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Home>FAQ's
 
FAQ's
Basic Questions

I placed an order using your website, when is the expected hatch date and when will my order arrive?
How old will my chickens and ducklings be when they arrive?
I live in California, can I pick up my ducklings and chicks in person?
Do you Have a Minimum Order Quantity?
How will billing appear on my credit card statement?

Shipping Questions
How will my birds be shipped?
Do I need to contact my post office?


Duckling Questions

Which breeds make the best backyard ducks?
When can I put ducks outside?
How long does it take Mallards before they fly?
How do I prevent my Mallards from flying?
When should I switch from starter feed to grower feed?
When do ducks become completely feathered?
When can I put my ducklings in swimming water?
When do hens start laying eggs?
How do I pick up a duck?
Is the floor surface important with ducks and geese?
Can I keep a baby Mallard duck/Canada goose I found in the wild?
Can ducks and geese survive on a pond?
Do Runner ducks swim?
Can ducks and geese be outside during the winter?
Do ducks crossbreed?
Do ducks and geese have to have swimming water?
What causes eye problems in my ducklings?
Are ducks safe around children?

I placed an order using your website, when is the expected hatch date and when will my order arrive?

We will send you a confirmation email with your expected hatch and shipping date within 72 hours of placing your order through our website. You should expect delivery of your order 1- 2 days after your order ships. We will send a confirmation email the day order order ships. You can check the status and expected hatch and shipping date of your order anytime through our website, by clicking on, "My Account" in the main menu, then logging in to check the status of your order. Next, click on "view details" next to your order number to view your estimated Ship Date.

How old will my chickens and ducklings be when they arrive?


All of our chickens, ducklings, goslings, and game birds are shipped the day they hatch. They will be 1-3 days old upon arrival.

I live in California, can I pick up my ducklings and chicks in person?

We do not have physical pick-up at this time. However, our shipping is very reasonably priced lower than other hatcheries. Additionally, we guarantee the safe delivery of your ducklings and chickens!


Do you Have a Minimum Order Quantity?

Our minimum order quantities are listed below:

Standard Breed Chickens - 3
Ducks- 3
Geese- 8
Chukar - 50
Guinea - 15
Pheasant- 35
Chicken Hatching Eggs - 15
Duck Hatching Eggs- 15
Peafowl - 8
Quail - 50
Broad Breasted Turkeys- 5
Heritage Turkey Breeds- 20
 
How will billing appear on my credit card statement?

Your order will appear on your billing statement as a purchase from "CA HATCHERY"

How will my birds shipped?

We ship using USPS. Ducklings and Chickens are usually shipped on Monday and are typically delivered to your local post office the following Wednesday. Your local post office will then call you to notify you that your birds are ready to be picked up. Should you choose not to pick up your birds at the post office, they will be delivered to your shipping address later that day.

Do I need to contact my post office?

It is helpful to call your local post office ahead of time to let them know you are expecting a delivery of live birds. This will help to facilitate our safe arrival guarantee. It is rare, but on occasion your local Post Office will not call you. The first thing to do is contact your post office as they may have simply forgotten to phone you. If you do not know their phone number and it is not in your phone book, you must phone the Post Office at 1-800-275-8777. The operator will patch you through to your local post office (make sure you ask for their phone number for future reference). If  they do not have your birds, ask them to contact the distribution center from which your post office gets their mail. Oftentimes your shipment is sitting there waiting for the next truck out. If your post office will be getting another delivery that day, it is probably not a problem. If however, your post office will not be getting another delivery until the next day, you may want to consider going to the distribution center and picking up your order.

Which breeds make the best backyard ducks?

We recommend the pekin duckling as a backyard duck. It is very calm breed. If your looking for a backyard duckling or a family backyard duckling, we recommend the runner duckling, it is a very friendly duck.

When can I put my ducklings outside?

This depends on the weather. If it is warm, they can probably venture outside during the warmer part of the day at one week of age. Keep them in a small area so they can get back to a warm, protected area if they need. They need to be protected from rain until they are about six weeks of age when they are almost completely feathered. If the weather is not warm, you may need to keep them confined until they are six to seven weeks of age. The best thing is to watch them. If they appear cold or huddle together, bring them back inside.

How long does it take Mallards before they fly?

They start flying at about 12 weeks but are not accomplished until about 16 weeks. Other breeds of ducks have been domesticated for so long and bred for beauty or egg production that they have lost the ability to fly. Will the ducks fly away? The only breed we have that flies is the Mallard and they might fly away. Of course they may stay, too. But to ensure they stay, see the answer to the next question.

How do I prevent my Mallards from flying?

1) House them in a pen with a screened roof
2) Have us pinion the ducklings when they hatch. This is a permanent solution as it is a removal of the tip of one wing.
3) Clip the feathers on one wing. This is temporary as the feathers will grow back. But only do one wing as this leaves the bird unbalanced when they try to fly.

When should I switch from starter feed to grower feed?

At three to five weeks of age.

When do ducklings become completely feathered?

By seven weeks, they should be covered with feathers. Please note that Rouens and Mallard males will not get their brightly colored feathers until about 15 weeks of age. Until then, males and females look alike.

When can I put my ducklings in swimming water?

The safest is to wait until they are five weeks or more of age. Oftentimes they can handle it at an earlier age if provided water that is easy to enter and exit, it is shallow and the rest of their pen is dry.

When do ducklings start laying eggs?

Ducks are sexually mature at 20-24 weeks of age. If they have the correct feed and lighting, they will start laying then. Otherwise they will start as soon as the days begin to lengthen and it warms up in the spring. Normally geese start laying the next spring. Occasionally they will lay a few eggs in the fall. When they start mating and laying, make sure you switch to a breeder/layer feed with more protein, calcium and vitamins. For more information see our Nutritional Information.

How do I pick up a duck?

Necks are an easy catching handle but once you have them caught, you need to pick them up in one of two ways: 1) grab the wings together behind their back with one hand and then support them on their abdomen with the other or 2) put one hand on each side of the bird, holding the wings in place, and pick them up. Do not pick them up using their necks or legs as either will probably be injured. Once you have them picked up, then cradle it in your arms. Aim the back end away from you, hold the legs with your bottom hand and hold their wings down with your top hand. If it is a large male Muscovy, dont try #1 or #2, just grab one wing in each hand behind its back, hold on tight and watch out for those scratching claws! They are very strong!

Is the floor surface important with ducks and geese?

It is very important. As babies, they need a surface they can grip until their leg muscles and hips are strong. This means no slick newspaper or cardboard for at least a week. The best bedding is wood shavings or straw or a inch hardware cloth floor. You want to avoid slick surfaces for adults, too, to prevent leg injuries. You also want to avoid surfaces on which they can cut their feet. Circulation is not great in waterfowl feet and a minor cut can lead to a nagging, swollen infection in their feet.

Can I keep a baby Mallard duck/Canada goose I found in the wild?

Sorry, but you are not allowed to keep them legally. We must clip a back toe on our Mallard ducklings and Canada goslings to prove they were hatched in a domestic hatchery. Yours won't have that. In addition, we provide a Notice of Transfer paper for all Canada geese. If you don't have that, you are subject to a fine. The best thing to do is call your local wildlife rehabilitation center or animal shelter and have them picked up.

Can ducks and geese survive on a pond?

It depends on your weather and food sources for them. If you have severe winters, they will need a supplemental food source during the winter. If not, they can probably thrive if there aren't too many waterfowl on the pond and there is aquatic life in the pond. Geese can do well if there is plenty of green grass to eat, too.

Do Runner ducks swim?

Yes, though they don't seem to like the water as much as other breeds.

Can ducks and geese be outside during the winter?

Yes, but they should have a shelter they can go in during especially severe weather. However, they will spend most of the time outside even if it is very cold.

Will ducklings crossbreed?

Yes, any breed of duck will cross with any other breed. They will probably prefer ducks of similar size but not always. Geese of different breeds will also cross.

Do ducks and geese have to have swimming water?

No. The birds love it but you are making some headaches for yourself by providing swimming water. The biggest problem is what to do with the water after they have muddied and defecated in it so it becomes dirty. If you do provide swimming water, they don't have to have it every day. Limit it to a few times a week.

What causes eye problems in my ducklings?

A possible cause is dust in the air but the main cause of this is high levels of ammonia in their pen from their droppings. You need to increase ventilation and add more bedding. You can also sprinkle ferrous sulfate on the bedding before adding fresh bedding. Ferrous sulfate is a fertilizer that binds to the ammonia and prevents if from volatizing. But the best is to increase ventilation.

Are ducks safe around children?

Normally yes. It is extremely rare for a duck to attack a person. Their main defense is to run or fly away. There is a greater chance the child will hurt the duck in play than the duck ever hurting the child.