New with a question.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by catlvr976, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. catlvr976

    catlvr976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Near Meadville, Pa
    I am preparing to get some baby chicks, now that I have plans for the coop!

    Anyway, I was thinking about maybe ordering a duckling or two. My questions are:

    would male ducks be ok with hens -or-
    would it be better to stick with all females?
    how do you keep their food separated?
    do ducklings need a different food than chicks? I've read that they cannot eat medicated food.

    I understand that ducks can be a lot messier than chickens. I live very near a lake (not on my property we have to walk a little to get there), is it possible that the ducks would fly to the lake and back again?

    Thanks for any and all info!!
     
  2. Deedrahsue

    Deedrahsue Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Fresno, TX
    The only one I can answer for you is yes the ducks will want water and they will leave if you don't supply them with it. Not necessarily a lake, but a small sort of old wash tub or something they can play in. I saw a man on you tube had built his ducks a pen with tbars and chicken wire, it was a very large spacious pen, but he didn't enclose the top so they can still fly out if they wanted to.

    My husbands Dad had ducks when they were growing up and my husband said they flew to a near by pond and stayed there. Good luck with the rest.
     
  3. catlvr976

    catlvr976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2007
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    I could supply them with water, I was just curious about whether they go back and forth or not. I'm doing more reading, and just thinking about the logistics of chicks and ducklings and raising them together. I read that ducks are fully grown in 30 days. If that's the case, then I would guess that they'd be ready to be outside much earlier than chicks.

    I will continue to research.
     
  4. country_girl011

    country_girl011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ducklings are not full grown in 30 days. not sure where you seen that.
    they mature about as fast at chickens do .
     
  5. catlvr976

    catlvr976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Near Meadville, Pa
    ok, that's good to know. I thought when I read 30 days that it seemed awful fast. I don't remember where I read it, to be honest. Thanks again!!
     
  6. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Howdy from Austin, Texas.
     
  7. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I will impart some of the (limited) knowledge that I have!! LOL
    There are a number of posts on here about keeping chickens and ducks together. While some do it, for the most part, it seems it is not recommended. Ducks make a MESS with their water. I keep the food dish and water dish pretty far apart and it stays dry for the most part.
    I firmly believe ducks needs swimming water, and a few bowls of clean drinking/dunking water every day. They are ducks, so swimming is inherent for the most part, and I feel to deprive them of it is just mean. And not fair. But they do need clean bowls of water, large enough to dunk faces in and drink from, but not big enough to swim in. One of mine is small and she will get into ANY pan of water she can. So I put a board across one of them and they can dunk and drink, but not climb in.
    Drakes can hurt and kill hens if they mount them. Not anatomically compatible. Even if you get girls, again, probably better to let the chickens and ducks have their own spaces.
    Which brings up another thing, make sure you have the right ratio of drakes to hens. One drake for at least 3, more is better hens. I guess you could do 2 hens, but my personal preference is to have at least 3. I have 5 girls and a boy and it works great.
    I believe I read that ducks and chicks can eat the medicated starter food, but do some searching on here and make sure.
    If you get ducks that can fly, yes, they will take off. Some will return, some not. You can clip wings to keep them home.
    Ducks are great, messy, silly, noisy, but such fun. You will love them!!!!!
     
  8. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2. I don't keep my ducks & chickens together. I have the duck house set up very differently for ease of cleaning, and DRAINING.
    I can't even free range my ducks & chickens together anymore - my drake keeps trying to mate my chickens. Not cool.
    Ducks are great, and I feel that when you have their housing set up well they are no more work than chickens. If you've had chickens for a while I think ducks will be a great addition to your flock.
    Now, bring on the people who raise theirs together successfully...
     
  9. catlvr976

    catlvr976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Near Meadville, Pa
    Thanks again for the info! I decided to go with 2 female ducklings. I figured I'd never know how things will work out unless I try. I ordered a pekin and cayuga. If things don't work out, I figured there are sooo many farms around here that I'm sure I could "rehome" them if I absolutely needed to.

    I'm only getting 6 chicks (I had chickens a couple years ago) so I won't be having a huge flock. I figure I could set out some type of kiddie pool, for them once they get old enough, plus we have culverts around here that seem to have water in them almost all the time-- and it's not dirty gross garbage filled water so that might be nice for them. I live on a road that might see a car or two every few days, so I'm not even too worried about cars.

    When they arrive, can I use the pine shavings for the ducklings like I do the chicks?

    My kids are going to be so excited. They don't know that I ordered the chicks and ducklings and I think they'll flip when they see them. They've been wanting this for some time now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  10. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a good plan.
     

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