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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by laughing man, Sep 28, 2010.
can i mix chickens and ducks?
would they fight?
would they get sick?
I have a friend who does it. It works out alright but drakes defiantly aren't kind to hens . Females and chickens get on fine.
Been there done that and got rid of the ducks. The problem is ducks are messy--they need a lot of water, spill it all over, and it goes through them very fast with little change in character. As far as their getting along--they will be fine--the ducks take the low road and the chickens take the high one. As far as diseases are concern, as long as neither variety have any, they won't share them. Assuming the both are clean when you get them they won't infect one another. However, ducks like to go into ponds and if you're going to let them free range this can create a problem since wild birds also like ponds and wild birds carry diseases some of which won't kill ducks or geese but will harm chickens. Finally, having done it my advice would be to stay with the chickens and enjoy the ducks in the park.
Quote:my ducks and chickens have always cohabitated. they dont have any problems, they are racist so they keep to there own duck kind, but no one fights no fuss, and they all eat and drink and sllep in close proximity happily!
I have a pair of Cayuga ducks, and they free range with all my chickens. For a time they also slept in the chicken coop in their own corner, but the ducks seem to be more nocturnal - on patrol at night - so they stopped going into the coop before the auto door closed.
I keep 3 pools for them: 1) a kiddie pool which the chickens appreciate the coolness around it from the ducks splashing, and they drink out of it, too. 2) a 40 gallon rubber horse trough, which the chickens drink out of and the ducks dabble in it, sometimes swimming in it. 3) a 300 gallon stock tank in which they occasionally swim if I pick them up and put them into it. They don't trust the ramp up to its edge. I'm gonna have to make a different ramp, eventually, I think.
I feed grower/finisher to the entire flock and offer crushed oyster shell free choice, which the duck uses, too, as she lays a nice egg every day.
Everybody gets along, even eating out of my hand together. Not sure how it would work with more ducks, though. (We'll see in the Spring, as I think I'll incubate some duck eggs then....)
I keep mine in separate houses and separate runs. They eat the same food. Drakes are very amorous and will assault your hens. Ducks are also very messy and will destroy the run. Ducks make a horrific sludge of the water or just spill it everywhere, so the waterers are either empty or truly atrocious. Ducks make everything wet and chickens don't care for being wet. Ducks also don't roost, so they will hang out on the floor of the coop, under the chickens' roosts, and get pooped all over. I could go on...
A lot of people house them together, but I haven't quite figured out how or why. Waterfowl and ground birds are as different as birds could be. Their needs are radically different. I wouldn't keep them together myself. Never have and never will.
I have 12 chickens, 2 ducks and all do just fine. They have been raised together since the chicks were a week old (ducks are a week younger). The ducks were VERY messy in the brooder, but once put outside I don't have problems. I do move their waterer every day so the ducks don't make a mud hole, but they all seem to get along just fine and share a coop. The ducks seem to be above the chickens in the pecking order but never push anybody around too much.
I don't know if things would be different if they hasn't been together since they were so young. The ducks have always hung together, but neither seems to mind the other.
When our ducks (a pair of rouens) moved themselves into the hen house, the hens started laying about half the eggs they had been laying. when the ducks were rehomed, they egg numbers bounced up two days later. Everyone got along while they were co-habitating and the ducks hated to be without the hens, but I don't have much tolerance for low egg production.
I have 11 duck's right now.They have been trained to sleep horse stall at night.I have several bantam's that roost and hang out in there as well. I have always had ducks in there with chickens and no major problem's.I don't put water in there at bedtime so the duck's don't make a mess.I fill up a couple of chick water's early for the chickens as soon as the duck's come out.I keep an old dishpan of fresh water for the ducks outside.They all seem to get along just fine.
You can keep them together but I think it's best that you separate them if possible. They are just too messy and you would need to have a lot of duck hens to keep the drakes from chasing your chickens constantly. I think Drakes are more attracted to chicken hens that their own kind!