I'm trying something new here and am adopting a duck from my sister-in-law's brother. He is moving and the codes at the new property in the city allows for three hens. Naturally since I have chickens he thought the duck would be a nice addition to my flock. However, I have never had a duck before and know next to nothing about keeping one, and I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing!He does not know what breed the duck is, but it is female, around 2 years of age (apparently she was an Easter gift from 2 years ago!) I probably won't get a chance to see her before he moves, but I have gotten chickens from him in the past and they were all healthy, happy birds. I want to be as prepared as possible before I go and get her, which is supposed to be any day now.
My main question is:can she coexist with my chickens in their coop? Or should I build her her own shelter and run?
My flock contains 7 large hens of various breeds and no rooster. The coop is 8x8ft with 3 nesting boxes full of straw, three separate 6ft long wooden perches, one main watering dish, and 3 bowls of food -one layer pellets, one mixed grains. The run is 8x12ft, in which I provide fresh greens for the girls during the day and I let them out for free ranging on the lawn as much as possible. The birds are brought in at dusk and have their choice of roosting on the perches or nesting in the boxes.
I want to provide water for the duck, but I don't know how I could incorporate water in the run big enough for her to swim in but small enough to prevent my hens from drowning. I'm also assuming that she will not eat layer pellets and that she will need her own feed separated from the others. This is why I am thinking it would be easiest for her to have separate living quarters with a coop and run, plus a water source. Will she be lonely by herself? Granted she is alone right now but I think she would be happiest having a flock of other ducks. I'd be willing to get more if this is the case.
Any tips and tricks would be most appreciated!
Edited for typos
Edited by Wild Prime - 4/16/16 at 8:31pm