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???'s about mixing ages and laying

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Carolyn, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone was asking me questions about ducks but I only raise chickens. They had 2 susies/ mallard. One died and the other is lonesome; they have had her hanging out with the chickens who pick on her. They have ordered some baby ducks. I know with chickens you can't put babies with older hens. Is the same true with ducks? At what age would it be safe to put them together? They say she is gentle with a nice temperament and the ducks and chickens will not be together.

    They got her in May. When do mallards normally lay? Are they seasonal layers? These folks live in Alaska so the days are geting shorter.

    Also I know how to sex older ducks by tail feather curl and also sometimes markings. Is there a way to sex them early?

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. Oddyse

    Oddyse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sexy early is done very very early, within the first few days of hatching, and its done via vent sexing, other than that it would be safer to do it via the vocal route and feather route when a bit older. As for mixing ducks of different ages its really down to the duck itself. I mixed my two baby ducklings of 4 weeks with two older ducks of 12 weeks and all hell broke loose. I had to build a pen inside the pen and house the babies in there to let the older ones get used to them, and I waited for the babies to grow a bit a bigger before I lifted the divide. Maybe you could pop the babies in with other ones and see what happens, mix them together for a few hours a day with your suppervision to let them get used to each other. There will be a little fighting as this is just natures way of figuring out who is the leader, but if youre there you can stop any damage being caused to the babies. I had to just walk away when I mixed mine and let nature do what it does. Im sure the lonely duck will be happy to have a new ducky friend. Mine get along just fine together now, if they ever get seperated they hate it! Good luck and let us know how you get on [​IMG]
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Oddyse--it all depends on the individuals. I'm guessing that if your hen duck is lonely, she will much more readily accept younger ducks. You should be able to sex them around 4 weeks of age by voice--females will develop the deep, loud, typical duck quack and boys will continue to peep for a while and eventually develop a hoarse, quiet quackish sound.

    Some friends of mine hatched a duck alone and when she was about four weeks she began living part-time with a flock of adult ducks. This is unusual--but their ducks are highly socialized and constantly supervised and given ideal living conditions, so they tend to be very laid back.

    If you can't put the ducklings straight in with the duck, she will still benefit from having them nearby. Try setting up a pen-within-a-pen where they can see each other and talk to each other but not hurt each other. Once they are very familiar with each other, integration will probably be a snap.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Oddyse

    Oddyse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carolyn, trust me when I say this , if you follow advice from iamcuriositycat you will never go wrong, she made having ducks for me possible! [​IMG] , shes amazing with everything duck related! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Oh my goodness, really?? [​IMG] You so just made my day. That makes me so happy, to think I helped you have and enjoy your ducks. Yay! [​IMG]

    (And just for the sake of clarity... I AM sometimes wrong. Please don't take my word as the bible. :p But I do try to be accurate when I can, and to admit when I'm not sure, and to apologize when I make mistakes...)
     
  6. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all so very much. I am betting they will be able to mix them at a young age; they will be well supervised. I will pass this info on. The sexing was a curiosity ? because they ordered the others by sex but I got the impression it was from an individual.
     
  7. Oddyse

    Oddyse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, never trust anyone to sex for you, always do it yourself before purchase, if you can of course. The reason I say this is because I got two females a while back, who turned out to be drakes and now im in the process of trying to re-home them. It depends if they are coming from someone you trust. Glad we could help, this site and its members have got me through some stressfull ducky times. [​IMG]
     

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