, is this okay for feed? I know I read that the ducks need more niacin than chicks and the TSC folks said this works for both...better safe than sorry though and people on here may know more than those at TSC of course.

I am scared to ask what Chicken and Duck math is...do I dare ask?! HAHA!
 

FizzyChicken

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2015
21
2
26
On the ducks, I had read that and this is why we put in the "second" water feeder, they can actually get most of their head into the "troff" and they get "play" time in the kiddy pool a couple times a day. We are getting ready to start building the chicken/duck coop based on the Triple "C" design posted on here, here is the basic design.


One question I DO have though is will the chickens go through the duck house to the pond area? I really would like to keep the chickens away from that for fear of drowning. This was why I am putting this on the opposite side of the duck house. We have plenty of room but the chicks and ducks will not always be watched so we don't want to let them free range because of the coyotes and a LOT of predators around our acreage (woodchucks, coons, coyotes, etc.) Everything you see here will be above ground (The pond will be elevated in order to run a drain out of the bottom for cleaning) and it will all be fenced (including the pond).

I wish we could get cardboard boxes but we live out in the "boonies" of Nebraska and it's about an hour drive to the local town that would actually have a supply of boxes so we have to plan trips to make things work out and to be honest, I typically forget by that time haha! we have been keeping an eye on them and they are checked about 5-6 times a day at least, between myself and the wife(she is home all day) we are pretty excited for the new pets and we are probably "over protective" with them and they will get spoiled more than likely. The sand has REALLY helped with the water issue we were having in the small brooder and now there is only one small wet sand spot (Not standing water) around the water jug. I do not know how to get the chicks to drink from the hanging bucket with the nipples on it though, will they do that out of curiosity later on? I don't think that the ducks will drink from those will they?

The feed we give both the chickens and ducks is from TSC:http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/dumorreg;-chick-starter-grower-20%-feed-50-lb, it says it is good for chickens and ducks up to 10 weeks, is this okay for feed? I know I read that the ducks need more niacin than chicks and the TSC folks said this works for both...better safe than sorry though and people on here may know more than those at TSC of course.

I am scared to ask what Chicken and Duck math is...do I dare ask?! HAHA!

The chicks/ducks can learn how to use the nipple waterer simply by you. All you need to do is tap the waterer so a few drops come out and once one comes and inspects it and tries it for herself, then all will follow :) Also, DO NOT use the same feed! Ducks and chickens are completely different and require different protein levels etc. so go to your local feed store and get duck starter and chick starter crumble. As for the coop blueprint, it looks like royalty to me! They're more spoiled than our soon-to-hatch-silkie-baby-chicks-that-we're-picking-up-Thursday :D
 
Last edited:

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom