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Cooping Chickens and Ducks Together.... please help!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickiee, May 12, 2012.

  1. Chickiee

    Chickiee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok, so this is what we have going on... 8 hens (mix of egg laying breeds), 1 rooster (plymouth rock) and 2 Pekins (side surprise and not part of original poultry plan). We started a very cool 8'x8' coop (3 nesting boxes inside) with 10'x10' covered dog run attached for outside scratching, foraging and playtime. Flooring will be linoleum with pine bedding on top and straw in nest boxes and ducks' sleeping corner. Right now they all share chick crumble from a 30 lb feeder, common waterer and common grit holder. Everyone gets along wonderfully! These are my biggest concerns: 1) When the chickens are moved off of their chick crumble and move on to egg layer feed, the ducks will also move from the chick crumble to duck specific feed... How do I keep the feeds separate in the coop? 2) Although the ducks are so very cute, they do an amazing job at getting water all over the floor of their brooder... Just natural, but what a soggy mess I keep cleaning up! How do you keep the coop floor dryer with ducks making such a water mess? So much water, I don't want it to damage their feet, create mold, etc. 3) When making the ramp for poultry to get in/out of the coop, what angle incline can ducks walk? The coop is raised off the ground for predator purposes, but the ramp needs to be user friendly for chickens and ducks. 4) Any other suggestions for keeping these guys together including interior design set up or items I need for them? Thank you so much! :)
     
  2. Tinka

    Tinka Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2012
    New Market, TN
    I have absolutely no ideas for keeping ducks and chickens together. We tried it. It didn't work no matter what we did. The day the ducks became territorial of the food dish and attacked a couple of the chickens for daring to come to eat with them, (Both ducks actually dragged a chicken around by a leg before we stopped them), is the day we separated them.

    Our chickens are brahmas and we thought they would be big enough to be with the ducks and they were all raised together and slept together and everyone looked comfy cozy. But the ducks are water fowl after all and like things WET, and actually need the water to help swallow their food (hence the soggy mess you are noticing). Chickens like it DRY.

    Our ducks now have their own separate fenced area with a kiddie pool that they love. Chickens are fenced in their own area and are nice and dry. Everybody is happy. And so are we.
     
  3. Chickiee

    Chickiee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Tinka, although not very promising with our situation. There will be a kiddie pool in the run which I forgot to mention so the ducks will like that. During spring, summer and fall, the poultry most likely spend their days mostly outside... Also free-ranging when we're outside with them due to predators. I think we will need additional feeder and waterer outside just to deter more sogginess inside the coop. But, winters here in Wisconsin are at times not too kind and poultry will have plenty of time inside the coop. I do know what you're talking about with ducks being territorial, but everyone is happy together. They are about 7 weeks now. If anything else comes to mind, please let me know. I know people do it... I just don't understand how... :p
     
  4. Tinka

    Tinka Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2012
    New Market, TN
    I wish you the best of luck. Know about those winters up north - that's why we are in the south now lol.
     
  5. bird dirt 40206

    bird dirt 40206 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    Louisville, KY
  6. Tinka

    Tinka Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2012
    New Market, TN
    The chicken nipples are a great idea - for chickens since they don't like to play in the water. I am wondering how long it would take the ducks to empty a system like that once they learn to hold the nipples open to get water, especially if they don't have access to a pool. I used to have water bottles for some of my canaries because they created a mess everytime they played in their water. I was so surprised to see them empty the whole bottle in just a couple minutes by holding it open so the water would drain out on them thereby taking a shower instead of a bath.

    So hard to stay one step ahead of our animals, isn't it? lol
     
  7. Duck Queen

    Duck Queen New Egg

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    May 27, 2012
    This April we decided to add some critters to our farm. We already had three adult ducks on the pond and decided to get some more but when we arrived at the local farm supply store they only had one little brown duck with some chickens and some more critters. So we got six chickens, (three brown and three yellow) and three swans, and two Chinese geese. Later found out we had five Chinese geese who would grow up to look like swans. We kept them in separate containers until we got our chicken coop and run build. Unfortunately the little brown duck died and we got two mallard ducks. One of the mallards had a cotton ball top knotch on its head, we think he is the male. So once we put them all together it seemed ok. After much growth, the five geese decided to retreat to the pond which gave the chickens and mallards much more room. We have feeders inside the coop and run along with watering jugs and two kiddie pools. Then a friend brought us their two baby ducks just barely showing their white down and we put them in with the mallards and chicks. We kept the outside door to the in closed but left the little door open going into the coop open and the outside door to the coop open barely. When we came home something had killed the little duck. It seemed like he had been pecked to death appearing like the chickens had done it but the geese and older ducks were in there looking at him. The mallards were outside the coop taking care of the other baby duck. So we are unsure bout what exactly happened, but sure wish I had kept the baby ducks separate until they were larger.
     
  8. Chickiee

    Chickiee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Duck Queen, sad story. We were told that if we get chicks and ducks, they all need to grow up together... Or at least it's easier that way. We bought 2 chicks and 2 Pekin ducks from TSC... All a day or two old. 4 days later our hatchery order of 7 chicks arrived. Within an hour I had to enlarge the brooder because the ducklings were dangerously picking on the new chicks. Once I enlarged it and "mixed up the territories" (put new chicks in first, older chicks in second and ducks last) everyone got along fine and I haven't had any further real issues between them as long as they aren't cramped. That was the trick to ours. However, the messy duck drinking getting water everywhere is going to drive my nuts. How to keep the coop dry?? Unfortunately due to predators we will need to lock them in tight at night. Kiddie pool will be in their outdoor run. Also, how to keep their food separate once chickens go on egg-layer food.
     
  9. rainedaywoman

    rainedaywoman New Egg

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    Jun 5, 2010
    Lafayette, La
    We are dealing with duck and chickens. We just moved our 2 pekins to the prior chicken coop. Our chickens have migrated closer to the house settling in an unused washshed so we moved the pekins to the more open area. We have one Muskovy that was hatched by one of our broody hens and he now thinks he is a chicken. We have attempted to introduce him to the pekins but he escapes and runs back to the flock of chickens. When he hatched he was supposed to have a sibling but something got to our other duck egg killing the other duckling before it had a chance. So Bunky Duck grew up with chicks for siblings and imprinted on the hen that hatched him. So we have given up and are letting our little chicken duck go where ever he pleases. I have been concerned because I have read that ducks and chickens should not be mixed due to diseases that can come from ducks. So far it hasn't been an issue so just let them be.
     
  10. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    Well... the water thing is going to happen and it's not good for the chickens to have access to dirty water. If you put water in the run, a drinker or a pool, and you have dirt, it will become the smelliest mud you've ever seen. Ducks throw drinking water about a foot away, pool water can go 4ft or more when they really get going. Then they hop out, and play in the mud. If you put the pool where there is grass, you need to move it every couple of days. Firstly, so you don't kill the grass, and secondly, so that the ducks don't destroy the area with their little bill holes.

    For inside the coop, you can catch the mess water with something like this....

    [​IMG]

    I only have to remove a small area of bedding in front of it for cleaning, the rest is dry. With 4 ducks, I have to dump the container every 3-4 days. But I have to refill a 3 gallon drinker every 2 days.

    Trying to house them together but feed them differently... not going to happen unless you have set meal times and stand over them as if they're dogs. Doable if they free range all day. Free choice feeding in a run... they'll eat from wherever they want.

    Drakes can kill a chicken. Either from trying to breed her or from getting territorial. I have one hen that was raised with ducks.. she had no fear of them. Until that 9 pound drake pinned her down after she got into his face. He finally got serious with her and I had to get him off her. She stays out of his way now. But if they went through all that unsupervised and I wasn't there, he could have hurt her pretty bad... she's just a little Hamburg.

    I prefer them not to be raised together... the hens need to fear the ducks so that they stay the heck out of that drake's way. I don't want to sit out there waiting on him to catch one that wondered too close. They're completely different species that really have nothing in common. It's cute when they get along, but those drakes get moody.

    We've redone our duck run 3 times trying to find the best way. The best so far is landscape fabric, 1.5 tons of pea gravel spread around the 10x10 area, another layer of landscape fabric, and then pine shavings over that. The pool is elevated on gravel, with steps for access. No mud, no stink, no flies!

    You'll be dumping that pool water every 2-3 days... don't get a real big one. 4ft is plenty for a handful of ducks, the 6ft size is just wasting water. Keep in mind mosquito breeding, don't let water sit around as a breeding grounds.

    In my experience.. the boys don't get mean until they hit the first Spring when they're a year old. They're perfect gentlemen up until then.

    As soon as you see mud forming, throw bedding on top of it! Seriously. It's a bad stink.
     

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