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Chicken keeper thinking of getting a few ducks this spring. Questions. :)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HouseMouseHens, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    Hello there!
    We have a coop 11 chickens of all different breeds(Blue Andalusian, Dorking, Buff Orp, Blue Laced Red and Silver Wyandottes, RIR, Sussex, Welsummer, Maran, Barred Rock and Australorpe.) Our coop is 8x8 with external next boxes, and an attached run with 3/4 of it covered that is about 15x9 or so. We're thinking of getting a duo or trio of Khaki Campbells next month when our farm store gets them in, and I have a few duck specific questions.

    Mostly, would they be alright to share the run with our chickens most of the time if we also made a movable pen to let them go around the yard in? We have two dogs, one of which is a two year old Aussie Shepherd (VERY excitable), so we don't let the chickens free range, and probably wouldn't let the ducks for the same reason, but we're thinking of making a 8x8x4 frame(made from 2x4s) with fencing all around (and on top if needed) that could be moved around the yard so they can forage. We would let them in this pen whenever we are home, which is a couple hours a day during the week and all day weekends usually. I figure they can fly, so do you need a roof on the pen, or clip their wings? We don't clip our chickens, but their run is mostly roofed and the part that isn't has fencing over the top(you can see the pictures of this in my coop page)

    Would they be okay to share the coop with the chickens? Or would we need to make them their own little coop?If they need their own, how much space do they need if they wont be confined to it except at night? Same as chickens?

    I know they make nests instead of roosting, and there is definitely sufficient floor space in the coop that isn't under the poop bars for them to nest. Would they use the same next boxes or need their own? If they used the same, can you tell the difference between duck and chicken eggs?

    Also, do they need a pool to swim in? Everything I've read about Campbells says they are okay without but like to have a pool if possible. If they need one, we could definitely have one for them, we're just not sure.

    Sorry if any of these questions are incredibly stupid. We are completely new to ducks, and only know what we looked up in the past few days. Thanks for the help! :)

    Edited to ask:
    So if I were to build them a little house attached to the chicken run (predator proof) that has a door opening up into it, and then fence in a small area around the little house with like picket fencing(with a pool for them and such), would it be okay to have them in the run with the chickens while we are gone, and to then let them out into the pen when we were home? They would be in with the chickens and not have access to a pool for 7-8 hours a day during the week. Also, would a picket fence that is like three-four feet tall be enough to keep them in, or would it need to be a lot taller? We can't have any sort of hot wire because we have a four year old, so fencing is the way we would go. Also, how big does the little house for them need to be for three duck if they would only be in there at night? Would something 3x3 work? The run they have is really big, so they wouldn't be stuck in it really at all except at night.

    Also, I know they need different kinds of water bowls because of their beak, but can they eat food out of the same kind of feeders as chickens, or do they need an open bowl? Anyone have pictures of their duck set up they want to share? I checked on the coops pages but didn't see any duck specific ones...

    Chickens are like a gateway drug. Now I want ducks. And goats. And cows. I need to move to the country!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I intend to eventually house the ducks and the new chicks together. Until then, the chicks will move out of the house to the porch and then to their own house next to the duck house.
    Water will be the main issue with having ducks and chicks together. Ducks like water. They enjoy it all sorts of way the least of which is in the container you provide to keep the water in. Water is way more fun when NOT in that container. I have water in the duck house - over a square of hardware cloth so the house doesn't get very wet. But they still play in their thing of water. And they muck it up. Clean water lasts about 4 seconds if a duck is nearby.
    Mine free range during the day and that is the plan for the chickens too. But many have ducks in smaller enclosed pens during the day.

    Pool - doesn't have to be elaborate, but they like water and they will be happier ducks if they can get into their water and clean and play and fling it around.

    My ducks have 2 bins on the floor with pine straw in them. They make little nests in those bins and that's where they normally lay their eggs. Other times it is just willy nilly on the floor. I don't see a duck getting up into a nest box if you don't have them at floor level. If at floor level, they may use it. Maybe not.

    The only ducks that really fly are the mallards and muscovy's (and non domesticated ones). I have runners and a welsh harlequin. They all fly, but not high nor far and the wh usually can't even get off the ground, she just flaps hard and runs fast and pretends lol
     
  3. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    if you are getting ducklings that will be different they have this type of oil on them i forget what its called starts with a p but back to the point they can not produce this oil their self so they can't be in water to long even if they like it but if you had a broody duck that hatched a few ducklings out then they would be fine the adult ducks produce their own oil and they would give it to their babies .. the adult chickens could harm the ducklings but if u get adults you should be fine .... but if you are getting a drake and female then u have to watch out in breeding season drakes can kill chickens or roosters unless they are a call duck they are way to small .. i keep my big ducks living with the chickens in their coop and they free range with each other if you have any other questions just ask away
     
  4. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    We would be getting ducklings from the farm store here in the city. We are planning on keeping them in a brooder like chicks until they are big enough to be in with the chickens. We are planning on getting only girls, but might entertain the idea of a drake if we end up keeping them separate.
     
  5. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    how i got my chickens and ducks to get along pretty good is my ducks and all my birds i have bow grew up with each other in the same spot when i got them i put them all in one area so they would get used to each other ... my females are fine with the chickens but my oldest drake is getting aggressive with my old alpha roo he pulls on the roos tail feathers and bites him but breeding season is coming up thats why
     
  6. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    Quote:
    Oh good to know. I wonder if having them in a little fenced area near the chicken coop would be okay, or if it needs a roof on it too? The chickens need the roof since they wont go out in the near constant rain, but ducks like water. Could ducks even get up a chicken ramp into a coop since they have webbed feet? It's like three feet long and goes up about two and a half or three feet. Maybe giving them their own area is better... Does their water (drinking and a pool for them) have to be SUPER low to the ground or could they hop/fly up into it? Im thinking like a foot up, not like really high or anything. Like kiddie pool?

    And if ducks lay their eggs in the wee hours of the morning, do they need access to the coop during the day or could they potentially be in a pen all day and just brought in at night?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  7. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    We don't have a roo, as we live in the city (Portland) and it's illegal to have roos here. So would a drake be aggressive towards my chickens, or just with another male? I'm not sure if we even want a drake, and the ducklings are not straight run so we could get all females..
     
  8. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    they can try to mate with a hen and if its a big drake its a slow and painful death for the hen .. but thats only when breeding season comes my drakes don't bug my hens but some times they run their beak on the chickens feathers looks like their cleaning them but only with the hens not the roos
     
  9. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    245
    19
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    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    Thanks for the info. :)
     
  10. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    np anytime thats what were all here for
     

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