Can a drake live with female ducks AND hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OldCrookedToe, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. OldCrookedToe

    OldCrookedToe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Florence/Effingham, SC
    We have 3 pekins that will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. We are almost certain of their sexes due to quacking and a drake feather on one's butt. That gives us two females and one male. We also ordered 3 4-week old hens that shipped out yesterday and will arrive soon. They will live in a 222 sqr ft run together with SEPARATE HOUSING.
    Here is our question: If the drake has two female ducks to mate, will he even attempt to mate with female chickens? All three ducks are heavily imprinted on each other.

    I've heard that ducks and chickens can coexist but don't usually mix too much, will that still be the case with this one drake and his 2 duck hens?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, a drake and his harem can be housed with hens under the right circumstances. [​IMG] I've got a Mallard drake and 8 females who live with our 28 mature hens, and there have been zero problems thus far. I guess this also depends on the temperament of your boy, whether he's aggressive or docile towards other birds. Marshall, my own drake, is a naturally quiet, calm guy, so I'm kind of thinking that this is why everything is so peaceful in our flock.

    I hate to say this, but two females won't be enough to appease your boy if there are also going to be hens around. The general ratio is 1 drake to 5 ducks, so if you would like to keep the two little groups together, you might want to consider getting a few more girlies to keep him happy. [​IMG] One last piece of advice: don't raise the drake and your chickens together, whatever you do! He will only see them as "his" when maturity hits, and then there will most likely be big problems.

    You're correct in that although chickens and ducks may reside in the same area, they really don't intermingle for the most part. Mine get along beautifully but rarely spend time together.
    Enjoy your babies! [​IMG]

    ~Alex
     
  3. OldCrookedToe

    OldCrookedToe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @ Alexandra33
    Thank you! I was worried about if I should raise them together or if he'd think they were "his" like you said. The way the run is made, we could separate them physically but they would still see each other through wire fence. Would that be alright?

    The thing is that it's not up to me what we get or how much, since I'm a high school student it's up to my parents how we address the drake/duck ratio. My dad wanted just hens, but my mom and I also wanted ducks and I'm not sure how he'd feel about 3 more pekin hens in the enclosure. However, he's an animal lover, too, so if it would protect his hens he'd likely add some more pekin hens.

    He's only 5 weeks now, so I'm not sure how his adult temperament will be. He's not really sweet like my girls, but he's pretty calm and quiet. He has never rough housed, unlike one of the hens. He's docile unless he's scared.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  4. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're welcome! [​IMG]

    I'm so sorry, I didn't read your post well enough to notice that you were planning to provide separate housing for the birds. [​IMG] What you are wanting to do with the coops and runs is perfect! I only mentioned the extra ducks for a combined chicken/duck situation, which obviously wasn't going to happen. Again, I apologize that I overlooked a major detail.

    I understand, since I'm also around your age. My parents ultimately choose how many and what we have. [​IMG]

    Sounds like my Marsh as a duckling, so hopefully he'll turn out to be a very sweet boy!

    ~Alex
     
  5. OldCrookedToe

    OldCrookedToe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Florence/Effingham, SC
    Thank you! It's no problem, thank you so much for all your input, I've heard about what happens when the two don't mix right and I want to make sure everybody ends up happy. [​IMG]
     
  6. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're so welcome!

    Good job thinking ahead; most people don't even realize these things until after they've brought the birds home. [​IMG] I'm sure that the arrangement you've come up with will be wonderful for keeping the tranquility between everyone involved!

    ~Alex
     
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  7. susan6sw

    susan6sw Out Of The Brooder

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    I raised my ducks and drakes with chicks of the same age. They all get along nicely - one drake I got full grown from a friend hangs with our Cochin rooster all the time and not with the other ducks. They are in a 1/4 acre open pen. He was raised with other drakes and I was worried when I got him he'd be in trouble, but the hens took him in and pretty much ignore him.
     
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  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The separate housing doesn't really matter, they're only in the house/coop when they sleep. Most of the activity takes place out in the run during the day, and that includes mating.

    I have kept ducks and chickens together successfully, the key for me is having hen ducks for the drake and enough space for the chicken hens to get away if he does get amorous with them. My roosters have never challenged the drakes, the ducks are always top dog of the flock. Not sure if a rooster would try to protect a chicken hen if the drake came after her or not, but I doubt mine would.

    Like a lot of things, you'll just have to try it and see. Know you might need to separate them sometime down the line. Doesn't really matter if a dozen folks on here have done it with no problem, if your particular bird decides to go after the hens you'll have to pull him out.
     
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  9. OldCrookedToe

    OldCrookedToe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2015
    Florence/Effingham, SC
    Thank you all for your answers and input. The hens arrived today and are currently living in a brooder as they are much smaller than I anticipated (I've never seen a 1-month old chick before and thought they'd be much taller)They'll stay in the house where the ducks used to be until the night temps get more even and they fill out a bit. So far everyone in both little groups is very healthy and happy, so we'll see how things turn out. Again, thank you all-I'll remember your advice/info.
     

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