questions about mixed flocks and building a duck run

Ekaufee17

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
64
1
41
Pittsburgh
Hey everyone... i have just a few quick questions that you could hopefully help me with.

1. does anyone experiment with having a mixed flock? i currently have 3 different sets of ducks, all separated by age...

group one: year old mallard drake, year old magpie drake.

group two: 3 mallards, 2 swedish blues. all 2 months old, sex undetermined.

group three: 1 khaki campbell, 3 pekins. all 3 weeks old, sex undetermined.

i'm hoping that when they are all adult age, i can introduce them to each other and just form one mixed flock. is this possible? or will i have to keep them separate because they grew up in specific groups and haven't ever been introduced to each other?



As for my second question. spent some time this past week building a multiplex coup for the ducks. currently split into sections, but it can be opened up into one large pen if needed. I'm building a run for them, (originally planned to be in an "L" shape, with one section being 4ft x 10ft, the other being 51ft x 16 ft). does the run need to have a roof? the ducks would only have access to it during the day. the fencing im looking at is a 4ft tall 16 gauge wire fence.i also plan on trimming my mallards' feathers so they can't take off. any input on this? I would free range them, but im not entirely sure i trust them to stay around, plus i live in coyote country.


just figured i'd pick the brains of all you lovely folks. thanks!
 

blumoonduckmama

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
14
0
22
Wish I could help but I am watching this thread with interest as I too have a mixed flock and am having a terrible time with my 7 week old pair of female mallards accepting my 3 week old pair of pekins sex unknown. It is troubling and upsetting to see the mallards peck and fight at the Pekins! I live in Gettysburg area and too have a beautiful covered enclosure! However I would like my tiny flock to be happy and if I can avoid building a seperate enclosure it would be best.
 

Ekaufee17

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
64
1
41
Pittsburgh
honestly that could be just because of the age difference. i originally had two mallards, but one fell victim to a raccoon attack. thats when i got the magpie, who was already almost a year old. the mallard and him became friends almost instantly, but neither of them can stand any of my chicks no matter what age. also, the two month olds will peck at my month olds if they get near each other as well. any time i introduce a duck of the same age to a group, there is no problem. just seems to be the difference in specific ages/sizes that causes problems
 

blumoonduckmama

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
14
0
22
well good to know but will this change at least in perception? Obviously once the Pekins are fully feathered they will be much larger than the Mallards......But the age difference is so apparent right now. I feel bad for my Pekins because they are so loving !
 

shicks0211

Songster
7 Years
May 7, 2012
272
18
101
Orlando Florida
I don't know if i can help but i'll give you my experience. I've hatched many ducks, and also had some that I bought or rescued and here is what i've found. My first flock consisted of 2 pekins, a crested, and a mallard pekin cross and they grew up together and were inseparable..they free range and once they got old enough and fully feathered they got to gree range while i was hatching the next flock. So i'd say they were about 2 or 2 and a half months old by the time i started introducing them to my ducklings that i had hatched..4 runners, a cuyoga and 2 buffs. The showed less than no interest in them. At first they'd chase them but when the ducklings had gotten used to everyone they just tolerated each other. Each flock is as it's own little click on the lake..and no matter how many other ducks i've raised it's always that way. The group that is raised together always stays together and travel together..eat together and are inseparable. They will all co mingle on occassion and tolerate each other but it's evident to anyone who watches the several different "flocks" of ducks..I have at this point about 6 different little groups. Sometimes they'll come in and the mallards that are wild will then be part of the click, but i have yet to see them just all the sudden mix flocks like you are asking about. I don't believe that will happen..but they will, get along..with squabbling..sometimes one flock will chase another away if they don't want them around right then.
 

Ekaufee17

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
64
1
41
Pittsburgh
well thats good news. i would just like them to be able to tolerate each other without pecking each others' eyes out and what not. i dont mind if they arent best pals or anything.
 

Tessaturtle

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 24, 2012
86
4
41
New Hampshire
We have a mixed flock consisting of 1 Pekin, 3 Rouens, 3 Muscovy, and 5 Call Ducks. They all live together in the duck house at night and some in the pen while we are away at work (some can fly so they fly out right away in the morning). I agree with what one other poster said - when they free range (we let everyone out when we get home) they take off in their own little groups and it appears to be sorted it by who grew up with who - Except for the 3 Muscovy who did not grow up together but are their own little family. THey tolerate each other at night and when they are in the pen. When squabbles happen or when we introduced new ones, they re-establish pecking order for a bout a week, not even. THe worst squabble we had was so bad we even tried to sell off the 2 offenders. It happened this spring and was related to "spring fever" mating season. We ended up crating the two offenders for about 2 weeks and it fixed the problem.
 

Ekaufee17

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
64
1
41
Pittsburgh
My two swedish blues are about a month older than my pekins and just absolutely harass the heck out of them. So I've been keeping them separate. Will I be able to introduce them to each other again,or is that pretty much out of the picture?
 

ducklover87

Songster
7 Years
Aug 7, 2012
1,166
46
141
The best way to introduce new comers is through a fence that they can see each other. I penned up my ducklings for quite awhile as I introduced them to my adults. They were even penned in the coop just to make sure they were safe. I would let them out sometimes when I seen the adults were near the house and my ducklings would chase and pull my adults feathers so they stayed penned up for awhile longer. Then I introduced them during the day but penned up in the coop at night. Now their is no problems and my ducklings and adults get along great. Although my adults do like to stick to themselves most of the time I do catch them napping with the ducklings quite frequently and even showing them around the property. Mine free range so I'm not sure about the pen. But if you see coyotes during the day or any predatory animals during the day I would put a top on just to be safe.
 

cosbackyard

Songster
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
414
32
118
Colorado Springs, CO
My two swedish blues are about a month older than my pekins and just absolutely harass the heck out of them. So I've been keeping them separate. Will I be able to introduce them to each other again,or is that pretty much out of the picture?
My ducks treated the chickens like that at first. Eventually they came to tolerate them, though. No love, but no blood either.
Try Ducklover's suggestion for introducing them.
 

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