Has anyone tried to run laying duck with their hens? Used duck eggs years ago when my father in law had a bunch of ducks. They make the absolute best cakes and custards. I know they can be kept just like hens, but haven't seen anything about keeping them together.
Ducks with chickens
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I have not kept any ducks with my hens. and here are my reasons.
Ducks need different housing, they do not sit on roosts. Yes they can stay on the bottom of the coop floor.
Ducks like water. Pool or pond or such. Yes, they will live without water, but what a life..
If you will keep ducks together with your hens, only female ducks. Drakes have been known to hurt or worse, hens trying to mate them.
WISHING YOU BEST
We raised a group of ducks and chickens up together in the same coop. It was an 8'x8' old shed converted into a coop. On one side we had the roost bar and the other had nesting boxes. All were on the ground and had a couple stacked for the chickens so the ducks wouldn't mess with it. The ducks were Anconas ended up with 4 drakes and 2 hens. The chickens were mixed breed bantams 1 rooster and 19 hens. I had no problems growing up with the ducks and chickens. (did have an issue with the drakes really giving it to the female ducks though) so we got rid of 1 of the drakes and brought in 2 more female ducks) Instantly after the change in ducks we started having problems and had to divide the ducks and chickens.
All in all I wouldn't recommend it for reasons stated before with housing conflicts and such. Also why have the worry in the back of your mind, never knowing when good ducks go bad lol.
all my birds free range around the farm and don't mess with each other. but I wouldn't house them together for the night ever again.
We have 5 hens and a pair of Pekin ducks. They were raised together (arrived together from a hatchery) but I did keep them in separate enclosures for health/dryness/cleanliness reasons until they were old enough to go in the coop together.
Would I do it again?
My ducks have decided to "eat" feathers off of my hens- one hen had so many feathers eaten while I was on vacation that she is living in the house for the winter. You can see my numerous posts regarding this and trying to solve this issue. I also know that drakes can be rough with chickens...but luckily my guy hasn't done that yet...but they also are not a year old yet and spring is coming...
I thought my coop was big enough- but I probably would have doubled the run space I have...here is my current setup...
If I had more "run" space for cold/snowy/unsupervised days...maybe I wouldn't have issues. Unsure. Otherwise they are free-range in my backyard for at least 6-8 hours a day....more in the summertime.
Also...the ducks are MESSY. It is a constant battle of raking the sand in the run, adding more sand, DE, PDZ, etc to keep it relatively dry for the chickens. Luckily they have the coop to themselves (the ducks sleep underneath) so I just have to keep the run tidy. Water goes everywhere because the ducks will play in anything. I am constantly changing the water containers because the ducks make it so messy...I try and put separate bowls out for the chickens so they can have some clean water to themselves. I don't like keeping a waterer in the coop with them right now because of cold+humidity. It is very frustrating.
But, if I had an even bigger enclosure, and planned drainage/water areas better- maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
On a positive note: The ducks are adorable, and fun to watch. I love that the drake watches over the whole flock when they are all out free-ranging; he is always the first to spot something flying up above. I love when they start quacking as soon as they hear me (or the door). They are very attached to the chickens and love to follow them around the yard. But the ducks also are little beggars and will end up outside our basement door that leads into the backyard waiting for treats. I plan on building them their own run with a house in the spring...they will free range with the hens during the day, but will be locked up by themselves at night/during inclement weather/when I'm not home to supervise.
It has definitely been a learning experience.