Ducks vs. Chickens

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cluckey, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    76
    Sep 17, 2014
    Hello Everyone,
    I currently have 12 chickens on my farm and would love to get ducks this spring. Can anyone help me with some basic advice on what they need? Are they like chickens where they will retreat to their "hutch" at night when the sun goes down or do i have to heard them in every night? Do Racoons go after ducks? I live on 10 acres and we have a creek that runs through the property. Would the ducks find the stream on their own if i put their hutch up the hill away from it and closer to the chicken coop, or do i need to provide a pool of water other than the stream for them at all times. Can they live in the run of the chicken coop if i built a small dog house type structure? Do chickens and ducks get a long? Will they fly away? Any advice on raising ducks and what they need on a daily basis would be extremely helpful!!
    Thank you!
     
  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,223
    83
    136
    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    they won't usually go into their living area at night like a chicken, but they are pretty smart and after herding them in for awhile, they usually get the idea and will go in at night. Feeding the at night is an easy way to get them in, but they you have to provide a bucket of water inside the coop, which wastes a lot of bedding. Thankfully, unlike chickens, ducks tend to mostly stay togethers and are not too hard to herd...not scattering in 20 different ways!

    raccoons thinks ducks are extremely tasty, so making sure that they have a coon-proof sleeping area. Ducks are naturally drawn to water, and will find it quickly, but unless you feed them by the creek, you will need to provide a tub of water wherever you feed them. I would be concerned about them floating downsteam on the creek and not coming back...do you have a fence or some other way to stop this? They can live in the same run. i have done it successfully, and so have many others. The biggest thing to watch out for is the chickens bullying the ducks. some scuffling is fine, but if the chickens are drawing blood, it's time to separate them.

    Flying depend on the breed. Most domestic ducks won't fly much, and if they do you can clip their wings. mallards will fly away though.

    The most improtant thing is making sure they are safe from predators and making sure they have access to water whenever they eat. Also, they way ducks eat is by taking a mouthful of food and then swishing it around in the tub of water. It will get gross, and you don't have to stress about it being clear or anything, but make sure to change it once a day.

    Feel free to ask any more questions...i'd be glad to answer them!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    76
    Sep 17, 2014
    So it sounds like I'll probably have to get my husband to build a new predator safe home for them since our run isnt fully enclosed at the top and the coop is too small for ducks and chickens. My biggest concern is that when I leave for work in the mornings it is dark outside and when i get home its dark out (in winter). I just wonder how i would allow them to roam around all day and make sure they are safe at night too without looking for them in the dark when I get home.
     
  4. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,223
    83
    136
    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    yeah, they can wander around a ways in search of bugs...maybe build them a pasture/run for during the winter so they can still get out, but you can find them and they would be safer from predators.
     
  5. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    76
    Sep 17, 2014
    Great advice! Thank you!
     
  6. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,223
    83
    136
    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    sure, glad i could help a bit :) Gook luck with the ducks!! If i could only keep one type of bird, i would have to say the ducks or the geese :D
     
    jeroger2 and lonebluetear like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by