We’ve added some chickens and ducks on the farm. Oh my cuteness! The baby ducks are the cutest and the baby chicks are like little donut holes. I am so very rusty at chicken keeping and to tell the truth I’m breaking all the rules!
Ducks on the Farm
Everything I’ve read says you can’t keep chickens and ducks together. Who has space or time for raising them separate…not me. The main reason you can’t keep them together is because the ducks make such a mess with the water and chickens don’t handle being wet, will get chilled, and die. I didn’t get my chicks until June so we moved them outside to a pen during the day; they were plenty warm and dry. The other reason you can’t keep chickens and ducks together is because ducks require extra niacin in their diet. Some say you should supplement with brewers yeast. For the first few weeks I top dressed the chick starter with nutritional yeast flakes. Once the all birds were out on grass and foraging the ducks didn’t need any additional supplementation.
The ducks grow so fast and the chickens seem to grow so slow. At four weeks old I started letting the baby birds free range around the barn area. I also put out fermented scratch grains for them to sample during the day. You should continue to feed the chick starter at night. You can also add about a Tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to a gallon of drinking water for added probiotics.
Major Chicken Keeping Setback
Last weekend while we were away at church either neighbor dogs or fox came up and ate most of the chickens and two ducks. These ladies are the only ones that were left. I felt so defeated. Eight long weeks I’ve been shoveling shavings, changing water, feeding, and mixing feed just to have my flock preyed upon. I felt like giving up. It’s awful having animals at the bottom of the food chain. Now I have to start over. Luckily our feed store still had some chicks so I bought a few and I’m going to get a rooster to protect these little ladies.
Come back to see how we ferment scratch grains for mega nutrition.