New to this site and raising chicks and ducklings


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
Mukwonago, WI
Hi, I am new to raising chicks and ducklings. I bought two ducklings about 3 weeks ago and they are doing great. It's crazy how fast they grow! I also own 6 chicks that I bought about 2 weeks ago. They all get along very well and are staying in the same cage for now.

I just have a few questions to make it so that my ducklings and chicks are happy

1st question, how often should I clean their cage that I have inside? It has all the ducklings and chicks in it. It was once a dog cage so it is pretty big (I think it's 3ft by 4ft) I have a pine shaving bedding, 2 waters, and 2 foods in it. (I have been cleaning it every other day, but should I be cleaning it more?)

2nd question, one of my ducklings have become very cranky when I pick it up (it will cry and wiggle around until I put it down). The first week and a half it was fine and loved to be picked up and handled. Is there a way to help it become comfortable with it again? (The other duckling is still nice about it and doesn't try to get away).

3rd question, I just started to build a chicken coop (and duck coop) for when they are ready to go outside. What bedding should I put in there and should I feed them inside of it? (I plan on having them free range during the day and just bringing them into their coop at night and during bad weather).

Question 4, how old does the chicks and ducklings have to be when I put them outside? I live in Wisconsin and it is starting to get warm again (crossing my fingers it stays this way).

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have answers to any of my questions I would love to hear them or if you have any tips on ducklings and chicks that would be awesome!

Last edited:

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
I don't know much about ducks except they love to splash around in water whereas chicks don't care to be wet - having them penned together inside may cause some wetness issues.

Chicks can go outside once they are fully feathered usually around 6 weeks old. Some people love to free range their birds and can accept losses to predators; others cannot and ,prefer to have their flock in a securely enclosed run. Chickens can adapt to either.

For duck questions you can head to the "Other backyard poultry" forum it includes ducks, geese, guineas, quail, etc. etc. you will find threads concerning ducks and can post on it to get opinions and answers from duck people.


8 Years
Oct 9, 2013
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
great to have you joining the BYC flock

BYC has a very useful learning center

Ducks are messy with the water and their mess so I always cleaned daily

Our flock as baby's

Same flock 4 years later ...

If you have questions just ask

Last edited:


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop

Welcome to BYC!

I don't know much about ducklings either other than how cute they are and I love the quacking!

But you will need to wait until your chicks and ducklings are fully feathered or around 5 or 6 weeks before they can go out to the coop. Make sure you are still using the heat lamp on them, lowering the heat by 5 degrees each week for this time.

I would clean the brooder out as much as possible to prevent diseases. Wet dirty bedding will breed bacteria and cocci.

Pine shavings work well as bedding, as does sand or grass hay. But you will need something to absorb the poop and ammonia smells.

I would do some posting in the duck section for more help with your ducklings. You can ask questions and share your duck experiences there...

Enjoy your new babies and welcome to our flock!


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
Ditto that keep them with a heat source, clean there cage daily if possible if in a flat tub type brooder they love the water! You can introduce them to large pans of water but keep it shallow only allow play time 1 or 2 twice a day and take the water away when they are about 4-5 weeks in the warm air (brooder or if outside when temps are above 65 degrees). They are best raised on brooders with mesh not like chicks in a shavings environment. Good luck!


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Good luck with your new chicks and ducklings. You've gotten some good advice above on the Duck forum and housing them.


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 1, 2014
You all are great! I am about to move our ducklings into the run/coop. Iwill be keeping the two EE's with the ducklings they have been brooded with together in the coop with a puppy gate seperator, so they can see each other. And when the EE's get a little older (they are 3 weeks now) I will move them all together, with the ducks outside in the run. The ducks week have a nesting area inside a dog crate, with the option to go outside to a small rubber feed pan for water play in the corner of the run. My concern is that the older chooks (8 weeks) will either pick on the ducks, or pick on the EE's. The EE's are smaller and I don't want fighting. But boy do those ducks GROW! They are twice the size of the EE's! It is funny because the chicks and ducks were raised together, and they throw a fit when they are seperated!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom