when is it safe for babies...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by nickie, May 26, 2012.

  1. nickie

    nickie Songster

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    I want to get the babies in with the adults but I am unsure of when and how to do it. You see, everyone says with chickens to wait until they are roughly the same size and allow a slow process of in sight but out of reach... I find that silly and a waste of time since I usually add youngins in with the adults at one month old. Pecking order is not fiddled with at all when the babies know they better scoot their butts out of there and hide when an adult comes calling (I provide panic hides for them). My way takes a single day of monitoring to make sure the babies have enough places to hide if needed. This method I know will not work for the ducks. I'm honestly worried that if I try it too soon my drake will kill one or some. So, any advice or methods of integrating with a territorial drake would be appreciated since I haven't had the pleasure of this experience yet.
     
  2. Mum

    Mum Songster

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    The advice I have read on here is, that you should wait until the duckling has fully feathered.

    However, I'm trying my own way. I have two Indian Runners, who are now fully feathered, a KC who is inbetween and a fluffy duckling. The 2 IR's and 1 KC have been together for a couple of weeks now; bit of scuffling in the first day but that was it. The hardest part was hearing the KC pining for me and that went on for a couple of days [​IMG]

    To integrate my youngest with the 2 IR and 1 KC, I have had them out together for the past few days free ranging and just getting used to being around one another. By Monday, the youngest will go into the duck house in the night to be with the other three.

    The next challenge will be to put those four youngsters into the big pen with my trio. The drake does charge at them when they are all free ranging, but the four youngest have realised if they run under my skirt, the drake backs off [​IMG] The skirmishes haven't ended, but the "attacks" are less dramatic and more of a show than a determined attack.

    Two weeks time, they will all be in together and they will just have to sort out their differences themselves; but, that does mean they have had ample opportunity to get a measure of each other first.

    That's just the way I am trying it.
     
  3. nickie

    nickie Songster

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    I have 4 babies and my adult trio. The girls don't seem to care about them as long as they aren't too close. I in fact have the girls and little ones together in the pond area right this minute to cool off (95* out) and my drake is super angry about him being excluded.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

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    I think this is a your mileage will vary answer. My duck decided for herself lol she flew the coop so to speak one day and i penned her only duckling, that lasted about till the days end before the baby was darn near spastic and mama couldn't figure out how to get baby out of the pen.

    I will share my experience...

    So i let 'junior' ( as it's named till gender is 100%) out with her, so far so good BUT there are risks, risk baby could get left behind, risks the other birds may hurt it an so forth.

    My other members have always been able to see baby but through bars, anyways.. my oldest drake stays the closest but even the younger pair have been relatively ok. The drakes have actually taken on a rather protective role, surprisingly.

    My flock consists of 3 other ducks besides the mama one BUT two are nesting so it's just mama duck, Junior, duck and 3 drakes.. we've been all together since late Tuesday afternoon. At night however all drakes are locked up and junior is separate only when they free range are they together. Junior was 3wks friday.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  5. nickie

    nickie Songster

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    Thanks for the input. I'm wanting to "see how they do" but I honestly think there will be injuries if I do that, possibly a death. They are still young (3 weeks yesterday) so I'm just going to have to take it slow. This would be so much easier if they had a momma. Right now they can be in a baby lean to pen I have set up if the adults are penned or I can pen them in with the pond and let the ducks range the yard. Lots of work when it comes to trading spaces. Right now they still sleep in the brooder in the laundry room.
     
  6. Missy60

    Missy60 Chirping

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    I let my two fully feathered 8 week old out to free range only when someone is outside with them. My adult duck still sort of charges at them when she doesn't want them around. They try to get out of her way when they see her coming. They follow her around like she is their momma but still keep their distance a little from her. I have had them separated from her since I put them outside at night. I was waiting until they got bigger and could hold their own against her. I try them in the pen together some but she starts chasing them almost immediately. I think if you have that big a pen where there is plenty of hiding room it might work out for you. I would put them in there for short periods and see how it goes for a while, but I would do it at times I could watch them. Is their mom protective of them? I would think she keep them safe. Mine start fighting with in a few minutes of being together in the pen. I'm not sure my duck will ever like them because she has imprinted on humans. I really am new at this to so I'm just sharing my experience so far.
     
  7. nickie

    nickie Songster

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    They don't have a momma, I hatched them with an incubator. The ducks don't mind them, they mostly want them to stay away from them. The drake on the other hand goes out of his way to try everything in his arsenal to get to them.
     
  8. Missy60

    Missy60 Chirping

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    What does he do? My duck sort of charges them. I have heard her making a sort of funny breathing sound sort of like a hiss. She also does this funny head thing like bobbing up and down quaking.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  9. nickie

    nickie Songster

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    Chases them down, grabs them. Almost looks like mounting behavior. Very rough and aggressive. In the pond he pushes them under water.
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    It is mating behavior. Given the opportunity he could seriously injure or even kill/drown them. I would wait until the ducklings have matured and his hormone level has diminished somewhat. Some drakes are just hormone driven to the point that they will try to breed a rock. sourland had a few friends like that.
     

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