Chicken and Duck Combo Coop!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
Hi, It's my first attempt at raising chickens and ducks and looking for advice on building my coop and run. It has been pointed out to me that it would be a good idea to house my chickens and ducks (of which I don't have yet), in different coops. I was wondering if they might however be okay to share a run. I'm still working out the specifics for the run size, but basically they would be in separate coops, but allowed to mingle in a large run. I was wondering if I'm asking for trouble and should just split the run in half or would they play nice. I would be getting them both very young and they would grow up together if that makes any difference. I'll take any advice or tips on the subject.
I want to do the same thing, but my chicken expert friends strongly advise against it because of how quickly ducks drench and mess up the run. Bottom line - the pleasure and convenience of having them together is not worth it when you are constantly cleaning and drying the run for the sake of the chickens. Better to have the ducks separate, muddy, and wet. My 2 cents.
I have 11 chickens and 18 ducks in the same coop and run. After much trail and error, I have 2 recoomandations. Sand and keeping the water outside in the run, not inside the coop. My run has 4 inches of sand in it, so it drains well, and I keep the food and water outside in the run, not in the coop, so the coop stays dry. I keep a good amount of hay in the coop so the ducks have plenty of nesting material to lay on and sleep and lay in. In the winter, I put hay in the run as well. My experience is that the area 2 feet around the water gets very messy, so I fork it out every other week, and put down new hay to keep it clean. My coop is 5x10 (housed inside a larger shed) and the run is 16x16. During the nice weather, I let the ducks outside to enjoy the pool.
Thanks for the responses they have given me ideas on how to handle my project. Also I was surprised to hear the size of your run for the number of birds that you have. I was expecting to have to build a much bigger coop and run (25' X 30') split down the middle for both the ducks and chickens. The hard part about planning for it is that I'm still not sure of how many chickens or ducks I'll wind up with. I was propositioned by my kids old teacher to raise the ducks. She wants to hatch some Indian runners for her students, but doesn't want to keep them. The deal is that I get them after hatching, she gets to have her class project and I get free ducklings. I have a family memeber that hasn't commited to a number of chick's he wants to add to my coop. So i'm unsure of how many to expect. I plan on enclosing the top of the run for safety, does that size sound okay (remember its gonna be split down the middle between both birds) or is it a bit big. If I wind up purchasing all my birds on my own. I would have maybe 9 chickens and 5-6 ducks. Comments welcomed.
The ducks are outside all day, every day except in winter when everything is snow covered. So the run handles a dozen chickens 3 seasons and everyone during the winter. At 225 sq ft, I could have up to 20+ chickens based on 10 sq ft per bird. The funny part is how I separate the ducks and chickens so I can let the ducks out, and keep the chickens in. I open the coop door (inside the shed) and the chickens all rush out into the shed for treats that I have piut on the floor. The ducks wait patiently until the chickens are out of the coop (into the shed), and then I open the pop door, and all the ducks rush out into the run. Then I close the pop door, and toss treats into the coop and open the coop door, and all of the chickens rush back into the coop, then I go outside and open the outisde pen door, and all the ducks come running out to play in the pool. Close the pen door, and open the pop door, and the chickens are out in the pen. At night, I just open the pen door an hour before dusk, and the chickens get to free range for an hour, and everyone goes in as the sun disappears. I have rope lighting along the rafters in the pen, and this provides light which seems to calm the ducks. They don't like to go inside a dark pen or coop, and will huddle outside the doorway until one has the courage to go in, and then they all rush in!

I highly recommend getting ducks. They have a lot of personality, they are sort of the goof balls of the bird kingdom. Since mine are mallards, they are fully flight capable, and we really enjoy watching them take their daily flights. They fly around for 10-15 minutes, going in large circles about 1/2 mile around the house. Then they all come in for a landing, which can be very comical as well.
Bushman, I can almost guarantee you will want more chickens and ducks, so if you have the space, use it! The run will be stripped clean of all vegatation, regardless of size and number of birds, so sand made mine look much nicer than bare dirt. I put a roof on mine, because winter is long, and my chickens would not go out in the snow, so last year I shoveled the coop after every storm. I knew I could not keep that up, so I went with a permanant structure and it has been great this winter.
I agree build an area that can house twice as birds as you plan to start out with. I started out with 6 hens and that was it. HAHAHA. Me and my neighbor are currently building Fort Cluck in my backyard as we call it lol. I have a 10x12 metal storage building I have converted into a hen house and just build a 890 sq ft run. Its solid. I used 4x4 posts every welded wire for the bottom and gonna close off the top half with poultry netting. Point is you will want more once you get a few. On the duck and chicken thing, I have also recently started wanting to mix them. Number one you can only have hen ducks, a drake will kill your chickens by mating them. Also ducks are extremely messy, if you mix them make your run bigger than the 10 sq ft per bird general rule. Also make sure they have adequate sleeping area inside the enclosure that is not under the chicken roosts. If you get into it and build a big enough area like I have you can have the pool inside the enclosed run, put it in the back corner and keep the feed far away from it. Just make sure the coop is big enough for everyone, don't want them fighting. Remember certain breeds of ducks roost like chickens instead of sleeping on the ground.
Jackhorn, sounds like a great coop and run. Post pictures!

I have 10 male and 8 female mallard ducks, and 11 female chickens all together in the same area. My ducks don't bother the chickens at all. I used to keep my guineas in with everyone as well, but they would pick on the chickens, sometimes un-mercilessly. So I moved the guineas to a separate coop area.

To those thinking about separate coops for ducks and chickens with a shared run, I will say the birds will quickly learn which coop is theirs. I have 2 pop doors in my coop which go into separate coop areas, and for a while the ducks were in one area, and chickens in the other, and every night when I went out to check on them and close the doors, they were all in their proper coop areas. But the ducks outgrew their coop, and so they moved in with the chickens. The ducks all nest around the walls, and the chickens roost above them. Somehow, no duck gets bombed from above! I have few ducks who lay their eggs in the chicken nesting boxes which are 18" off the ground. I am thinking about making some ground level boxes to see if they will use them.
Maybe its certain breeds of chickens/ducks that are a problem I dunno. I just remember when I was researching all this I was told not to have drakes with chickens. Maybe that was wrong I dunno. I will post pictures when I have time, I am at a crazy point in my life.
Okay I'm wondering about the plastic bird netting i've seen in TSC. I know its not as strong as wire, but can it be used as roof netting to my run. I'm still not sure of how big my coop and run will be , but it's looking like it will have to be large. My uncle wants me to raise two dozen chickens for and I had kinda settled on 15 chickens for myself. That now has my total up to possibly 39 birds. I thankfully have found a local farmer who raised heritage birds and will most likely get my chickens and ducks from him. My uncle on the other hand has not told me what kind he's thinking or where they will be coming from. I feel relived that I no longer have to rush to get things situated like I would have if I was going to get my birds from TSC, because they will stop replenishing their supply at the end of the month.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom