Can't resist ducklings - lots of questions!


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I have a small flock of chickens and would very much like to add a couple of ducks to it. I'm going to get a few chicks this weekend, and if I get enough info about ducks, pick up a couple of ducklings too.

I've been told you can't water ducklings 24/7 like chicks, that you have to put water down, then take it away, and water them that way a few times a day. For how long?

Is there such a thing as duckling feed? Would I be able to keep ducklings in the same brooder with chicks? Can I pen them with chickens, and coop them, when they get older?

I have two backyard goldfish ponds I built myself - 140 and 270 gallons, respectively. The goldfish are HUGE in one, and only mosquito fish live in the smaller pond. Would this be a good set-up for the ducks once they are all grown up?

I don't necessarily need duck eggs. I usta have ducks when I was 17 and 18, just about *cough* 38 years ago. I just love 'em. I know they're messy eaters, and their poop is ickier than chickens. They didn't have a pond, back then, but were awfully happy ducks. They were Pekings?

So, all you enablers, please tell me what I need to know to raise a couple of ducks with a flock of chickens. They'll probably destroy my goldfish ponds, right?

Thanks in advance!!
Do NOT let the ducks in your goldfish pond. I lost Koi to that last year. They quickly turn it into a sewer. They need thier own little pool that can be cleaned daily IMO.
I think most people control the water and food ducklings have access too, because if they don't, you have a really big mess on your hands you would need to clean every day. If you get shipped ducklings, people control the food and water for a little while so that the birds don't eat too much and kill themselves.

Most people like to use unmedicated starter feed for ducklings because certain medication in the medicated varieties aren't good for waterfowl (so if you do have medicated starter, check to see what it's medicated with). And, your ducks will pobably eat the fish when they're older (not when little though).
That is true. You can feed the chicks and ducklings the same feed. You'll want to keep them with food and water 24/7 for at least 3 to 4 weeks. I take the water and food away at night when they are older to keep the mess down. No one seems to be unhealthy. Just make sure that if you have food available you have water available also.

As far as housing them together, well you're going to see people who say, "No way," and some who say, "I do it with no problems." Personally I don't have chickens so I can't give you anything about that, only what I have read. If you're not into raising babies in the future then you might want to think about getting just females, that way you don't have to worry about drakes mounting your chickens.

Ponds... as soon as a duck gets in a pond, I swear they poop... and poop... and poop... and poop... Maybe if you only let them have occasional access and only had two bantam ducks you could get away with it.
yES your ponds will never be the same again, but if you really want them go for it . When you brood chicks and ducks to gether it is easier for me if I put the chick waterers up on something they have to fly up on to drink and then I put the duck water in a bowl with a lid like a short 2or3 inch container with a lid with a hole in it big enuf for em to get their beek in and drink and that way when they babble the water it's in the container where as with the chick waterers they can babble the water and it goes everywhere. When they get older a milk jug works so you can cut a hole in the side oposit of the handle and yet about the same heighth of the handle and cut the hole about three inches wide and three inches deep and it makes a mess free waterer. All ducks are a mess with water so when you put them in the same area as your chickens use this method also to keep your chickens water clean as well , just put the chickens up where the ducks can't mix dirt in with it ( watering them seperate is the key). As far as feed goes they can eat together fine some folks feed their ducks duck feed we do not have it here so mine eat what the chickens eat layer pellets and scratch but when they are seperated the ducks do better on game bird feed or duck feed cause of the protein difference. And yes ducks do need water 24/7 they can't eat if they don't have a mouth full of water to swallow it with.
Wow..same thing here..we have a small pond with some fish, and a flock of seven chickens. Seriously considering a couple of Cayugas...I am thinking about getting a male and female and hatching some out at some point..Soo.the drake will mount my hens? I would appreciate any feedback on keeping ducks with chickens..also I have no intention of letting them into the small fish's my husbands..but he also like ducks...I would provide something that could be cleaned out daily..and fence off the pond..Also..I live in NH, and we have some prettty severe weather here..stretches of below freezing weather..snow, ice etc. Would wo ducks be ok in a small enclosure in the winter? I have got some serious rearranging to do this spring...Will definitely check out the book that was mentioned..I have The Modern Duck Flock . from the early 90s..Ouch I date myself...whatever..not too informative for the small time keeper though..Also, How are my hens going to treat the ducks? All of my hens are docile..except for one who is going to be fitted with a pinless peeper as soon as they arrive...and yes, I shall apply the googly eyes....
Our ducks weathered our freak cold snap just fine. It was below freezing for over a week. We made sure they had water and a warm hut (we did put a light in there), and they were fine. The one who jumped the enclosure (she must have stood on the frozen "pond" to hop out) didn't make it. Just make sure they have a warm place out of the elements, and they're fine.

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