Does my coop need an upgrade to accommodate ducks?

PlanetLove

Hatching
7 Years
Aug 12, 2012
3
0
7
We built a chicken coop when we first moved to our farm and decided to resort back to our country ways after being "city slickers" for many years. We owned 6 laying hens, 2 roosters and 6 meat hens. We let them live part-time free-range, where they were in coop (with a medium-large run) during the day while no-one was home, free-roaming while we were and locked in coop only during the nights. Because we are in a high-predator area, we were cautious of leaving them to free-roam while nobody is home. Sadly the coop door wasn't properly latched one night and just so happens the coyotes found their way into the coop and killed all of our beloved chickens.

We had been reluctant to get chickens again because we felt awful having lost the pets we had grown so close to but years later we have decided to fix what errors we made before with the door and welcome chickens back into our yard. This time we are strictly sticking with laying hens and a rooster, we didn't have the heart to kill any of the meat hens which seemed just as cruel because their rate of growth was too great and they could hardly walk being so fat.

Well it has always been a dream of mine to have a couple pet ducks waddle about our yard and splash about in our pond, so I have decided we will welcome two ducklings to the farm! Along with six chicks.

Well here's the conflict. Our coop is built for chickens, with roosts and nesting boxes but this being my first time raising ducks, what needs to be added to make our chicken coop into a duck coop too?

Of course they will get the basics like an outdoor kiddie pool for them, but any other things that I should add to make it a comfy home for both ducks and chickens?

Any tips or information you have for duck newbies or co-habitation would be much appreciated as well!

I also apologize for the unnecessarily long, rambling explanation I gave for my questions!

Thanks for reading!
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,640
531
Southern New England
Not too long, no, nice to know the background.

The ducks need to be female - drakes could try to mate with hens and kill them.

I would want a separate area in the coop for the ducks. They have a special relationship with water (being waterfowl) and chickens do not seem to appreciate that. Ducks will put all kinds of fun things in the water, making it murky and thick.

I also hate the thought of ducks sitting under chicken roosts and getting pooped on.

Ducks (except Muscovies) don't roost, so they don't need that, and my ducks, anyway, prefer to make their own nest areas so they don't need a nest box.

Perhaps you could have an alcove for the ducks. I like to be sure to have plenty of room so that in extended rough weather they don't get claustrophobic.
 

TLWR

Crowing
9 Years
Jul 10, 2010
2,879
254
254
southern AL
My ducks and chickens have their own separate housing. The initial plan was to house them together, but eh, things change LOL

But they do share the yard together, so every bit of water within ducks reach is gross within 5 minutes (or maybe 20 if nobody noticed when I filled the bins). Chickens here don't care and they do have access to nice clean water up in their coop.
But they walk in to the duck house and drink their vile water or drink the water next to the food house or out of the pond.
So the water thing outside the coop really isn't that big an issue. Fresh water daily and all is good.


In the coop, as long as you don't provide water for the ducks, should be ok. Just make sure the roosts have poop boards under them to prevent the ducks getting pooped on. My ducks love corners. They snooze in the corners for the most part. I have a cement mixing pan in there with pine straw that they use to lay eggs in - and sleep in - 2 were in it last night when I went to lock them up.
 

PlanetLove

Hatching
7 Years
Aug 12, 2012
3
0
7
Good to know about getting only females! Wouldn't want to see any of my hens getting hurt or killed out of frisky drake shenanigans lol.

Adding a poop deck is a good plan as well, even if I house the ducks separately, I do recall the previous chickens constantly firing stink-missiles onto their buddy's backs. Would be nice to have a shield for that space so it is actually usable, haha.

I was hoping to house them together, just thinking it would be nice to have that extra feathered company (have family who's chickens and ducks are peas in a pod) and for make it easier for when winte rolls around again. But, building a duck house is really not a big project, may have just been wishful thinking.

I still really would like to house them together, and may give it a shot for a little bit, and if either seem to not appreciate the living circumstances, I'll build a house for the ducks too. I've compiled a little list of what I'll do to try and make it comfortable to both in hopes it may work. If not, no biggie, couple hours and some reclaimed wood and ducks will have their own little home.

So, what I'm planning to do to try and make it easier for them to live together:
- flagstone pad around the kiddie pool so they don't turn the run into a mud-pit
- raised water and feed dishes so duckies will have to be really motivated to muck it up
- poop deck to avoid the chickens stink-missiles
- corner huts to curl up in
- boarded off section in coop where the ducks can sleep comfortably at night without chickens pestering and vice-versa

Again, if this doesn't end up working, it's really not a big deal to build a small coop for the ducks.

I do have a newbie question to ask.

We are planning on getting our day-olds all at the same time, can they all be raised together in the brooder or should they also be separated during infancy? Just don't want ducks picking on chickens or the other way around. I suppose that will happen when they reach the coop to establish a pecking order, but want to avoid it when they are young and can't stick up for themselves. We have a large brooding pen, which could be easily separated with some plywood and be large enough for them to comfortably be raised in.

Thank you guys for the quick responses and I shall look at duck coops just in case my adjustments don't work as well as planned.
 

TLWR

Crowing
9 Years
Jul 10, 2010
2,879
254
254
southern AL
Raise them together until it is an issue. There may be none and all goes well. Or they may pick on each other and then you'd want to separate them. As long as you are prepared to have to separate if needed, you'll be good to go.


At 2-3 weeks, ducks get really messy since they are getting so big. The food water mess is gross.
My method of dealing with it is the brooder moves to the ground (they are on my patio raised up on saw horses, then the brooder is just put directly on the patio). Kick the messy critters out in the morning and hose the brooder and patio down. Right now they are still getting a towel to sleep/poop on with their light at night.
I take the towel in the morning and hose that "clean". Let dry outside and either wash or reuse in the brooder... depends on how gross the towel is. The food and water does not go on the towel anymore.

Ducklings are practice in problem solving LOL
 

holm25

Jr Chicken Wrangler
5 Years
Apr 6, 2014
12,624
5,688
672
MN
We built a chicken coop when we first moved to our farm and decided to resort back to our country ways after being "city slickers" for many years. We owned 6 laying hens, 2 roosters and 6 meat hens. We let them live part-time free-range, where they were in coop (with a medium-large run) during the day while no-one was home, free-roaming while we were and locked in coop only during the nights. Because we are in a high-predator area, we were cautious of leaving them to free-roam while nobody is home. Sadly the coop door wasn't properly latched one night and just so happens the coyotes found their way into the coop and killed all of our beloved chickens.

We had been reluctant to get chickens again because we felt awful having lost the pets we had grown so close to but years later we have decided to fix what errors we made before with the door and welcome chickens back into our yard. This time we are strictly sticking with laying hens and a rooster, we didn't have the heart to kill any of the meat hens which seemed just as cruel because their rate of growth was too great and they could hardly walk being so fat.

Well it has always been a dream of mine to have a couple pet ducks waddle about our yard and splash about in our pond, so I have decided we will welcome two ducklings to the farm! Along with six chicks.

Well here's the conflict. Our coop is built for chickens, with roosts and nesting boxes but this being my first time raising ducks, what needs to be added to make our chicken coop into a duck coop too?

Of course they will get the basics like an outdoor kiddie pool for them, but any other things that I should add to make it a comfy home for both ducks and chickens?

Any tips or information you have for duck newbies or co-habitation would be much appreciated as well!

I also apologize for the unnecessarily long, rambling explanation I gave for my questions!

Thanks for reading!
pics
 

PlanetLove

Hatching
7 Years
Aug 12, 2012
3
0
7
I'll pop another brooder together just in case. I was a clean freak with out chickens cleaning it out at least every other day, if not every day or even twice a day some times.. I like clean pens, plus they were getting raised in our house. I fear my neat-freak habits may go nuts with the ducks lol, oh well!

I'll definitely take some pictures once I get back home.

I have some patching up to do around the coop, it's been quite a few years since anything lived in there so it was a storage shed for a while and got pretty banged up in the process. So I'm also planning on:
- throwing a fresh coat of paint on the interior
- patching the roof and making sure it's properly sealed
- going to lay down new flooring, the old stuff is starting to feel weak already
- laying new linoleum floors and skirting again
- going over weak areas in the fencing in their run

But I'll definitely post some pictures of the coop, before and after getting it fixed up.
 
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