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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by OldGuy43, Mar 18, 2012.
Any suggestions, timing, method, whatever, will be appreciated.
Hi, OldGuy43! First, my little story of introductions:
When we introduced Romy and Michele to the Runners, we set up a little fenced in area, about four by three, adjacent to the Runners' pen. Now, this being New England in late fall, and Amiga being Amiga-the-pamperer-of-ducks, the Runners were spending their nights in the basement pen. So we did not have to build anything predator-proof. I digress a little tiny bit.
So we brought R&M home in the late afternoon, just before night-night time. We put them in their own little room, and then brought the flock in for the night. That way, they could see each other, and no one had to defend turf or establish their legitimacy.
Worked fine. Zwei was first to go over and meet the new girls. There was some posturing, a lot of chattering, and everyone went to sleep.
Over the next several days, we gave them more and more supervised time together, first on opposite sides of a fence, then face to face. There was more posturing, and a little poking. This went back and forth for a while, but by the second day, the Runners refused to go anywhere without the Buffs.
It is now three months later and the flock has completely blended. It's been this way for about a month, I'd say.
That's what we did. I would reckon that with littles and an adult, there are some big differences. But the principle would seem to be the same - give them time side by side, separated by a fence. For the Quakerettes, I would not leave them with LD until they are at least almost as tall as she is, and only after repeated, closely monitored face time. I feel they need to be big enough to push back hard, if necessary.
X2 to what Amiga said.
Thank you.That was what I was thinking, and I know I'm getting way ahead of myself. The question just popped into my head, so I thought I'd ask in case I was waiting to long. In another thread someone asked if LD had seen the quackerettes yet and that got me to thinking...
Again, Domo Arigato,
Seems you're thinking on this in good time. I don't know your exact setup, but it might take a little while to figure out logistics about how you're going to get them near each other, but everyone still protected from the elements and from predators.
If we had brought Shelly and Romy in during spring summer or early fall, it would have been trickier to keep them next to each other at night just because of how Little Fort Knox is constructed (similar to a railroad apartment, if you've ever seen one of those, with no hallway, just one room behind another).
Its good to be prepared.
I don't think you have waited too long.
The babies need to be able to hold their own. Though I am sure seeing them would be okay.
When I got my Ancona girls I let them play in an enclosed pen next to the big duck house everyday for weeks.
It was warmer out then, and gave them a good place to brood that was not smelling up the inside of my house.
I think you will find ducks are nicer to new friends than chickens.
Amiga - how do you like your buffs? I just got a buff duck & she is so laid back. She certainly has had a calming effect on my girls. It was odd at first seeing her out there, but she is so pretty & relaxed. A great layer, too.
My experience with Shelly and Romy have been similar to yours. They have strong personalities, especially Romy, but they seem to have helped the runners be more content while they are in the Day Pen. The flock still chats it up all hours of the night. (c:
Here's my current plan:
When the ducklings get to big for the wading pool that is their current home I'll move them to the screened-in porch. That way they'll be able to hear the rest of the flock and vise versa. When they get near the same size as Lame Duck I'll confine LD and the cluckers to the Chicken Run - Part A and move the newcomers into Part B. After that I'll just play it by feel. I'm guessing maybe a week or so at most?
There is a gate between Parts A and B.
Very good plan!!
That looks great.
Similar to what I am building.
Or, having massive anxiety over building, to be more precise.
After the ducklings outgrew their first brooder I moved them out to the breezeway at night & I put m them out in an enclosed A-Frame with a hiding area & a completely enclosed yard that abutted the older ducks' last year.
That started about the same time they were starting to take field trips outside. (Probably about 2 weeks.)
I left them out there for longer & longer periods until they were big enough to stand strong against the big ducks.
(Probably about 10 weeks / shortly after I moved them outside.)
I am no expert by any means, though. I am sure you will get a lot of answers to the "when" question.
Amiga, night time chatter? My Anconas settle pretty nicely at night. They will chatter at me if I come & go from the house, but they settle down quite a bit at dusk.
They are described as "active foragers" and I think having the Buff to compare them to has shown me why. She is a pleasure. Now I just need to pick a name!