Integrating my ducks and chickens

justinwithpoultry

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
27
19
44
Central Texas
We just started on this whole backyard poultry thing and our first trip to get chicks landed us with 4 chicks and two ducklings (about a month ago).

We pretty separated them at the brooder stage because the ducks were so messy, but loooove them. So entertaining.

So I Built a coop/run according to some chicken coop plans over the last month and then as, you know, chicken math, we now have the two Rouen ducks (about a month old), a pekin (about two weeks old), a pair of chicks from the initial batch (so about a month old), 10 chicks that are about 2 weeks old.

We have a raised coop and an enclosed run (dirt (was grass)). The younger batch of chickens stays in the coop full time (it’s basically a huge brooder), while we let the older chicks and ducks stay outside in the run.

The ducks just all sleep in the run area (under the coop).

It is 100 highs and 80 lows here in central Texas so the overnight temps are all fine.

I’ve asked about adding proper duck housing to all this in the Coop design forum, and plan to get some kind of extension built for the ducks next weekend.

Where i’m Struggling now (in addition to the design of the duck housing) is that the ducks are HUGE BULLIES.

They travel in a pack and are generally delightful, but are very pushy with all the chickens they are around. We have spotted the younger duck actually getting ahold of some of the younger chicks a couple time and thrashing them around some.

Do we just need to keep an eye on everyone when they are together? I think there is some territorial issues between the ducks and chicks, but am a bit unsure how to address them.

Any thoughts?
 

justinwithpoultry

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
27
19
44
Central Texas
1F70FAE5-0518-4CE1-9582-D09F1D513BFD.jpeg
(Obligatory duck pic).

Here is my coop thread - I’d appreciate any duck expertise there:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...how-to-add-a-duck-housing-to-my-coop.1326518/
 

Chercher72

Chirping
Jun 14, 2018
27
76
55
I have ducks and chickens and guineas together. My pen is large but they still have to maintain a pecking order. Yes the ducks can be bullies but I think they will be fine till you build your extension for your ducks as long as there is enough room for the chickens to get away from them.
 

justinwithpoultry

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
27
19
44
Central Texas
I have ducks and chickens and guineas together. My pen is large but they still have to maintain a pecking order. Yes the ducks can be bullies but I think they will be fine till you build your extension for your ducks as long as there is enough room for the chickens to get away from them.

Ok thanks.

Yeah they always have a spot to run to, though “the spot to run to” moves around a bit as the ducks go conquer a different territory.
 

Jpat

Life’s a garden: dig it.
Apr 30, 2018
4,491
20,542
832
Nova scotia
the pecking order bickering is fine, the problem is Male ducks mating chickens

Ducks mate with penises and chickens dont, so chickens can be internaly damaged by the male duck

I think what your saying is they are all too young to mate anyway?
 

justinwithpoultry

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
27
19
44
Central Texas
Right. We’ll see about sex - they were straight run, one of the rouens has a pretty distinct neck ring though so i’m guessing drake there. We’ll keep an eye on that as they get older. For now I just want to make sure the chicks survive the next few weeks =)
 

Chercher72

Chirping
Jun 14, 2018
27
76
55
the pecking order bickering is fine, the problem is Male ducks mating chickens

Ducks mate with penises and chickens dont, so chickens can be internaly damaged by the male duck

I think what your saying is they are all too young to mate anyway?
I have found over the years that if you have mates for your drakes they usually leave the mating of chickens to the rooster. However during the heavy mating season which is spring and early summer they may go after a hen if they have nothing of their own to mate with. In the later case you do need to separate. Occasionally you will have a drake that just goes for the hens but in my history with fowl that isn't the norm.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,836
139,778
1,982
Mountains of Western N.C.
We just started on this whole backyard poultry thing and our first trip to get chicks landed us with 4 chicks and two ducklings (about a month ago).

We pretty separated them at the brooder stage because the ducks were so messy, but loooove them. So entertaining.

So I Built a coop/run according to some chicken coop plans over the last month and then as, you know, chicken math, we now have the two Rouen ducks (about a month old), a pekin (about two weeks old), a pair of chicks from the initial batch (so about a month old), 10 chicks that are about 2 weeks old.

We have a raised coop and an enclosed run (dirt (was grass)). The younger batch of chickens stays in the coop full time (it’s basically a huge brooder), while we let the older chicks and ducks stay outside in the run.

The ducks just all sleep in the run area (under the coop).

It is 100 highs and 80 lows here in central Texas so the overnight temps are all fine.

I’ve asked about adding proper duck housing to all this in the Coop design forum, and plan to get some kind of extension built for the ducks next weekend.

Where i’m Struggling now (in addition to the design of the duck housing) is that the ducks are HUGE BULLIES.

They travel in a pack and are generally delightful, but are very pushy with all the chickens they are around. We have spotted the younger duck actually getting ahold of some of the younger chicks a couple time and thrashing them around some.

Do we just need to keep an eye on everyone when they are together? I think there is some territorial issues between the ducks and chicks, but am a bit unsure how to address them.

Any thoughts?
I'd place temp fencing in your run and coop to separate the chicks from the ducks. Young chicks don't need to be bullied or injured they need to be stress free. Same as putting ducklings in with older chickens same things can happen. Having them separated where they can still see each other lets them have time to get use to each other and gives the chicks safety.
 

Jpat

Life’s a garden: dig it.
Apr 30, 2018
4,491
20,542
832
Nova scotia
I have found over the years that if you have mates for your drakes they usually leave the mating of chickens to the rooster. However during the heavy mating season which is spring and early summer they may go after a hen if they have nothing of their own to mate with. In the later case you do need to separate. Occasionally you will have a drake that just goes for the hens but in my history with fowl that isn't the norm.
Same here on all points, i had BR hens with my ducks and 1 drake. He never touched the chickens. But i always worried he would
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,836
139,778
1,982
Mountains of Western N.C.
I’ve never had a problem with my drakes going after hens either, but I’ve never had my birds penned together except at night when they are in the coop and the chickens are roosting.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom