How about a deck just high enough the ducks can't reach, but low enough for the chickens to hop up? I know you said a table didn't work, but maybe it just didn't seem stable enough, or roomy enough to them--a deck might. Especially if you put food up there too!
Ducks are generally not very aggressive about low barriers, either, so you could try putting a low garden fence around a chicken-only area--like those plastic foot-high fake picket fences at Walmart, etc.
Will your chickens drink out of a rodent-style ball feeder? That's another option. My quail take to it readily, and it's easier to keep clean and filled than the waterers made for them. If you get the rabbit size, it should provide enough water for the chickens.
Maybe the chickens would hop up onto a thick perch to access their water.
I had to put a thick piece of timber (like a perch) horizontally across the door to my chicken pen so the ducks wouldn't get in to mess up the water. The top of it is only 35cm above the ground but the ducks don't go over it. The chickens do hop up onto it though, to get in and out of their pen and to access clean water.
So is putting up a perch to access the water or putting a duck barrier across the chicken coop entrance an option?
Very good ideas. Will the chickens hop over the garden fence? Going to show these ideas to my husband and see what he can come up with. Thank you!!! Love my ducks, but getting frustrated with the water problem.
Solved the ducks messing up the chickenas water. Thank you for all of your help. I built a perch in the corner with a 2x4. Ducks can't hop over it, but chickens love to perch and hop on it!!! LOVE IT!!!
Apologies for bumping an old thread, but this hit the nail on the head when I did a quick google search just now. Thanks all for the suggestion of a perch/low level barrier, I'll try that with my chooks & ducks tonight.
I'd like to add another question to this thread - with keeping the ducks out of the chook water, how do I keep the chooks out of the duck water, or isn't this a problem once a "clean" source is established? And what kind of water setup could I have for the ducks that is hygienic enough to not require cleaning out for several days at a time? (ie if I were to leave home for a few days)
I have 8 chooks (6 unknown white breed "inherited" with purchase of property & 2 isa browns) & 2 indian runners, and ever since I've introduced the ducks to the coop/pen they've made a real mess of the water tubs - as ducks tend to do.
My pen has a 1.2m high chicken wire fence around its perimeter, and the coop itself is a large "two room" coop fully enclosed, with one room being fully sheltered with corrugated iron (sawdust/dirt floor) & the adjoining room being fully enclosed in chicken wire (grass floor, paddock views, cheap rent, landlord tends to drop in unannounced).
The ducks seem happy sleeping under the chook perch despite being pooped on from above, and during most of the day they're happy sunning themselves in the grass/chicken wire room where I've placed a large shallow tub of water that I (usually) clean out daily. There's a small container hooked up to a roof gutter to collect rainwater in the other room, although I've taken to cleaning this one one daily as well (used to get away with weekly or as soon as soiled when it was just the chooks). There's a third large shallow tub of water outside in the pen which has a mixed ground of grass and sandy dirt.
The ducks can drink/"swim" in the two tubs but can only drink out of the container. They manage to deposit about 1cm of dirt/mud in all 3 containers daily and the water smells pretty ordinary after a day. I guess ducks are naturally fine with filth but I'm concerned of the decrease in hygiene for the chooks, although they aren't showing any signs of ill health & I am cleaning out all water sources daily.
In the longer term I'm looking at having a "clamshell" pond in the pen and reverting to the single drinking source for the chooks.
Anyway, once the chooks have a re-established duckproof drinking source, what can I do if they still choose to drink from the "duckwater"? Will this be a problem with hygiene?
I could segregate but the ducks would be unhappy in the other vacant coops, as the previous owner had a minor egg business on the side & I think he kept maybe 100 chooks in 5 separate coops (with only the twin-room coop having a fenced pen to go with it).
After reading through several other threads on here (& elsewhere on google) it seems the general concensus (although not uniform) is the chooks drinking the duck water *shouldn't* be too much of an issue. I've raised one of the drinking sources up upon a haybale within the coop & it is keeping clean, so that's a good start for me