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Can I mix baby chicks and baby ducks?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I currently have 6 hens. I plan on getting about 5-10 chicks in the next few weeks. I was thinking of adding a few ducks as well but I only have a small grow out pen and small coop. When they are chicks, can I raise them together? Once they move to the "big" coop, can the chickens and ducks live together or do I need to have a separate area and food for them?

 

Thanks for the help

post #2 of 8
I have not done that but there are posts on here from people that have. Hopefully one of them will come on and tell you about their experiences.

One potential problem is that ducks need fairly deep water and they can be messy with that water. A wet coop or run is a dangerous coop or run from a disease standpoint plus it can stink. I think the biggest challenge you will face is in providing ducks with the water they need yet keep your brooder, grow-out coop, and adult facilities dry enough. I’m sure it can be done but there may be tricks you’ll need or perhaps your facilities aren’t suitable.

Good luck!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 8

If your ducks are going to have daily, separate access to a pool or pond you can do it. I used to let my ducks out in the morning, then in at night while the chickens stayed in the coop/run. The ducks are DISGUSTINGLY messy. I use a 5gal stock tank to water the birds and even when I had it up far enough that the ducks could only get their heads into (which they HAVE to do to clean their nares) they would have it a disgusting mess by morning. I hated having drakes as well. Wound up giving them all away. In all, if you can't keep it separate I would suggest not getting them. They are even messy as cute little baby ducklings.

post #4 of 8

When you say small coop, how big are you talking? I don't think 15 chickens would fit in what I'd consider a small coop, let alone any ducks. 

 

given enough space, especially in the run, chickens and ducks can live together. I would not brood them together, though. Ducklings are about the messiest creatures on earth. They love the wet and the damp and make huge messes. Damp will kill baby chicks faster than about anything, so the two don't mix very well. Once the chickens are older and have decent immunities, plus lots of space to have a dry area, you'd be fine to combine them. 

 

I kept 4 ducks in my main flock for a few years. Feed was in the coop, water was in the run. I used a kiddie pool for the ducks to drink and bathe and they did fine. All the water stayed outside, and the coop and run are both large and the chickens had lots of dry space. 

 

you will want to keep an eye on your chicken hens and drake ducks, though. Drakes are one of the more sexually aggressive animals and can injure chicken hens. Mine were older and had bonded to their duck hens when I added them. Plus, as I keep harping on, everyone had lots and lots of space to get away from each other. I'm just concerned you don't have enough room. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #5 of 8

WE have discussed this over an dover and hubby and I decided because of the different needs, they needed to be separate. I always feel that if they cannot be cross bred they shouldn't be together. Just my opinion.

post #6 of 8

I currently have one duck living with 7 hens and 4 roosters.  They get along in harmony and the chickens enjoy drinking out of the duck pond.  They free range on an enclosed 700 sq. ft. yard with a huge cedar tree in the center.  The duck occasionally falls in love with a hen and walks around mooning over her.  The cockerels leave him alone. They all eat the same chicken feed I enhance with lots of healthy herbs and probiotics, vegetables and fruits

 

.   Currently I am raising 9 ducklings and 5 chicks together in a 300 gallon rubber tub.  They flock together and get along.  They all eat the chick starter (non-medicated) and drink the same apple-cider vinegar enhanced water.  The ducks make a mess but it is controllable.   I have put the waterer on top of a plastic tub top to keep splashes off the pine bedding.  the all get tiny bits of vegetables together and nestle together under the heat lamp.  This is the second time I have done this and it works.  vIt's not a big deal to me.  I have Buff Orpingtons, a Cochin, two Barred Rocks and a Cayuga drake outside right now and will soon be adding 2 Easter eggers, 3 Khaki Campbells, 3 Dominiques and 7 Harlequins.  I like to choose the breeds for mild temperaments.  That is a big help in blending the flocks.  

post #7 of 8

If you just keep the water on the outside of the coop im sure you will be fine raising them together. People do it all the time. As mentioned before ducks are very messy, so you have to make sure you take extra care deciding where to put the water. Everything around it can and will get wet and muddy.

post #8 of 8
I'm about to do the same, can my ducks sleep with my chickens or I should provide a different coop in the same run? My run is huge and there's no problem about keeping a pool in there for them. What's some other factors I should keep in mind?
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