2 duck questions

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,126
56,668
1,217
Midgard
I have two ducks, Octavian and Cressida (might be a boy, I’m not sure though) and I was wondering about separation, male ducks and female chickens. Ducks only/can only mate in the water right? I don’t think they will have a pool in their pen just because Imnot sure how I will work that—I don’t have a hose long enough to reach it where I usually put the coop. They might get one in the spring when I don’t have to worry about it freezing. For now I take them to the creek almost everyday where they can swim and bathe and play in the mud. So if they only mate in the water (correct me if I’m wrong) and they won’t have a pool right now can I continue keeping them with the chickens? I can separate them if need be but if I don’t need to I’d prefer to save the space (they are attached to the pullets they grew up with and so their run would be in the pen so that they could still interact with them).

My second question is so ducks need pool access all the time? If yes I will work on a winter solution right away.

My male is starting to bob his head around Cressida and he was trying to mount her. They played in the creek today and didn’t do anything though.
 

lil_nyixx

Chirping
Sep 21, 2020
64
44
66
Indiana, USA
Im no expert but when my father had ducks he would have a pool for them in the winter but would make sure that when they got out that they had enough warmth to fluff their feathers again. He would make a heated room for them so while they swam they didnt get cold.
 

dishfickle

Songster
9 Years
Jan 26, 2012
159
158
181
I agree. I'd like to have chickens again, but am a little nervous. I've heard that if there are enough lady ducks around its a little safer
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,109
18,093
766
North Central Iowa
All of my ducks are runners, and none has ever attempted to mate with any of my chickens; all free range together during the day without incidence. I know that's not the case for everybody.

In the spring, the boys will mate on anywhere and everywhere!! They simply will not leave the female ducks alone. Ever. All of my girls bleed from the head. Water might be preferred, but totally not necessary for mine. My duck flock keeps expanding because I keep adding girls to try to keep the boys from manhandling all the females. Currently, I am at three drakes and eight females.

I keep a kiddie pool out as long as I can before winter sets in, and I have a very small livestock tank -- just a few gallons -- that I keep out after that. But, as long as they have a dish of water where they can dunk their heads -- and I use a big heated dog water dish -- they will be okay.
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Jun 21, 2019
1,387
4,283
326
NW Ontario, Canada
Some drakes don’t even look twice at the chickens. Some drakes mate with anything and everything. Including peoples feet, rugs, a mound of dirt... (ask me how I know this lol).
They do prefer water but by no means do they need it to do the deed. Heavyweight breeds or deep-keeled breeds have better fertility if provided with water to mate in, but it’s not a requirement.
my flock consists of mixed ages/sexes/species, and I only allow them all to mingle when supervised, although none of my drakes other than the one have shown interest in the chickens at all. I still wouldn’t trust them especially if there are less duck hens. But others have kept mixed flocks housed together with no issue, so I see it as an individual issue on a case by case basis. :)
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,126
56,668
1,217
Midgard
Well I guess better safe than sorry. We are building a run and planning on using netting over our pen now as we’ve had two hawk deaths in a week. While we are making those changes I’ll have a duck space built in for them—a mini run perhaps with a covered and walled area with some shavings for windy and cold days. Maybe we can have a cage in the coop that they can sleep in so that they can still sleep with their buddies. I’ve never had a flock so close to one another—the ducks would freak out if they weren’t by their chick friends.
 

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