Thought I'd ordered a dead duck...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sarahnl, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Sarahnl

    Sarahnl Out Of The Brooder

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    So, I order meat and produce through a state co-op online. Long(ish) story short, I thought I was ordering a dead, processed duck...turns out I ordered a live juvenile Chocolate Muscovy. Laugh it up, I know.

    I have a backyard flock of 7 chicken hens. I'm to recieve this duck (female) in a couple days. This was a total accident but I can't NOT get the duck. Can this duck be included with the flock? Does this duck need a body of water? I'm in South Dakota so a kiddie pool is out of the question right now. Do they need different food?

    Arrrrg!!! Help!
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hmm that is quite the dilemma!

    Yes since it's a female you should be able to keep it with your hens. I would still quarantine it though.

    Ducks do usually need a body of water to keep them in their best shape but in the winter many people choose not to keep kiddie pools.

    What are you feeding your hens now?
     
  3. Ashburnham

    Ashburnham Chillin' With My Peeps

    I always feed my ducks the same food as my chooks.
    A problem with ducks and chooks together is that the ducks will quickly
    foul the water maybe causing disease.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    My ducks/chickens and geese have co habitat ed together for many years without any problems, If it's a very young duck, your hens may not be nice to it. even a full grown duck will need to be watched to make sure the hens don't pick on it [kinda like new kid on the block } Other than that eventually they will most likely live together as one flock. Good luck and pics when you get time. And [​IMG] and duckdom.
    and of course duck eggs they are wonderful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  5. Sarahnl

    Sarahnl Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm just feeding them basic layer feed from Tractor Supply and supplementing it with scraps and the occasional pot of oatmeal or beans :)
     
  6. Sarahnl

    Sarahnl Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! Yeah, I'm familiar to the "new kid on the block" pecking order being established from adding new chickens to the mix so I'll watch for that for sure. Definitely looking forward to duck eggs.

    Do you think I need 2 ducks? I've heard they are very social and do better with a companion? Can the chickens be their companion or will she need a buddy of her own?
     
  7. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    She's really going to need a duck buddy of her own. She may interact with the hens but she most likely won't be nearly as happy as if it were a duck buddy.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    yep X2
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    X3

    also you could just get a pan for water to bathe in... 'scovie girls aren't huge especially as Juveniles, so that can work as an alternative to a kiddy pool. Muscovy ducks are quite personable, i think you'll enjoy her. I own 4 chocolates myself.

    My 3 youngest... 6mths old.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MimiEggs

    MimiEggs Out Of The Brooder

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    We have successfully incorporated many new additions (including 2 ducks) to our flock of laying hens(with rooster)several times over the last 3 years. The first time we tried we ended up with a new hen that had a bloody head from being "put in her place". This is very normal behavior, however unacceptable to me, so over time I have come up with a way that creates more harmony for all and no bloody heads to doctor up.

    The "pecking order" of a flock is very serious business that you don't want to mess with. It's not just that there is a 1st in command, she has a 2ND, and a 3rd, and so on down the line. Together they can be very vicious to a new member of the team.

    We built a quarantine cage inside of our chicken coop in the event we had a sick or injured bird that needed separation from the flock. For a sick or injured bird this allows them time to heal without being completely separated from the flock as they can still see and hear each other, which also help presserve the pecking order. We also use this "cage within a cage" to incorporate new birds to the flock. We house them in there for 2-3 weeks before letting them out with the other girls. This allows the entire flock time to "chat up" the new arrival, put them in their place, give them the rules of the roost and so forth and so on. By the time we let out the new arrival none of the other hens or roosters (we have 2) are interested.

    We tried the same technique with a seperate cage in the chicken yard as opposed to inside the chicken coop and this was not so successful. It became a sport to harrass the new occupant of the "outside seperation cage" during the daytime, which also proved to make for a miserable day for whoever was in it. There is something about the new bird being "inside where the flock sleeps" that helps to make the transition easier.

    Our set up is probably very different from yours as we have 28 hens, 2 roosters and 2 ducks and our hen house is an old converted horse stall, so you may not have that much room "inside" your coop. Sorry if I haven't been any help at all. The important thing about incorporating new fowl is that it takes time to make the adjustment. They need to "see and hear" the new duck for several weeks before you let them within pecking distance or they may peck her head bloody. Fortunately for the duck she won't ever try to take a hens place at the roosting pole. When you decide enough time has passed to incorporate her in with the flock put a small swimming pool inside your chicken yard where she can go for some swim time and get a little relief from any remaining ill feelings from the hens. Be forwarned you will have to empty this and clean it out every 2-3 days or it will stink to high heaven. This will also give her an opportunity to clean herself off and clear out her sinus passages, which she won't be able to do with a typical chicken waterer. Watch closely and remove her if they are chasing her around trying to peck at her head. Just remember "it takes time and patience" but it can be done.
     

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