Cooping Chickens and Ducks Together.... please help!
I have absolutely no ideas for keeping ducks and chickens together. We tried it. It didn't work no matter what we did. The day the ducks became territorial of the food dish and attacked a couple of the chickens for daring to come to eat with them, (Both ducks actually dragged a chicken around by a leg before we stopped them), is the day we separated them.
Our chickens are brahmas and we thought they would be big enough to be with the ducks and they were all raised together and slept together and everyone looked comfy cozy. But the ducks are water fowl after all and like things WET, and actually need the water to help swallow their food (hence the soggy mess you are noticing). Chickens like it DRY.
Our ducks now have their own separate fenced area with a kiddie pool that they love. Chickens are fenced in their own area and are nice and dry. Everybody is happy. And so are we.
especially inside the coop, i would suggest using water nipples:
i am only about 6 or 7 weeks into my life of chickenhood, so i'm still very green, but after looking at the above post, it seems like both chickens and ducks quickly learn to drink from them and they aren't as messy.
The chicken nipples are a great idea - for chickens since they don't like to play in the water. I am wondering how long it would take the ducks to empty a system like that once they learn to hold the nipples open to get water, especially if they don't have access to a pool. I used to have water bottles for some of my canaries because they created a mess everytime they played in their water. I was so surprised to see them empty the whole bottle in just a couple minutes by holding it open so the water would drain out on them thereby taking a shower instead of a bath.
So hard to stay one step ahead of our animals, isn't it? lol
We are dealing with duck and chickens. We just moved our 2 pekins to the prior chicken coop. Our chickens have migrated closer to the house settling in an unused washshed so we moved the pekins to the more open area. We have one Muskovy that was hatched by one of our broody hens and he now thinks he is a chicken. We have attempted to introduce him to the pekins but he escapes and runs back to the flock of chickens. When he hatched he was supposed to have a sibling but something got to our other duck egg killing the other duckling before it had a chance. So Bunky Duck grew up with chicks for siblings and imprinted on the hen that hatched him. So we have given up and are letting our little chicken duck go where ever he pleases. I have been concerned because I have read that ducks and chickens should not be mixed due to diseases that can come from ducks. So far it hasn't been an issue so just let them be.
For inside the coop, you can catch the mess water with something like this....
I only have to remove a small area of bedding in front of it for cleaning, the rest is dry. With 4 ducks, I have to dump the container every 3-4 days. But I have to refill a 3 gallon drinker every 2 days.
Trying to house them together but feed them differently... not going to happen unless you have set meal times and stand over them as if they're dogs. Doable if they free range all day. Free choice feeding in a run... they'll eat from wherever they want.
Drakes can kill a chicken. Either from trying to breed her or from getting territorial. I have one hen that was raised with ducks.. she had no fear of them. Until that 9 pound drake pinned her down after she got into his face. He finally got serious with her and I had to get him off her. She stays out of his way now. But if they went through all that unsupervised and I wasn't there, he could have hurt her pretty bad... she's just a little Hamburg.
I prefer them not to be raised together... the hens need to fear the ducks so that they stay the heck out of that drake's way. I don't want to sit out there waiting on him to catch one that wondered too close. They're completely different species that really have nothing in common. It's cute when they get along, but those drakes get moody.
We've redone our duck run 3 times trying to find the best way. The best so far is landscape fabric, 1.5 tons of pea gravel spread around the 10x10 area, another layer of landscape fabric, and then pine shavings over that. The pool is elevated on gravel, with steps for access. No mud, no stink, no flies!
You'll be dumping that pool water every 2-3 days... don't get a real big one. 4ft is plenty for a handful of ducks, the 6ft size is just wasting water. Keep in mind mosquito breeding, don't let water sit around as a breeding grounds.
In my experience.. the boys don't get mean until they hit the first Spring when they're a year old. They're perfect gentlemen up until then.
As soon as you see mud forming, throw bedding on top of it! Seriously. It's a bad stink.