New to the Duck World!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by alaskanchickens, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, almost! I ordered my first ducklings today! 10 Ancona's and 6 Rouen's, along with 15 Easter Egger pullets and 15 turkeys! I think I've gone crazy! We have 7 Buff Orpington hens and 6 Black Sex Link hens and 1 rooster. What I'm interested in finding out is, can my ducks and chickens live together? We have a large coop, 16x20, and plenty of room for nesting boxes on the floor. I know I should keep the ducklings away from the chicks because of the niacin, but exactly how long do I need to give that? I've also heard of a LOT of people, and a lot of info on the internet, feeding chicken layer to their ducks, but I'm really not convinced that that is truly what they need. We are slowly adding different components to the fermented layer and cutting layer back so that we will eventually be feeding strictly our own mix of grains, BOSS, a little corn (because its so cold here) and other mineral and vitamin supplements. Would this kind of feed be ok to feed to ducks too? Maybe change a couple of ingredients so it can be fed to both? We had planned on just feeding all our poultry, and pigs, and goats, the commercial feed since its already made making it so much easier, but then it hit me, I don't feed my kids "commercial feed" so why should I feed my kids food commercial feed? I am new to all of this. Like REALLY new, grew up in a city on strictly store bought food and NO animals, now I've got almost an acre garden and 20 animals (not including my kids!) running around! Thank you in advance for any advice/tips! And please! feel free to share any other advice you can even if I didn't think to write it in the novel I am posting!
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    My quite the tall order you have there lol

    People do house chickens and ducks together, i am not one of those people lol i prefer to house separately, a couple reasons, main being mess, ducks are messier and the water need and usage is much, much different than that of chickens, there are ways you can reduce it but this is where space and own set-up comes into play, for myself best to keep apart.

    One does have to watch drakes(male ducks) with chickens, some get a little to friendly and worse case kill a hen, not saying all do.. my chickens free range with my ducks, they truth be told are a bit afraid of the chickens, well... suspicious is maybe more the word but it doesn't always work like that for everyone, it's always a caution worth mentioning.

    As for feed, strictly making your own? i don't do that, so couldn't help you there i do know it would require very careful following of ingredients and so forth otherwise you'll get deficiencies. Poultry will not do well on only grains, with no access to vitamins and minerals, so you have to balance those out as well. I choose to use a commercial feed and supplement with whole corn for the ducks and scratch, BOSS for the chickens, plus all get outside, most free range so that clearly adds to the diet too.

    I do not use layer feed here, i opt for free choice oyster shell, i keep drakes and roos i feel long term exposure to excessive calcium is not good, and safety on doing so is sketchy, so for my flock it's best to use a grower and/or an all purpose, multi flock, flock raiser instead.

    Um, here is a good ducky starter sticky..

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    I also like Storey's guide to ducks, good info on feeding, breeds, housing, health care etc.

    [​IMG] and we'd love to see the little ones when you get them!
     
  3. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the info! It is not feasible for us to have and heat two different buildings at the moment. Yes, we do supply artificial heat which I know most say is a no no! We have had a warm winter so far, mainly in the 10's and 20's with the last couple weeks hovering around 32 and a couple random weeks dropping to almost -30 but a normal winter is in the -20's and -30's for sometimes 2 months almost straight. The heat is set to between 36 and 38 degrees. The coop is part of a "barn", 20x30 building, so they could be kept apart if needed but for around 4 months during mid winter a pool just isn't doable. I know they need the water to bathe and just enjoy it so I'm working on how to get them that water a couple days a week without it freezing and making an ice rink out of the coop. I'm not getting any drakes this time. My husband doesn't want me hatching duck eggs in the spring on my first year because I will probably end up keeping them all! He works away for 2-3 weeks at a time so they'd be almost ready to hatch when he got home and wouldn't be able to do anything about it! We do have a good source for vitamins and minerals and I have calculated crude protein content of different ingredients together but it's definitely trickier than mixing goat feed. I'm still trying to figure out a good base for the feed.
     
  4. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to ask! Is a wet feed a better way to go with ducks? I know they need water when they are eating so I was wondering would it make it easier for them? Less waste? Obviously they would still have plenty of water to dunk their faces in
     
  5. creaturelife

    creaturelife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dont wet the feed just leave it dry and let them eat and drink water as they want i mean i never wet my ducks feed and they drink alot of water 4 gallons a day and i only have 14 ducks and i was also wondering where did you order from
     
  6. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2014
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    I order from Cackle Hatchery. Almost everyone I know in my area gets their poultry from there. They are awesome! I did order from another hatchery that's a lot closer, twice, trying to get my first chicks ever but that didn't go very well! So I asked around was settled on Cackle
     
  7. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] alaskanchickens! You have been given some sage advice. Best of luck!
     

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