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Thinking about ducks

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have raised chickens for about 7 years and I would like to start raising ducks as well. Unfortunetly I got rid of (the rest) of my chickens after my goats had knocked down all the fencing and the owls had started preying on my chickens. This spring, after I rebuild my pen and get a new coop, I am starting all over again. I was thinking about adding ducks to the mix as well. I have read a bit about keeping ducks and chickens together and one thing I found is that the ducks need a pond. I live in the northern United States and it gets very cold. There is no doubt that their pool will freeze so what do I do next winter when the water gets too cold for them? Also, I read that you can feed ducklings and chicks the same thing, is this accurate? Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 8

Ducklings and chickens can eat the same non-medicated feed. I use a flock raiser for the littles until they are old enough to swap over to a layer.

There is medicated food ducklings can have, but I don't recall off the top of my head what that medication is.

 

 

Ducks always need water deep enough to dunk their head. So you'll need to find a way to keep some unfrozen water for them in the winter. Does not need to be something they can swim in. 

You can use a pond heater and keep a small pond open and that covers that need. Or you can get a heated bucket and not worry about swim water in the winter (or tote out water on "nice" days to let them swim and clean up a bit).

post #3 of 8

Ducks *can* live without swimming water, but, in my opinion, are only truly happy when they have water to swim in. This has been my philosophy and my ducks always seem to be happier in water. That said, it doesn't have to be a huge body of water, bubbles has a relatively small pond but she loves it to death. :love

 

Since you are building from scratch, I would recommend building into your coop design, a way to separate the ducks and chickens should problems arise. This is also beneficial for separating sick birds or if you need to introduce new animals to the flock. I don't have experience with raising both, but I do know that having the ability to have a separate coop is a lot cheaper and easier if you allow for it in the design phase.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLWR View Post

Ducklings and chickens can eat the same non-medicated feed. I use a flock raiser for the littles until they are old enough to swap over to a layer.
There is medicated food ducklings can have, but I don't recall off the top of my head what that medication is.


Ducks always need water deep enough to dunk their head. So you'll need to find a way to keep some unfrozen water for them in the winter. Does not need to be something they can swim in. 
You can use a pond heater and keep a small pond open and that covers that need. Or you can get a heated bucket and not worry about swim water in the winter (or tote out water on "nice" days to let them swim and clean up a bit).
Okay perfect! I have 1 heated bucket and 2 heaters that I use to also keep buckets from freezing. Thanks for the heads up about the feed!
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by revans2003 View Post

Ducks *can* live without swimming water, but, in my opinion, are only truly happy when they have water to swim in. This has been my philosophy and my ducks always seem to be happier in water. That said, it doesn't have to be a huge body of water, bubbles has a relatively small pond but she loves it to death. love.gif

Since you are building from scratch, I would recommend building into your coop design, a way to separate the ducks and chickens should problems arise. This is also beneficial for separating sick birds or if you need to introduce new animals to the flock. I don't have experience with raising both, but I do know that having the ability to have a separate coop is a lot cheaper and easier if you allow for it in the design phase.
I think I will try to use both my water heaters to keep a tote full of warm water for them to swim. Although, the heaters keep water from freezing but the water is still pretty cold. Do they need warm water? I had also planned to use my old chicken coop for sick chickens/ducks (it's in a separate closed off area) and fix up the fence or if they are very sick I will bring them inside and temporarily house them in a very large dog crate that I bought but have never used so I can keep a close eye on them
post #6 of 8
Bubbles and her sisters from the farm would routinely swim in 40 degree water. I'll let someone else chime in but I don't think it has to be that warm. Some ducks may prefer warmer temperatures though.
post #7 of 8

We are on our fourth winter with ducks and we live in NH.  We have had a flock of 6 for the past three years and added 5 more, including 2 drakes this year.  Ours get a kiddie pool with fresh water most every day, but in the winter, we take the pool away.  We also switch from a large poultry waterer to a heated bucket for water in the winter.  While they miss the pool, they are fine. Once the the weather back up to daily temps well above freezing (or on unseasonably warm days if there isn't snow on the ground), they get the pool back.  It's like Christmas for them every spring.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggymuffin View Post

We are on our fourth winter with ducks and we live in NH.  We have had a flock of 6 for the past three years and added 5 more, including 2 drakes this year.  Ours get a kiddie pool with fresh water most every day, but in the winter, we take the pool away.  We also switch from a large poultry waterer to a heated bucket for water in the winter.  While they miss the pool, they are fine. Once the the weather back up to daily temps well above freezing (or on unseasonably warm days if there isn't snow on the ground), they get the pool back.  It's like Christmas for them every spring.
thanks!
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