Keeping Ducks and Chickens together?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ariana Martinez, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Ariana Martinez

    Ariana Martinez Out Of The Brooder

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    I've lost 3 chickens out of 9 to a predator and in the Spring I'm getting a few more. I'm really wanting to get maybe 2 ducks (don't know what breed but will be females) and they will live with my 2 hens and 4 roosters (getting rid of a few roosters) they will be in a pretty good sized pen and a good sized house. Will my rooster mate with the duck hens? Will they get along? Do I need to get there wings cut or clipped? The pen has no top. Do ducks need special food? Do they lay eggs often like chickens do? And do they do good in the winter? Thanks for reading[​IMG]
     
  2. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -Depends on the rooster but there generally seem to be more problems with drakes going after chickens than the other way around
    -In my experience (been keeping ducks & chickens together for forever) they 'get along' to the extent that they basically completely ignore each other. I've never had fights but they don't really hang out together either.
    -Whether you clip their wings depends on the breed you get...some are much better fliers than others. I have some friends who have had a pair of call ducks for over a decade in their urban backyard (6' privacy fence) who have never tried to fly off but I know some other people who have calls that fly as much as they walk. I have breeds that are better layers & have never seen them fly except to escape a predator.
    -The number of eggs you get depends largely on the breed you get, just like chickens.
    -They are good with all sorts of extremes of weather in my experience.
    (oops, forgot the food thing)
    -Whether they need 'special' food depends on what you feed. ABSOLUTELY NO medicated chicken feed!! FlockRaiser works great until they start laying, then whatever layer pellets you feed to your chickens supplemented with kitchen scraps will be fine.

    Ok, now have you REALLY thought about this? Have you visited someone who has ducks to really see the mess they make with water? You should be prepared to have two waters, one out of reach of the ducks, because the chickens won't be super impressed with drinking the mud the ducks will turn the water into within minutes of you cleaning it. Their pool (a small kiddie pool will be fine for just two) will need to be dumped every couple days...do you have a way to do that without creating a mud bog?

    I *love* ducks and much prefer them to chickens...I really only have chickens for decoration at this point since we all prefer to eat the duck eggs. But I have enough space that the muck isn't an issue for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  3. Ariana Martinez

    Ariana Martinez Out Of The Brooder

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    I've thought about it a lot and my friend owns all sorts of breeds of chicken, ducks, geese, that all live together in her back yard. She has an old very large water trough that horses and cattle use that she uses for her ducks swimming pool. I am going to get a kitty pool for the ducks and my chickens have a hanging waterer. But can the ducks and chickens eat the same food? And my main and most dominant rooster is very friendly towards all but one of my chickens. And will even mate with my two youngest roosters (which he's known since they were chicks).
     
  4. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ducks should get FlockRaiser (or similar unmedicated high protein feed) until they are old enough to lay, then switch to layer pellets (same as your chickens get). You definitely want to feed pellets rather than crumbles if you're trying to avoid waste.

    As far as your rooster goes, there just aren't any guarantees. They are all individuals & none of them seem to have read any of the books that say what they are supposed to do. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ariana Martinez

    Ariana Martinez Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, good to know. Will a 18 by 10 foot pen be big enough for my 6 chickens along with duck/ducks and praubly about 2 more hens!? I have 4 Roos at the moment and will only be keeping 2 of them with the girls and the other two in a different pen. I'm wanting to buy ducklings but instead bye pellets!
     
  6. Ariana Martinez

    Ariana Martinez Out Of The Brooder

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    *im mean I'm not wanting to ducklings instead I wanna either bye very young adults or just full grown ducks!
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    The ducks will need separate water - they are different with water than chickens are. Maybe put the chicken waterer on a shelf where they chickens can get at it but the ducks not.

    And chickens when they roost sometimes poop on ducks, so set up so that cannot happen.

    They need to be safe from predators especially at night.

    That space may be okay - the ducks will need water to bathe in, I use a concrete mixing pan.

    And - ducks are wonderful, please give everyone a secure, safe shelter. [​IMG]
     
  8. Ariana Martinez

    Ariana Martinez Out Of The Brooder

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    I sure will![​IMG] I'm very excited to be getting some! Thanks for the information. And do ducks even roost at all? And the chickens roost is about nearly a foot above the floor. And is it correct that they can eat the same feed!?
     
  9. stelladvm

    stelladvm New Egg

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    Has anyone discovered a better suited breed of duck for living with chickens?? I will have mainly chickens (50 variable breeds that free range on 5 acres) but would love to add 2 ducks. Was hoping for Anconas as they are so beautiful. Do have one Speckled Sussex rooster, luckily he is pretty calm. Except when the LGDs follw his hens around and then he goes into attack mode.
     
  10. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From my experience ducks are much less capable of escape from predators when compared to chickens. Keep that in mind when considering where they're kept at night.
    If you want a no-fly breed consider khaki campbells. No wing clipping necessary. They're also great layers. A little shy, though. I wouldn't pick that breed for "pets."
     

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