Raising ducklings with chicks is challenging because ducks are such pigs about water.
Ducks love, adore, cherish, crave water.
And they’re like that right from the start, the day you take them home from the feedstore. I had little chicks and little ducklings at the same time, so they had to shack up together. While the little baby chicks are saying, But I just wanted a drink,, the ducklings are smacking their big rubbery feet right in the water pan and sucking the chick waterer dry, too.
I moved the ducklings to the chicken house/yard a few weeks ago, but they were making the big chickens suffer just as much as the little ones. They’re just starting to feather out, so yesterday evening I let them out into the big wide world of the barnyard. They found a deep puddle and went nuts. I’ve also got water pans out there for them in case they wear their puddle out before it rains again. I’m scattering feed on the ground for them, and they’re learning to dig for bugs.
Some of the little chickens joined them because they’re still small enough to escape the chicken yard, but as soon as they grow a bit more, they’ll be cornered and returned to their people. Right now, they’re a little confused and think the ducklings are their people.
I’m so excited to have ducks again. At Stringtown Rising, ducks kept running away to the river. There’s no river nearby here, and plenty of creeks all around the barnyard. I’m planning to let the ducks free range. If they come up to the house and glance at my tomatoes, I’ll say boo and run them back to the barnyard.
Meanwhile, it’s spring….. And the farm is quacking!
It looks like you need to buy a little kiddie pool! Your ducks (& dogs) would love it.
On May 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm
Hello — so where will the ducks sleep at night? I am new to ducks and yes, they are piggies with the water and making a mess of everything! They are cute and so funny — but I have to figure something out. They are very attached to the chickens as they got here at the same time and are growing up together….night is scary around here == we had a fox attack not too long ago.
Thanks for the insight!
On May 20, 2015 at 2:53 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
I have dogs here–they help keep predators away from the barn area. The ducks are going under the barn at night.
On May 21, 2015 at 6:43 am
At the hospital where I worked we had an enclosed courtyard where a duck decided to lay her eggs and raise her ducklings. So after they hatched we put in a kiddy pool for them with a ramp so the ducklings could get over the edge. Marvelous to watch them grow through the windows and we had them come back for years.
On May 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm
What a bunch of sweeties. I’d love to get some ducks someday (and chickens.)
On May 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm
Jersey Lady says:
Thanks for sharing the quackers
On May 22, 2015 at 12:37 pm
I have six Indian Runner eggs in the incubator – they have another 2 weeks to go. We’ve just made an (Olympic size) pond in readiness for them. They are going to be my pest control in the veg garden. We already have one Runner duck along with an Aylesbury duck – they were unwanted with their previous owners and have come to us for retirement. Ducks are great in the garden – they root out slugs and snails but don’t scratch like hens would.Have to protect some things of course but I’m hoping our new team will clear all the unwanted bugs and save me some work! 🙂
On May 26, 2015 at 9:37 am