When can they move in with the chickens *UPDATE*

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kaitie09, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    We have 2 Mallards that are 6 weeks old. They are both fully feathered except for a few little patches here and there. We have heavy chickens (4-7lbs) (RIR, SLW, EE) and a large roo, but the ducks are around the same size as our smallest hen (2-3lbs). The have stopped using their heat lamp and the temperature is getting up to the mid 60's during the day, around 45 at night.

    Also, do Mallards get drake feathers? These two have never been very loud since we got them except at bath time when they would peep their heads off, so I cannot tell if their quacks are changing, or if they are just quiet. Their peeps right now are sort of raspy like drakes, but they are both very docile.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Have you had them outside around the roo at all yet? What does he think of them?
  3. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Honestly? ducks and chickens don't really like each other. My ducks run my chickens off and I'll get a chicken that will run the ducks off. No problems with turkeys so far.

    Yes, mallards get drake feathers. The boys have beautiful coloring where the girls will be brown. I couldn't tell you about the quacks.
  4. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    Their brooder is right next to the coop, so they can see each other at night when the chickens are roosting. The roo is probably on of the best we have ever had. We just built a new coop a year ago and bought 12 pullets. When they were big enough we moved out older 6 in the new coop. Although the roo had never met the babies, he automatically took on the protector role. The only problem we ever had was with our tiniest hen, and she was the one beating up the babies. The roo is protective, but he does not get too concerned about the little things going on around him.

    What if for about the next two weeks or so, I put the ducks in a crate inside of the coop for a few hours a day?
  5. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Save yourself some time and don't mix the ducks with the chickens.

    They each have their own special needs and some of them overlap which will lead to a fight.

    I had mallards that created their own cliques, so I had to get a kiddie pool for each clique to keep the peace.
  6. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Not only do ducks not usually really like being in with chickens, they will keep your chicken pen a mess! Nothing makes it smell faster than a couple of drippy ducks "spreading the love" after a good swim. You'd be amazed how much water they can shed and for how long considering the waterproofing on their feathers. I put my ducks in with the chickens initially and it took me about an eye blink to decide they needed their own space. They now have a pen next to the chickens so they can be "sociable" if they want to (they never do - they're inveterate snobs) but they can drip off over a nice bed of sand and have ground level nests like they prefer.
  7. itsjustjen

    itsjustjen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I may be the execption but then again I only have one duck. We've had our 3 chicks and duckling together since day 1 and they get along great! Poof the duckling gets very upset when away from the chickens. Yes, she makes a huge mess all the time with the food and water but they are happy so it's worth a little extra work on my part.

    Now I am curious to see how everyoen will get along when we add in our 5 new chicks in a few more weeks. Oh and Poof is about twice the size of the chickens she is in with, they use her for heat on cool nights.
  8. AnaD

    AnaD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2011
    N. Ca
    My three 9 week old pullets always go to bed with our 6 week old Khaki Campbells. I can't keep them out of there! They also share the same bush during noon nap time [​IMG] I wonder if I should make my duck house bigger and add a roost...
  9. MissusDee

    MissusDee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2011
    It's probably pretty easy to set up something separate for them. I should say I don't have chickens, just that it's probably easy to set up something for your ducks. They won't get drake feathers for a while, but male mallards usually start getting this look on the chest where it looks like they are balding, but it's the silver feathers coming in. The quack/rasp though is the first sign, then blue badges for males, and the females usually have more purplish ones. You should be starting to get that about now?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  10. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Oh my goodness, I am reading this and wondering what planet am I on? I have always hatched, brooded and raised chickens and ducks together. They all live peacefully in my coop. I have ducks and silkies in my brooder now and the silkies love to hide under the ducks. I have a large coop with a pond and they all get along just fine. Yes, they don't hang out together, but there is NEVER any nastiness.

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