Ducks & Chickens Considerations

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GentFarmer, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just a quick question for those of you who have both: the chickens are my existing flock, and I'm looking to add ducks this year. I'm primarily interested in the Welsh Harlequin. Any advice, tips, or experiences with a dual flock I should consider?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Are you adding them for pets, eggs, or meat? If you only want eggs then I wouldn't keep a drake around.
     
  3. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm planning for both. Eggs are the first, obvious, benefit. But I'd like to have the option for a true dual-purpose animal on the homestead. My thought, at this point, is to go for a straight run of 10, culling the drakes, except for one, when the time comes.
     
  4. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2013
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    Don't introduce the ducks to the chickens right away. Keep them separated by some chicken wire or similar. And don't do that until the ducks are a decent size. At least four weeks in my opinion.

    Practically speaking there are alot of considerations.

    Ducks are messy around water. Chickens don't like wet messes. In my coop the ducks stay on the bottom and the chickens have a loft of their own. I do not keep water inside the coop. Which brings me to...

    Ducks need water that's deep enough to dip their bills whenever there's food available. Hence no food in the coop. I keep food and water both outside in the run. I have a secure run, however, that they have 24/7 access to. I think that's better for ducks because I find mine outside at night quite often.

    I suppose if you had a coop that was big enough you could have food and water in there. Just expect the area to become a mud pit.

    If you end up with an excess of drakes you may want to cull them to the point where you have 2+ females per male. Otherwise they may go for the chickens which will end badly. I'm not sure when drakes reach maturity and start getting feisty. I don't think it's before 8 weeks, though if I recall.
     
  5. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much for the practical advice. I do have a large coop, but I have plenty of room and plan to house them separately. I'm doing a straight run of 10 (with 5 sexed as female), and am planning to cull all but one drake.

    I'm still unsure about where to brood them. I'm using a galvanized tub 6' long and oval as their brooder. The real question is where I'll put them. I've got two weeks to figure that part out, so thank you for the advice on age to introduce them to the chickens. I've got an odd yard that is a series of chain-link runs within runs. I'm figuring on allowing them to mingle freely, but with plenty of room (I've got about an acre of roaming land within the fenced areas when they're all open) to get away and hide if/when they want.

    As with the chickens when I first got them, I'm finding I'm far more nervous than I thought I would be. Having just placed my order this morning, I'm ready to get home and get busy prepping.
     
  6. muscovy joe

    muscovy joe Out Of The Brooder

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    This is a duck waterer I have, the bucket under it should be bigger. its just a pail in a heated birdbath. the yellow bucket cover with wire catches most run off from the ducks. I put clean water in it every morning, and it only freezes at -20C. an idea if you want a waterer in the coop,
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. I like having the visual to your setup. I was thinking something similar, so it's some reinforcement that I'm thinking along the right track. Out of curiosity, where is your feed relative to the waterer?
     
  8. muscovy joe

    muscovy joe Out Of The Brooder

    I keep mine about 2 feet away, iv read some thing that they should be further away, but I don't think its too important.
     

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