2 ducks vs. 3 or 4

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Shalva, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Shalva

    Shalva Out Of The Brooder

    91
    2
    43
    Mar 19, 2012
    New Hampshire
    So I have two adorable Pekins, Tommy and Fiona.... I also live in an area with predators that are always a concern. Tommy and Fiona are now 2 and are doing great and very attached to each other. They live with my chickens and use the same coop (their choice not mine) and all seem to get along well.

    I have a concern

    what is something were to happen to one of them. While they are fine with the chickens they don't interact with them other than to push them out of the way at mealworm time. They are very attached to each other. I am considering adding another duck or 2 to the flock (cayuga) just so that if something were to happen there would be other ducks for them to be with. So my questions are....

    a: is this a legitimate concern or am I being foolish and just trying to convince myself I need more ducks

    b: if I were to even get other ducks would it matter would they bond to them in the event of a duck tragedy.... or would they be equally as miserable as they would have been if there were no other ducks.

    c: would just one more duck solve the problem or would I need to get two....

    When all is said and done I will admit to being concerned about adding two more ducks and space, mess, etc.... I would personally prefer to not get ducks or get just one duck .... but I will defer to those more knowledgeable than I am

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,678
    17,955
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    As a non-duck keeper i believe your concern is legitimate. The rest I'll leave to the experts.

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,264
    13,357
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You voice a legitimate concern. Fowl are basically flock animals so a minimum of 3 is a good idea so that if one dies there are still two for company. The pair bond in ducks is generally stronger than the flock bond. If you were to add one or more ducks now they might very well be attacked or at least ostracized by your present pair. At this point my inclination would be to not mess with what appears to be a good thing. If and when something happens to one of your ducks you might try to add a 'rescue' bird or see if the chickens provide enough company for the remaining bird.
     
  4. Shalva

    Shalva Out Of The Brooder

    91
    2
    43
    Mar 19, 2012
    New Hampshire
    thank you for the insight... but could they be introduced in the same way as new chickens??? slowly but surely ....
    S
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,264
    13,357
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Yes they could, and all might go smoothly or not.
     
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,619
    506
    216
    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I'd agree that your concerns about losing one of them are legitimate. You can be super careful but you never really know what could happen. I lost what I thought was a perfectly healthy duck (no clear answer on cause but wasn't a predator). If something does happen I think having other ducks around will be a big comfort even if the ducks aren't as strongly bonded.

    I'd say if you add ducklings you'll want at least two so they can bond with each other as they grow. They'll also have a friend for comfort when you start introducing them to the others. Unfortunately there is no sure way to know how everyone will get along but if you want some more ducks I'd say go for it. (As long as you have plenty of space for everyone.)
     
  7. room onthebroom

    room onthebroom Overrun With Chickens

    2,209
    3,307
    316
    May 4, 2015
    I've been wondering the same thing. Our situation is different in the fact that I have a 1yr old duck that is bonded to a chicken. The chicken is getting older & I keep wondering if I should add a couple ducks for when the inevitable happens. I would never add just one hen to the flock & I assume adding just one duck would be the same thing... I assume but I don't know. We have a pretty small & mellow flock right now & the duck & hens all get along great, so maybe she would be fine when her hen soul-mate is gone... sigh ... I just don't know.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by