Can chickens and ducks be raised and/or kept together?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Blackberry18, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Next year I'm thinking about getting ducks for the first time. My friends have raised them before and I've been studying poultry for year, so I have more than done my research on them. I've read and seen varied opinions about keeping ducks and chickens together. It seems to have few complications; one of my friends even keeps one duck with her chickens because he seems to think he's a chicken. I know that ducks need to have a deep dish of water to swim in and flush out their eyes, but do they need different kinds of food? Would it be all right if I kept only three ducks with my flock of 15+ chickens? Would drakes and roosters be aggressive? Intermating? I want to get medium-sized ducks, like Khaki Campbells, so I don't think size would be an issue.

    Also, can ducklings and chicks be raised together? They have the same heat requirements, but what about food or water? I want to get some bantam Salmon Faverolles or maybe some Black Australorps or Buff Orpingtons next year as well, and it would seem to be easier if I raised them together to avoid the hassle of having to different pens, and introducing them to the flock together would increase the number of new birds I'm bringing in. So is it possible to raise them together? Is there a time when I can introduce them as young birds before putting them with the flock? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I've had both ducks and chickens, but never at the same time. My understanding is that ducklings should not have medicated feed. IMO, it would not be wise to keep them together b/c ducks are super slobs, and spill water just for the fun of it. Not a good situation in a winter time chicken coop. Also, duck reproductive anatomy is far different than that of a chicken. A drake that decides to breed a chicken can easily kill her. You might want to ask some pointed questions re: raising ducks on the duck forum. If I were to raise ducks, I think I'd keep them separate.
     
  3. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I have heard about the mating issue, but I'm guessing that if I have at least two ducks, the drake leave the chickens alone. Plus my roosters may not allow him to mate with the hens.

    Also, can drakes be aggressive like roosters? I need a drake to show in the fair, but I may get rid of him if I need to.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I think that cross species breeding will still be an issue. I have seen cockrels try to breed an old coffee can. I assume that drakes can have similar "issues" and will grab a chicken, if she is handy, nor will a roo always be able to fight off an amorous drake. I just would not house them together, though there are some who do so.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Drakes can just be very aggressive...and then there's that drake anatomy thing that can cause problems.

    Ducks need water deep enough to rinse their nares(nostrils) swimming is a luxury.

    The wet mess duck/lings make can be detrimental to chickens.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    The best thing to do is build another pen for Ducks. My pullets and Ducks are a month apart in age. The Ducklings first lived in the coop and I introduced the chicks in a separate brooder..My Chickens and Ducks tolerate each other but the ducks do chase the chickens away...Drakes will breed hens...Does not matter if a Hen Duck is with them...Ducks have a penis, Roosters do not. A drake can kill a chicken if he breeds her. My Chickens live in the coop and run...My Ducks live in a 10x10 dog run with a dog house for shelter....
     
  7. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a singular duck (What The Duck) who has been raised since day one with chickens. The only real problem started at about two weeks old when she wanted to start using the open waterer for bathing which of course fouled the brooder and caused many bedding changes before we were able to move the entire lot outside.

    The chickens usually could care less about WTD, but sometimes just peck her out of boredom, which of course infuriates her and everyone scatters. Except bedtime, when every chick piles on WTD and they sleep like shot logs.

    We also have some rescue Muscovys and Swedish that were raised with full sized turkeys and larger chickens. Nothing to worry about there though, those ducks are mean SOBs probably out of necessity. I tried adding WTD to this mix and I'm guessing it was about 15 seconds and almost as many beak lashings before I got her out of there. So much for that thought.....


    Point being: raise them together and I'm sure they'll be fine. Always keep an eye on the boys!

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    NO No and no!
    put it with Ducks.....Ducks need Ducks too learn to be a duck....You think your saving it but really holding it back...It needs the chest bumps and neck tying in order to belong to a flock of ducks.....Leave nature to help this duck along......They wont kill it....


    God Bless all your BIRDS.......

    I read your post....
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  9. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm...

    So: I set the duck down in the 30'x40' area and she immediately runs into the small mass of ducks in the corner (as expected). However, the first two females encountered rip out large sections of fur, exposing skin, the second set bite deep enough to draw blood and remove skin. This goes on for about five seconds until WTD gets the point and then runs towards the two (15 lb) males. The first one encountered bowls her over and proceeds to rip out large swaths of fur, the second then jumps on top of her and starts tearing at the chest and throat area but only draws blood and doesn't tear any large portions of skin or major blood vessels. As they continue to work her over, I fight through a extra thorny mesquite tree and manage to kick off the two males and scoop up the terrified and bloody duck. I then spend another 5-10 seconds fighting off the idiot males while trying to make my way back through the tree and finally out of the enclosure.


    I'm not an idiot, nor am I new to poultry and their behavior.

    This was definitely not "chest bumps and neck tying", or any interest in integration by the other ducks; they would have killed her within a minute or so.

    I can try it again and post the video if you want to stand by your opinion. Along with the vet bill.

    Thanks!
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Very sorry it turned out that way......Strange and aggressive attack on your poor duck....I really hope she is okay?

    All I can say is what has worked with my Ducks....
     

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