Advice needed about my ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by preggochick, May 18, 2011.

  1. preggochick

    preggochick New Egg

    Mar 18, 2010
    We have 4 ducks that are about 4 weeks old or so I think. My first question is can ducks and chickens cohabitate? Is this a good idea or bad? Does the fact that they might both have access to each others food and water matter? And the other question I have is do you recommend clipping their wings? Is it really necessary? And if so when do you suggest this?
  2. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    I don't have chickens so can't help on that side of things, but clipping wings I can answer. What breed are they? The majority of domestic duck breeds can't fly.
  3. Komaki

    Komaki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2011
    Quote:They CAN fly, Just have trouble lifting off.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Love those ducks!

    Most domestic breeds of which I am aware cannot fly more than what I call wing assisted jumping. Depending on the breed, they may be able to clear a three foot fence (like a few of my runners), or not (Aylesbury). Unless you have mallards, wing clipping shouldn't be necessary, and I'd avoid it myself, anyway (preference). Mallards are a breed that can fly. So can muscovies.

    Chickens with ducks: I have no chickens, but have read here that the two can live together with some adjustments. The chickens' water is best up out of the reach of ducks. Ducks dabble in mud or food, then drink and some of the mud and food gets into the water. After a few drinks, the water gets murky. This doesn't hurt the ducks, but chickens don't seem to like ducked water.

    Since chickens roost and ducks don't, you need to set up their housing so that the ducks don't get pooped on. Also, some ducks like using nest boxes (about 1'x1'x1'), some don't. Mine like to make their own nests in corners or cubbies.

    I find that my ducks can get more food in their bills if it is moistened, especially since I am switching from pellets to an organic feed that is not pelleted. I prepare as much food as they'll need for one day, moisten it, and what's not eaten (usually very very little) by the next morning gets composted. Both pellets and organic feed are poultry feed - so they can eat what chickens eat. Note: these are adult ducks, not ducklings. At four weeks, your duck babies need much more niacin that chickens do. If the feed has no niacin, you can sprinkle a few teaspoons of brewers yeast on their food or put niacin in their water (100 to 150 mg per gallon) till they are about ten weeks old, or make sure they get slugs and worms, which contain niacin. Niacin deficiency can be serious. What's confusing is that not all ducks seem obviously sensitive to niacin deficiency. Go figure.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  5. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I had my chickens and ducks living together for about 6 months...the ducks made a mess like none other with the water...I will never do that again. As far as getting along they did fine...
  6. purplequeenvt

    purplequeenvt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    Charlotte, VT
    Ducks and chickens can live together quite well. Just be aware that ducks are very messy and will muck up any and all water very quickly. [​IMG]
  7. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    My ducks and chickens live together. I had to make adjustments to the water and frankly with the ducks if you can water them outside everyone is much happier but in the winter that was not an option so I had the water station in the opposite part of the barn and they had to walk 20 feet to their sleeping spot or feeding station.

    I have mallards that do fly but I have not had the heart to clip their wings. I am letting them free range during the day and they have started to really test the waters, everyone else is waiting for me to tuck them in at night but the mallards will stay out of sight until I have locked up the barn and then they will peek around the corner and fly 20 feet just to show you that they can. I then have to herd them in... Silly ducks!

    Pekins and WH certainly try and flap their wings but even if they do get off the ground it is not for long.
  8. Komaki

    Komaki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2011
    I have 1 rouen, and 2 black swedes. ALL FLY! Granted not far or high, but fly.
  9. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine can fly when I let them out in the the top step and crash land on the ground [​IMG]
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have ducks with my chickens, but do not house them in the same coop. (Heck, I don't house all my chickens in the same coop! They pick their own out of the several different sized ones I have in the yard.) All range freely. The ducks do have their kiddie pool, out of which everybody drinks (yes, there are plenty of chicken waterers around) and the ducks play.

    They eat the same food as the chickens: All Flock pellets. I raised the ducks on "meat bird" crumbles but in the past I have fed the ducklings medicated chick starter with some dry Brewer's yeast sprinkled in with it a couple of times a week until they were larger.

    I do keep crushed oyster shell in a separate bowl for the layers, and my Cayuga hen would take some of that regularly. No problem with soft eggshells.

    Good luck! I love both chickens and ducks!

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