I do not recommend raising ducklings and chicks together as the ducklings make the environment very wet which causes chicks to become ill with coccidiosis. Ducks and Chooks can live together happily outside as adults. If raising ducklings be prepared to clean out the litter and top up water twice a day. Ducklings can live outside without supplementary heat by 4 weeks of age however by this age they will be very big and very messy. This is not a task to take on unless you are very committed to cleaning out a very soggy wet messy brooding area at least twice a day.
Because the ratio of M/F is usually 50/50 we recommend you start with twice or more than the number of chicks you want to end up with. E.G. If you want 3 layers for your backyard we recommend you raise 6 to 8 chicks. We offer a rooster pick up service which is outlined on our website. Please do not take home one chick or one duckling. They will get distressed being on their own. We recommend at least 3. The easiest way to raise your chicks/ducklings is to purchase our starter kit from our website and we can deliver to the school/centre you are picking the chicks up from on the pickup day. We can usually supply you with extra chicks for $5 each on that day also if needed. All you need to do is go home with your chicks and set it up. We have combined our experience, with a lot of thought and consideration to come up with a kit to make it easy for you.
The chicks/ducklings can’t maintain their own body temperatures and require supplementary heat till between 3 to 6 weeks of age depending on seasonal temperatures and the type of housing. We supply a safe and easily adjustable heat source with our brooder kit. The heat lamp can be fixed securely at a height approx. 5 to 10 centimetres above the chicks/ducklings heads and raised higher as they grow taller. Their downy coat is gradually replaced by feathers, and the brooding temperature can be gradually reduced until supplementary heat is only used at night and then discontinued altogether. The best way to adjust the temperature for comfort of chicks/ducklings is to observe their behaviour. If they crowd near the heat source the temp is too low. If they move well away, they are too hot. The heat source can be adjusted by raising or lowering the heat lamp. Our brooder kits are also designed to provide ventilation and warmth needed in winter months. If using starter kits in unheated environments in winter you can add extra heat by covering the whole kit with a blanket at night. Our brooder kit can be used inside your home, garage, or under the cover of a veranda as long as you can plug in the heat lamp to a power supply and keep your chicks safe from dogs and cats.
Correct brooding temperatures
14-21 days - 25C
21-28 days - 22C
28-35 days - 18C
Our starter kits include large water and food containers that are fully adjustable so you can raise the level as the chicks grow taller. This is essential to keep food and water clean as chicks spend most of their time scratching around in the litter and a lot of it can end up in the feed and water if these are not maintained at the right height. These containers are also large enough to be used when your chickens are living outside. Suitable medicated chick food and wood shavings are also supplied with our kits. To raise healthy chicks you will need to feed them the correct type of food at the correct ages. Chick starter crumbles till 6 weeks old, grower crumble from 6 to 16 weeks, layer pellets from 16 weeks on. These manufactured feeds give the birds a properly balanced diet and need to be available to them at all times. At about 6 weeks old green feed such as grass and kitchen scraps can be introduced, but should only form a small part of the diet. Do not give them rotten or mouldy foods. Each chick will consume approx.1.5 kg of chick starter crumble from 1 week to 6 weeks of age. We sell 1.5kg bags of medicated chick starter crumble .You can calculate and order the right amount of food from us to raise your chicks to 6 weeks.
Growing chickens are susceptible to Coccidiosis which is caused by an intestinal parasite. It generally occurs because of damp ground or litter. Symptoms include huddling, reluctance to move about, ruffled feathers, and sometimes but not always, blood in droppings. It will quickly spread to other chickens. Litter must be kept clean and dry. The chick starter crumble we supply has medication for Coccidiosis added. We also supply wood shavings with our brooder kits as we have found this is the best way to keep chicks dry and clean. Poultry are susceptible to intestinal worms and external parasites such as lice and mites. Medication for this can be purchased from stockfeed/ produce stores.
As always, there is a plethora of information on the internet on how to raise chickens and we recommend you do your research and locate a good source to guide you through. We kindly request that you do not contact us on how to raise your chickens.