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Adding ducks to our flock

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

After a year of letting our girls have the run of the backyard, we have decided to build a larger run for day time use so that we can replant the balance of the yard.  We are giving thought to introducing a couple of bantam ducks to our five full size chickens.  We like the idea of the smaller ducks and would like input on whether this is a good idea and what types of ducks would be best for an urban yard with close neighbors.  We like the idea of quiet ducks. Will they get picked on by the chickens because of species/size differences? Will we have difficulty herding them into our chicken house at night to secure them?  We also have the opportunity to install a duck pond as large as 4' or so in diameter and about 12" in depth.  This depth will allow us to install a drain in the bottom of the pool.  If I install it in the side of the pool, we could go to 15" in depth.  Any recommendations as to size or depth or make? Are there such things as filtration systems for duck pools or are we faced with the necessity of draining it to clean the pool and if so, then how often?

2 Barred and 2 Buff Plymouth Rocks as well as a Rhode Island Red.
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2 Barred and 2 Buff Plymouth Rocks as well as a Rhode Island Red.
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post #2 of 14

Ducks are super messy and love water. The bigger muckier stinky wet mess they can make the happier they are. You might consider using a lot of pea gravel in the duck run so you can rinse away the duck poop. In very rainy weather the duck pen will stay wet and it will begin to stink.

Chickens do not like wet. They do not like muck and mess. They will not be happy with a wet messy pen.

I do not advocate mixing fowl. Give them each their own house and run and the ducks a small pool. Everyone will be happier about it.

LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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post #3 of 14

I'm not sure what you mean by 'bantam', but if you're talking about small ducks like call ducks, please keep in mind that those are pretty loud ducks. The only quiet ducks are muscovies, but those are big. I'm also in the middle of the city and just hatched 3 khaki campbells 2 weeks ago. (They were unplanned-- 'rescue' eggs from a mom that decided to abandon them with a week left before hatch) The ducks whose eggs they came from didn't seem louder than my chickens, but I'll have to wait and see.

On my 1/5 acre city lot: Lots of coturnix quail, 2 EEs , Welsummer, Speckled Sussex, 2 Ideal 236's, 1 cuckoo maran, 1 barred rock, 1 Barnevelder, 1 blue andalusian,  1 silver-laced wyandotte, 2 cats, lots of fish, an aquaponics set-up (with tilapia) and a very tolerant husband.
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On my 1/5 acre city lot: Lots of coturnix quail, 2 EEs , Welsummer, Speckled Sussex, 2 Ideal 236's, 1 cuckoo maran, 1 barred rock, 1 Barnevelder, 1 blue andalusian,  1 silver-laced wyandotte, 2 cats, lots of fish, an aquaponics set-up (with tilapia) and a very tolerant husband.
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post #4 of 14

I had read that ducks were messier than chickens...but it still didn't prepare me.

Ducks are PIGS!

With that said, as long as the water for the ducks is not in the night time shelter, I think they do fine with the chickens. 

If you want to (or need to) have the water in the coop, then I do NOT think they should be housed together.

But really, consider the mess...the two big problems are

1) Duck poop is really big and super wet compared to chicken poop.  Even when comparing same size critters.

2)Ducks drink in such a way that a fountain of water shoots out of their beak.  It is very similar to if you clap your hands with your hands just under the water surface.

If you still want ducks:

My ducks and chickens seem fine together.  If you read other posts on this forum, there does sometimes seem to be a big problem with randy male ducks.  It might not be such an issue if your male duck is much smaller than your chickens.

As to herding: ducks are *much* easier to herd.  Chickens tend to scatter, but ducks clump together.

As to getting them *into* the house:  I am having a horrid time right now since mine refuse to use their ramp.

As for your pond questions....I have no idea.

As to noise: I do think my ducks are a little louder than my chickens.  But they aren't much louder, and of course there is no crowing.  I have Blue Swedish and Khaki Campbells.

Alaskan

Hobbling Around in the Season of Snow. hmm.png
And, in the season of "enter Alaskan's house for the winter" small rodent migration
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Alaskan

Hobbling Around in the Season of Snow. hmm.png
And, in the season of "enter Alaskan's house for the winter" small rodent migration
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel 

I'm not sure what you mean by 'bantam', but if you're talking about small ducks like call ducks, please keep in mind that those are pretty loud ducks. The only quiet ducks are muscovies, but those are big. I'm also in the middle of the city and just hatched 3 khaki campbells 2 weeks ago. (They were unplanned-- 'rescue' eggs from a mom that decided to abandon them with a week left before hatch) The ducks whose eggs they came from didn't seem louder than my chickens, but I'll have to wait and see.


there are actually several bantam breeds.

You are right though, the call ducks (even though they are very cute) are very loud.

But you could get bantam (or miniature) Silver Appleyards.  Those sound great.

Alaskan

Hobbling Around in the Season of Snow. hmm.png
And, in the season of "enter Alaskan's house for the winter" small rodent migration
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Alaskan

Hobbling Around in the Season of Snow. hmm.png
And, in the season of "enter Alaskan's house for the winter" small rodent migration
Reply
post #6 of 14

my minis aren't noisy at all, esp the drakes (boys), they don't quack like the girls. they free range right now and put themselves in at night, we shut the door behind them. one mini duck hisses at our rabbit (absolutely the funniest thing i have ever seen) nobody bats an eye at our six older free ranging hens though. the new chicks are a different story though, the ducks will attack, much much less now that the chicks are getting older and bigger.

ducks don't scratch the ground up like chickens do.

ours have a little kiddie pool, we want to make a bigger pool next year. we drain it a couple times a week.

they are messy. the duckling stage was nearly unbearable in the brooder. wet, wet, wet.

that said, they are just pure entertainment. the other day in a rainstorm they stood under the eaves of the barn, necks outstretched trying to catch the rain falling off the edge and splashing in what little puddle there was. it was just too funny!

edited: mini appleyards by the way....and when i bought them i asked about noise compared to calls, the lady said on a 1-10 scale calls being a 10 they were a 6.


Edited by KierBri - 8/1/08 at 6:23pm
post #7 of 14

I have added my chicks to my ducks and there really is not that bad of a mess in the yard where they are at.  I am thinking of may be putting them in their own pen just because I want them to be in one. I am hoping to hatch ducklings next year so to me this would be a good idea.

Helaine in Olalla,Wa             

1 silkie, 4 white rock/buff orpington, 1 jersey giant, 5 RIR, 2 cochens,1 american chinchilla,  2 creme d argent, 2 white beveren's and 2 white mini satin rabbits.   
5 cute grandkids !
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Helaine in Olalla,Wa             

1 silkie, 4 white rock/buff orpington, 1 jersey giant, 5 RIR, 2 cochens,1 american chinchilla,  2 creme d argent, 2 white beveren's and 2 white mini satin rabbits.   
5 cute grandkids !
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel 

I'm not sure what you mean by 'bantam', but if you're talking about small ducks like call ducks, please keep in mind that those are pretty loud ducks. The only quiet ducks are muscovies, but those are big. I'm also in the middle of the city and just hatched 3 khaki campbells 2 weeks ago. (They were unplanned-- 'rescue' eggs from a mom that decided to abandon them with a week left before hatch) The ducks whose eggs they came from didn't seem louder than my chickens, but I'll have to wait and see.


there are actually several bantam breeds.

You are right though, the call ducks (even though they are very cute) are very loud.

But you could get bantam (or miniature) Silver Appleyards.  Those sound great.


Also don't rule out Manadrins!  They are suppossed to be the ultimate stealth duck, plus they are small AND gorgeous.

post #9 of 14

Thank you so much for asking this question. I had just gotten two little ducklings last week. I had to take them on vacation with me because I bought them the day before I was leaving. I left them on the porch of our cabin with a large bowl of water and food. Boy are they disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was worried about putting them with my 12 chickens because I think they want to be wet and chickens like dirt baths. I don't let the chickens wander the yard except at dusk because they love to scratch and won't stay out of the flowers, packasandra ground cover, etc. At dusk I can watch them and then they go home to sleep. Anyway I felt that the ducks might like a pool. Maybe I can connect the two yards so they can sleep with the chickens when winter comes so that they can stay warm.

How do you keep the pond going when it's freezing out?

Is a kiddie pool strong enough? Won't it break when you keep dumping it? What about all that water? Doesn't it make alot of erosion?

Don't they fly away?

6 big hens (2 bar rocks, 3 black ones, 1 polish), 5 new chicks (1 white leghorn, 2 brahman, 1 buff and 1 that looks like a speckled road runner- maybe an aracuna), one white American eskimo/terrier dog, 3 cats, one huge black and white bunny, 2 new ducklings, 3 kids and one husband. I get feral cats fixed and then release so sometimes I have more than 3.
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6 big hens (2 bar rocks, 3 black ones, 1 polish), 5 new chicks (1 white leghorn, 2 brahman, 1 buff and 1 that looks like a speckled road runner- maybe an aracuna), one white American eskimo/terrier dog, 3 cats, one huge black and white bunny, 2 new ducklings, 3 kids and one husband. I get feral cats fixed and then release so sometimes I have more than 3.
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post #10 of 14

My flying ducks are in an aviary - I've seen them fly quite a lot, if the netting wasn't there they'd be miles away in the wind we get.

I won't be giving them a pool in the winter, but if I did I'd use a water heater.  So far mine have held up well, and i dump them 2x a day.

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