Can ducks live with chickens?

Can chickens and ducks sleep in the same space?

  • no, they must be separated

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3

bluecreekranch

Hatching
Mar 31, 2019
2
4
6
Hello all, I am new to keeping chickens and I'm loving it. Thanks in advance for the help and my apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong section.

I recently bought 10 beautiful black Australorps, about 1 year old. They have been laying about 8 eggs a day for the past couple weeks and seem quite happy. I have a big coop with an attached, closed in chicken run, but while I'm here at the ranch I like letting them free range.

Yesterday I picked up a couple ducks. It was explained to me these ducks have been raised around chickens and think they're chickens more or less. Well my chickens know better, and they don't seem to like the ducks. I understand chickens are very cliquey, but it's almost like they're afraid of the ducks. Out of the cage they just go uphill to get away from the ducks, but inside the coop they are very uneasy.

Will this phase pass as they adjust to one another or should I construct a small "duck house" i can install inside the chicken run so my hens are happier at night? I'm leaning towards the duck house option, unless I receive feedback to be patient and they'll adjust.

Thanks! I'm going to spend some time on this website reading up on keeping poultry.
ducksinchickenrun.jpg
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Miss Lydia

Drakes are Awesome
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
103,974
102,757
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Mountains of Western N.C.
:welcomeIhave Muscovy and chickens that sleep In one coop the Muscovy females roost along side the chickens and they have learned to respect each other. When integrating the ducks in with your chickens it should be done slowly with ducks on one side chickens on the other side by placing temp fencing in the run and coop. After they have lived side by side for a while they will accept the ducks as part of their family but it takes time . You also have to be careful putting ducks In With an established flock of chickens if they do get brave they can seriously injure your new ducks. Eyes are especially vulnerable. Free range they can stick together but will get use to one another eventually. In the winter my Runners chose to sleep in the big house with the Muscovys and the chickens so we put up poop boards last years so the ducks wouldn’t get poop on sleeping under the roost. Works great!! Are both your Pekins female?
 

bluecreekranch

Hatching
Mar 31, 2019
2
4
6
Thank you for the informative message Miss Lydia! Guess illI need to pick up some temporary fencing. In the meantime, I have put a little duck house inside the run to give them some space. Do you think this will help until I get my fencing? I have been keeping a close eye on them all day. The ducks seem afraid of the chickens and the chickens seem snobbish towards the ducks. I think the ducks slept in the covered run overnight as that's where I found them this am. The hens didn't want to go through the chicken door from the coop to the run like normal, I had to let them out the main door of the coop. I am embarrassed to admit I'm not sure if they are femalsf. I hope at least one is so I can get eggs, but the fella I had bought them from just yesterday said he got them on trade the day before and wasn't sure either...
 

Toothpick

Songster
Premium member
Aug 15, 2016
429
636
157
TN
When I was a kid we have a couple ducks in with the chickens. They just thought they were chickens. Would breed (or try?) with the chickens too. Not sure if any actually “stuck” but we got some super large eggs every now and then.

Shouldn’t be a problem to keep them together.
 

SniperGoose

Songster
Apr 15, 2018
294
1,110
247
Central Pennsylvania
They can certainly be kept together so long as nobody is getting hurt. I recently was given 2 Pekin drakes toward the end of last year, and they had been raised/kept with chickens their whole lives. My chickens didn't really know what to think of them at first. We didn't have a spare coop for the ducks and it was getting too cold and nasty out to build them one, so we had to keep the ducks in the chicken coop over the winter. After a few days, the chickens didn't mind the ducks anymore, and the ducks seem perfectly at home amongst the chickens. They don't bother the chickens at all and are very well behaved with them. So it all just depends on your chickens and ducks. They're all gonna be a little different.
 

CindyinSD

Crossing the Road
Aug 3, 2018
2,710
10,584
762
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
It’s the generally accepted wisdom that chickens are likely to harass newcomers. They’re defending their spot in the pecking order. It sounds from what you say, like your ducks are still kind of little. Maybe it’s their strangeness that’s protected them from being attacked. As Miss Lydia suggested, letting them get acquainted through a screen (see but don’t touch) is a good idea. Your instincts in providing them with an isolated shelter are good.

Assuming the ducks aren’t adults, you might consider, after a few weeks, making a small “door” opening that the ducklings can get through, but that is too small for the chickens. That way, the ducklings (or any young chicks you might want to introduce into the flock some day) can venture over to the “chicken side,” yet still have a safe place to escape to from the adult birds.

Things to know about ducks (which I mostly know from reading Dave Holderread’s excellent book, “Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks”):

  • They need more niacin than chickens. I think most people supplement this by adding brewers yeast. I got mine from Runnings.
  • They need water deep enough to submerge their heads in order to keep their nostrils & eyes clean.
  • Avoid water (except for nipple drinkers) in the coop. They’re too messy with it. That probably precludes food in the coop, since they need to frequently dip their heads in the water when eating.
  • Ducklings shouldn’t be allowed to bathe unsupervised until fully feathered, and then only for a short time on warm days. They need a ramp to get out of the water in case they splash too much out, making the rim impossible for them to surmount. If they can’t get out, they’ll drown.
That’s all I can think of at the moment... get the book; it’s cheap in Kindle format. You won’t regret it. It’s old, but Holderread is still today one of the world’s foremost authorities on waterfowl.
 
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