Mixing ducks with chickens

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by borrow53, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. borrow53

    borrow53 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,
    I've had 4 chickens for a while now, they were free ranging but they destroyed the garden so we brought a garden life enclosure which is 4mx4m and 2m high, they will still free range on the odd ocation but would be kept in there for most of the time. Just had a thought, because I want to get 2 Indian runner ducks I wasnt sure if they would be accepted by the chickens,
    Any one got any advice?
     
  2. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as they free range together and have separate places to hide they will be fine.
     
  3. LorraineM

    LorraineM Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 4 chickens and one duck who live together wonderfully.
    They free range all day long, and sleep in the same pen at night.
    :)
     
  4. borrow53

    borrow53 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2013
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    The thing is, they may not be able to free range every week, so I'm worried they will fight, and will the ducks cause a lot of mess in the enclosure?
     
  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG].

    Many people on here mix the two. If you just have females then you won't have to worry about Drakes trying to breed your hens. As long as they don't get super aggressive with each other it should be fine.
     
  6. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will be messy and will make the water gross.
     
  7. borrow53

    borrow53 Out Of The Brooder

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    do they need to free range, can they just stay in their enclosure?
     
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If the enclosure is large enough there is no reason they can't stay in there.
     
  9. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Kevin, you will need to make sure the enclosure is large enough for your additions, so that when you put them together, they can get away from each other. I did the EXACT same thing you are. I got my chickens last march and a duck. I raised them together and they were all besties until about 3 mos. when we figured out the duck I got was a Pekin drake NOT a Runner female like I had wanted. The drake was a VERY sweet guy, but drakes without ducks (and even sometimes with) will try to mate chicken hens. This is NOT ok because ducks and chickens have VERY different anatomy and a lot of damage can be caused to chicken hens by drakes. Long story short, we re-homed him and I ordered 2 SEXED females from Metzer Farms hatchery. They were extremely nice and their website was extremely helpful. They are located in bay area California and I live in Idaho. The day-old duckies shipped healthy and happy. They have many different colors of Runners to choose from.There are some considerations that you want to account for:

    Are you getting day-old chicks?Or adults? As soon as my chicks were large enough to content with my adult hens, I let them have some supervised free-range time together and at night I put the ducks to bed in their brooder. I did this for about a week and then I started putting them in the run with the chickens. There was some pecking and chasing for a while but this is completely normal to re-establish the pecking order and unless there is blood-drawing torment, you should not interfere. Eventually the ducks found their place with my hens and they all get along great now. If you get adults, there will need to be some quarantining time allowed so you aren't bringing any nasties into your existing flock but the integration process in essentially the same.

    Ducks eat pretty much the same as chickens, grown ducks can eat layer feed like chickens but if you get day-olds be sure NOT to feed them medicated starter. Ducks require A LOT more water than chickens. While they do not require a pool, most ducks will be happier with access to a small plastic kiddie pool at least. If not that, they NEED water deep enough to rinse their noses. Ducks eat with water too. They will take a mouthfull of feed and then waddle over to the water to wash it down and they can make a mess around tha waterer. I suggest elevating it and surrounding it with sand so it drains off and they don't make mudholes around it. Baby ducks too will make messes of their water so be sure to set the waterer down inside a seperate dish to catch what they dabble out.

    I would not recommend letting the ducks sleep in the same house as chickens. Their poops are large and watery and will make a big stinky mess 10Xs faster. On the bright side, it is VERY easy to provide ducks with seperate housing because they do not roost and only require a small, 3 sided shelter with plenty of straw to bed in. An old dog house works great.

    Ducks are a HUGE hoot and I think they are well-worth the little bit of extra work. They are extremely hardy and super entertaining, especially Runners and they lay plenty of eggs I'm told...mine just came of age about the time it started to get cold so they are waiting until Spring to lay. Good luck, and WELCOME TO BYC! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh btws, I have 5 chickens and 2 Runners and my run is 10WX15L chainlink....My first thought would be your space should probably be a little larger...
     

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