When hatched by hen, Do I need a new pen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by grandma duck, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. grandma duck

    grandma duck Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2012
    I keep my ducks penned up at night in a critter-proofed horse stall in the barn. It has worked for years. Now I am down to one hen and adopted a drake. Now that she has a drake buddy, Mama Pekin laid eggs in a hay nest in a corner of the 12'x12' stall, and decided to sit. (I used to gather the egg daily.)
    During the day, the two are free to roam the barnyard and backyard.

    When the babies hatch, I will need to keep them out of the barnyard for awhile so that the horses don't step on them. I also have 4 dogs, one of which is a great hunter, one a black lab, one a Great Dane. All would be too interested in young fluffy things.

    So, do I build an enclosure in the backyard where there is grass, and do I keep the mama duck in with them? I could let them out eventually under supervision. Do I keep mama duck in the pen while they get to swim in tiny "pools"? Mom will want out to swim and roam sometimes, I am sure.

    Egads! I'm a nervous grandma counting eggs before they hatch! (My black lab sneaked through the "duck door" I made in the stall for daytime access, and came out with eggs in her mouth. Mama had gone out for a minute. I was able to pry dog's mouth open and gently catch the eggs. No chips, cracks, dents. I promptly put the eggs back on the nest, and mama climbed back on the eggs with a scowl on her face (if ducks can scowl.)
    The dog isn't bad - she used to be allowed to eat an egg every morning before we had a drake. Big mistake! (I never dreamt I would be hatching babies, though.)

    What else do I need to know??[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by