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First post - Thinking of ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by axxell33, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. axxell33

    axxell33 In the Brooder

    Sep 24, 2010
    Annapolis, MD
    Hi! I have been lurking here for a while and decided to join. I have learned so much from everyone here already!

    I recently started a backyard flock of laying hens (chickens). Now I am interested in adding maybe a breeding pair of Muscovy to my flock. I currently have a run that is 6'x10' (also covered) and an inside coop attached to the run that is 3'x5' and has raised nesting boxes for my hens. My hens are 5 mos old and are not yet laying.

    My question is.. how well would the ducks do if I add them to my existing flock? Should I start with ducklings and allow them to grow up with the chickens? Would they need their own separate sleeping/nesting area? My primary purpose is not for pet or eggs, I would like to hatch each clutch in hopes of bringing meat to the table.

    Ideas? Thoughts? Experiences or lessons learned?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010

  2. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Songster

    Jan 26, 2009
    when I was a kid we raised some ducklings with the chickens and the ducks started breeding the chickens when they got older. Was a mess and had to move them.
  3. askjcm2005

    askjcm2005 Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego
    Breeding with the chickens? Really? So you had duck/chicken crosses?? What did you do with the babies? Did they live???
  4. doubleostud

    doubleostud Songster

    Sep 10, 2008
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    I have hatched out quiet a few ducks and I keep all of my ducks and chickens together. They tend to do their own thing but when the ducks get older they will try to mount chickens. I free range all of mine so normally it is only a problem when they are in the pen, either way good luck, ducks are easy to raise.
  5. duckluv

    duckluv Crowing

    Aug 20, 2010
    Quote:No, the ducks breed chickens, but you can't have a duck/chicken cross.
  6. xxSonja

    xxSonja Songster

    Dec 2, 2009
    Hi, Welcome from down under!
    My ducks have a seperate sleeping coop to my chooks, but they spend all the outdoor time free ranging the front paddock and house yard with them.
    I havent had any problems with my drakes mounting my hens or roosters mounting my ducks either.
    Ive only once had a drake and rooster fight, and that wasnt major, no injuries, and when it was over it was back to business as usual.
    If you put duckings in with bigger chooks you'll probably find your chooks picking on them, so id start with grown ups. Or you could keep them seperate till they are big enough to mingle.
  7. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Songster

    Jan 26, 2009
    Quote:well, the ducks could end up killing the chickens so we moved the ducks. They don't cross breed, the ducks just thought they were chickens. We also had a turkey that loved women.....not the girl turkeys.....people. He had to go! [​IMG]

  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    If you're thinking of muscovies for meat, you might want to see if you can find some to taste test first. My understanding is that muscovy has its own unique flavor, and it's not always preferred in taste tests. People *do* eat it, don't get me wrong, and you might really love it. But it's something to consider.

    We're raising quail along with the ducks and they are a great meat bird. Except that we don't really like them as meat. So we're thinning our flock down for just enough to have eggs, and no longer raising batches for meat.

    Good luck. Ducks are a lot of fun, and easy to keep, but messier than chickens.
  9. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    i have a duck and a goose who live with my chickens and they all get along. Both are females so i dont have to worry about them mating the chickens but if you have a drake i would give him a few ducks and plenty of room for the chickens to escape. i would suggest you try to get one of your hens to hatch the ducklings otherwise the chickens might pick on the ducks. i introduced my duck to my hens when they were about 3 months old and the duck was 2 months. the chickens sometimes bully th duck or will not let it eat first but they have gotten a lot better.
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] There are a lot of ways to keep chickens & ducks, together, side-by-side, or separately. I think the main issue is that ducks are messier, and can make your chickens' place wetter, muddier & more poopified. Once you begin to keep ducks you'll know why Donald Duck doesn't wear pants. They poop a lot, and it's looser, wetter stools than regular chicken poops. They also like to immerse their beaks in the water to blow out their beak boogers, and leave the waterers all goopy. Plus leave a wet mess around the waterer.

    While you can house them all together, you'll have to take extra steps to insure the area doesn't get too wet for your chickens' comfort & health.

    I think it's better to house the ducks in their own pen, with their own coop to go into at night. They can free-range together and probably won't have any problems. My ducks, geese, chickens & guineas all co-exist well, rarely if ever fighting or mating across the species. But they all have their own coops & pens to go into at night. The ducks & geese are let out to free-range first thing in the morning, the chickens are let out later in the afternoon.

    I agree that you should sample different breeds of ducks for flavor before committing to one. I've heard that Muscovies are supposed to be tasty, less oily than other breeds of ducks. And they tend to be more broody, setting & raising their own ducklings. Pekins are another common meat breed, but I don't know how broody they tend to be.

    I myself keep Khaki Campbells for their eggs, and now have added some Indian Runners for entertainment purposes only. Whatever you get, ducks are lots of fun!

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