Mixing ducks with chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chuckleberry, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Chuckleberry

    Chuckleberry In the Brooder

    I work at a school where we have a fenced-off pets' area. Pupils are able to keep rabbits, guinea-pigs, hamsters etc, as well as a few chickens. Recent additions have been two sheep and a pupil has this week introduced 4 Indian Runner ducks. One of my colleagues has raised a concern that ducks should not be kept with other poultry, as they harbour much more virulent diseases in their gut than chickens do, and he thinks there is a great danger of infection spreading to the human visitors to the pet area. The small pets are all contained in cages and runs, but the chickens and ducks free-range, although they are shut up in their own coops at night. The sheep, I am told, will be going soon. I would be grateful for any insight/advice from other members who have experience of what happens when you mix ducks with other poultry and what biosecurity measures should be introduced to minimise any possible risk to humans and the residents of our pets' corner.
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Songster

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I had two ducks that we integrated with our chickens. They were very messy but we were okay with that. The problem was that the ducks started attacking and eating the chickens. The ducks were smaller than our larger breed chickens and stayed away form them, but we introduced 2, 12 week old pullets and the next day we walked in and the ducks had eaten though the pullet's head. I know some people have successfully kept chickens and ducks together, as long as they have a huge amount of room and the pen is cleaned almost daily. Ours went to my uncle's home where they successfully integrated with his pet ducks in his pond.
  3. 20736

    20736 Songster

    Jun 6, 2012
    we have not had good luck keeping ducks and chickens together, but more from a logistics point than behavior. ducks need lots of water, and it needs to be cleaned daily. Ducks don't like going in the coop at night. Lots of stuff like that.
    We had no medical issues with the combination.
  4. Chuckleberry

    Chuckleberry In the Brooder

    Thank you for that, but what a horror story!
  5. Chuckleberry

    Chuckleberry In the Brooder

    Thank you. I'm beginning to feel that we do not need to be too worried about the health issues, though the ducks have only been here a few days and already the area has become significantly more muddy, and, yes, their water gets mucky really quickly.

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