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raising chickens and ducklings together?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi,
I have seen several people posting pics of both chicks and ducklings together (love the pics, BTW!) so I am hoping I can get some advice with this.
Everything I have read so far says it is okay to keep ducks and chickens together (please correct me if I am wrong!)
So we are planning on getting a couple of pekins along with our chicks. I want to get them together and raise them together so they can imprint on each other. . .my concern is not keeping them together as much as it is raising them together. Last time I raised baby ducks they were very messy! And wet almost all the time! I am thinking this is probably not the healthiest thing for chicks. Of course we did not have a special waterer for the ducklings as you have to with chicks, because they enjoyed jumping in their dish so much, and everything I read said this was okay. So the question is, what is people's experience raising ducklings with the chicks and what is the strategy for keeping everyone safe and healthy?! We are planning on getting a gosling as well, by the way, to act as sort of a guard for the other birds. Any advice on that is welcome as well!
Thanks
Christy

post #2 of 31

I would keep them in separate brooder boxes, especially while they're really little.  Ducklings make everything so damp and that's not healthy for little chicks.  They could have time together during the day, especially if you're having them in an outdoor pen.  But I'd think the ducks would want to hang together, & so would the chicks.  The ducklings & the gosling could probably be raised together all right, they prefer the same conditions.

And as adults they all can hang together, mine all free-range togeher throughout the yard, one big poultry family.

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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny_Side_Up 

I would keep them in separate brooder boxes, especially while they're really little.  Ducklings make everything so damp and that's not healthy for little chicks.  They could have time together during the day, especially if you're having them in an outdoor pen.  But I'd think the ducks would want to hang together, & so would the chicks.  The ducklings & the gosling could probably be raised together all right, they prefer the same conditions.

And as adults they all can hang together, mine all free-range togeher throughout the yard, one big poultry family.


I  second that.
I would never brood  chickens and ducks together.
Chickens need to be kept dry.

Good  Lord  made birds  of meat   for us  to eat.
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Good  Lord  made birds  of meat   for us  to eat.
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post #4 of 31

I tried brooding mine together then ended up separating them. Not only are ducks wet and twice as messy but they grow  A LOT faster and just trampled the chicks.

My real problem came when I went to recombine them out in their new coop and run home. The ducks violently attacked the chicks. It took over a week of me refereeing their interactions before they could be left alone. Though they were the same age the ducks were so much bigger they could easily have killed a pullet.

5 acres, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 6 ducks, 1 husband, and an ever expanding number of chickens.
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5 acres, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 6 ducks, 1 husband, and an ever expanding number of chickens.
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post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbiacritter 

I tried brooding mine together then ended up separating them. Not only are ducks wet and twice as messy but they grow  A LOT faster and just trampled the chicks.


I  also had planned on raising my 6 geese, 7 ducks, and 83 chicks together...
But for all the reasons stated above right now I'm not.

The geese were 4 days younger than the chicks... but about 3 times as big.  They all seemed to get along well the first day, but I removed the goslings because of how big they were.  Some of the chicks I had (especially the black stars, hamburgs, and x1 polish) were so small I was afraid of them being hurt accidentally (from watching their interactions, I didn't think the geese would hurt them on purpose, but if startled, they might run over a chick).

The ducks I left in the brooder with the chicks for a week or so.  Because of how messy the duckies were, I decided to leave them in the big indoor pen, and move the chicks to the larger brooder in one of my out buildings/barns.

The geese and ducks are now getting along great (the first 15 -20 minutes after reintroducing them I wondered because the geese were pecking at the ducks).

I had planned on trying once again to put them all together after a couple of more weeks... but the geese and ducks are just growing much, much faster than the chickens.  While the ducks used to be just a tad bigger than the chicks, now they are very close to being twice as big.  In fact, I wonder if the ducks (white pekins) are going to catch up/close the gap with the chinese goslings!

post #6 of 31

The original batch of chicks and ducks that I got were fine until the ducklings started to grow. After 3 weeks, we had an accident. The ducklings split the waterer over, shorted out the heat lamp, and trampled / drowned my chicks. I lost 10 chicks in one night because of my stupidity.

Have you hugged your chicken today?
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Have you hugged your chicken today?
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post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristy17 

... I lost 10 chicks in one night because of my ....


hugs Awww, I'm sorry for your loss!  But don't call it stupidity, we're all in the learning process here.  Stupidity would be doing the same thing again, brooding chicks & ducklings together.  You're brilliant to have firmly learned this lesson, and generous to share your knowledge with us.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #8 of 31

We have a rouen, a pekin, and started out with 4 hens and rooster.  We did not keep them in the same brooder, because of the ducks being so messy and so much bigger.  We did keep their brooders in the same room and the chicks would roost on the edge of the ducklings brooder and chat with them.  When we moved them outside, they each got their own run, on opposite sides of the coop, but they always seemed to want to be together!  They share a coop, with a divider and we have the same thing happen in there!  The chickens often roost on the divider and fly down into the duck side to visit.  The ducks even figured out if they can push hard enough, they can get around the edge of the divider and go to the chicken side, too.  Our Pekin Daisy has even laid her eggs over there occasionally.  Ours free range also and love to chase each other and play in the yard and we've never had to worry about it being anything other than playful.  So essentially ours are best friends, but I think we got very lucky.  smile  It will be interesting this year to see what happens when we incorporate the new babies and expand the coop as well.  Good luck!

Love my hubby, love my kids, love my 2 dogs, 4 cats, 12 chickens, 6 ducks, and 2 rabbits. 
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Love my hubby, love my kids, love my 2 dogs, 4 cats, 12 chickens, 6 ducks, and 2 rabbits. 
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post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for all of this info. I had a feeling the ducks might be too messy for the chicks, but I really wanted them all to imprint on each other sad I am wondering now, what if I get the chicks a few weeks to a month before I get the ducks. Then the size difference would be compensated for, the chicks wouldn't be as fragile, and the ducks (and goose) would imprint on the chicks. . .is this a stupid idea? Has anyone tried this?
Thanks again! Love this site.
Christy

post #10 of 31

Our chicken coop opens out to the duck yard, so the ducks can go in the chicken coop if they like, and the chickens often exit through the duck pen. There usually is no trouble until the ducks start to brood, and then the chickens can get a little irritating trying to move them off the nests...but I digress...About babies....
This year we are brooding, establishing new breeds to the farm. Our brooders are wire mesh bunny cages and sit side by side, ducklings and chicks. The ducklings can hear and see the chicks, and vice versa so other than the wire between them, they think they are one big happy family...that way they won't feel strange with the outdoor accomodations. The duck brooder sits a little lower, and we take them out to a splash pen for water play so they don't drench the chicks and everything in the living room. They can touch beak to bill through the sides if they are so inclined. The heat lamps sit on the shared side too, making it the coziest place to be. They don't need to imprint on each other...just be sociable hugs

Promised Land Family Farm
Icelandic sheep, heritage poultry, and a little bit of all the rest!
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Promised Land Family Farm
Icelandic sheep, heritage poultry, and a little bit of all the rest!
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