Ducks and chickens together

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by imfrmnj, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. imfrmnj

    imfrmnj New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Sep 24, 2012
    I have 12 chicks and I got 4 ducks to raise for meat.The chickens are about 5 weeks old and almost fully feathered. I don't think they would have a problem if I put them out with heat lamps and deep chips to snuggle in. They are getting really big and I want to put them all outside. The problem is it is still cold here. I have a nice heavy chicken house> it has a linoleum floor and I put chips on it about 6 inches thick for the chickens and I have hanging feeder and 5 gal drip watering bucket. The base of the house is completely closed in. My problem is that the ducks make such a mess and I don't want to have to change all the chips in the chicken house all the time. . I also have a run with a roof on it. Any ideas how I could do this and still keep the ducks warm and happy. I don't want it to get damp for the chickens because they are my primary concern. I am thinking I might make a temporary shelter for the ducks in the run and keep them there temporairly until the weather warms up. Any ideas on how to make one cheaply.I would want to put a light in for them for awhile. Any ideas will be appreciated.
     
  2. SaxaSime

    SaxaSime Just Hatched

    6
    1
    10
    Mar 6, 2015
    Lancashire UK
    Last year in the spring, I had 6 ducks. That was my first time working with ducks so I was very unsure how to go about keeping them. I made them a small pond in my garden and a small wooden house near the pond. I orderd them a dome type house online and it was very easy to put together. My chickens always roam around the garden so they were able to meet the ducks and they got on with them very well. The cockerels didn't seem to mind them but they never got too close. They probably had territory issues! I didn't put any bedding down with the ducks as it would have stuck to their feet and they would have got very irritated by it. If the ducks are young then a light would be recommended but over 16 weeks and most birds are fine without.
    I don't have the ducks anymore as during the summer I took them a lake nearby my house, and they are still there when I go to visit. They make great pets as they are low maintenance and only require food as they are nearly always in the water. Ducks are calm so they will probably look after and guard your chicks.
    I hope this helps! :)
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,167
    5,981
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Welcome to BYC SaxaSime

    Why did you take your ducks to a lake instead of finding them a good home where someone would care for them? here in the USA it's illegal to dump domestic water fowl at parks, lakes, ponds
    etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. SaxaSime

    SaxaSime Just Hatched

    6
    1
    10
    Mar 6, 2015
    Lancashire UK
    In England it is not illegal to an extent. The lake is near my house in the middle of my wheat meadow so the lake is on my property already. I took them in last spring to look after them and keep a close eye until they were ready to go back in the wild as I found them nearly dead which was rather upsetting. I did a lot of research and called the RSPB and they allowed me to keep them on my farm but told me to put them back in the wild when they were better. So I cared for them for the 3 months I had them until they were better and now the are back in the wild and have been doing fine, but technically they are still on my farm as the lake and the meadow its on are all connected, if that makes sense.:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,167
    5,981
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    So these were wild ducks you took in to care for, well that sounds much better, and still on your property a nice bonus.. Sorry if I sounded harsh but over here we see so many abandoned water fowl on our lakes, rivers, parks that it raises angry feeling. So nice of you to actually rescue and save these birds. [​IMG]
     
  6. SaxaSime

    SaxaSime Just Hatched

    6
    1
    10
    Mar 6, 2015
    Lancashire UK
    I know its kind of sad because people think that domestic ducks are the same as wild but the domestics cannot be in the wild because they don't know how to fend for and protect themselves. That's why they end up getting abandonded by lakes and unfortunately some get attacked and even shot if they don't know how to hide and camouflage to the surroundings.
     
  7. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,555
    330
    216
    May 19, 2014
    Round Rock, TX
    Thank you for explaining. So many people just release ducks after they are no longer cute it kills me. Sounds like you did a good thing helping them out for a bit.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,555
    330
    216
    May 19, 2014
    Round Rock, TX
    Ducks have different needs than chickens as you are finding out. Can you enclose the bottom of your coop for them? Put up some boards around it? Ducks love water and need water deep enough to clean their nares so nipple systems don't work well for them. I don't have water or food in the coop once they are 8 weeks or so. At that point they get an old crockpot that is too narrow to stand in for water. It is in the grass and I don't have a mud problem. Pea gravel or sand works to help control mud. I use shavings in their house.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by