Need Advice- Considering adding 2 ducklings in Spring, currently have 3 chickens

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Fourchicks, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Fourchicks

    Fourchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2012
    Hello
    Please feel free to point me in the right direction if this has been covered before-I searched briefly and found some answers but not all...
    We had 4 chickens (they will be three years old in May) but one recently passed away. There are 3 bonded hens left, been together since 1 day old...They free range in the day and overnight in a 4x4 raised coop at night with a smallish attached run (the run is basically only used when we go away...)...

    The hen that died was my son's...and on his Santa list turned up the item "a real duck." So I have started to consider adding a duck (or 2..) to the mix (Santa would leave a certificate in his stocking redeemable for ducklings come Spring). We have a swamp type body of water on our property and I think in the Summer the ducks would quite like it here! We have some mallards that turn up in that swamp over Summer anyway...

    Questions tho--do we need to change the accommodations that the chickens share if we add a duck or will the ducks be able to free range in the day and share the coop/run at night (or at least the run as it seems ducks prob won't sleep in the coop? or should we put a plastic dog kennel out there for the ducks or...?) How and when would we introduce the ducklings to the chickens? Will the ducks return to shelter at night like the chickens? and how do we keep water avail in the winter when the swamp and/or kiddie pool would freeze over? We are in MA and the coop and run are not heated...

    Any advice would be appreciated-thanks a bunch in advance for any insight and tips!
     
  2. Crazy4Fowl

    Crazy4Fowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 20, 2014
    My duck coop
    I recommend Golden 300 hybrid layer ducks http://www.efowl.com/Golden_300_Hybrid_Layer_Ducks_p/1072.htm
    they are friendly and really good layers, they can be good mothers too. Most places make you get at least 4 ducks. Shipping is cheeper the more you get. We got 10 from efowl.com and will sell the other 8 on craigslist or something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  3. Pekins make the best family pets if you want to get a duck. I would suggest getting an even amount of ducks, because the duck(s) will not be bonded with the chickens, if you get an even amount... they can be bonded with each other. If you get Pekins, I would not suggest letting them free range right away if at all. They are flightless and VERY vulnerable to coyotes and other wild animals you might have around your house. We also have a big body of water on our land, but I will not let my ducks go there for the same reason I explained earlier. The ducks will sleep in the coop, if you train them to go in there at night. My six ducks share the same coop and run with my nine chickens and they have done fine. The only questionable thing is they are very greedy. If the chickens come to close to the ducks while they are drinking, the ducks pull on the chickens' feathers really hard and chase them away from the water.

    I'm not saying you CAN'T let your ducks free range.... if you get ducks that can fly like mallards or something.... I would clip their wings, and train them to stay in the area you want them to.

    The way I trained my ducks to go in the coop at night, is we kept them contained since we got them (and still do). When they were young, of course they didn't know to go in the coop at night, so we had to chase them in. After about a week of doing this, they finally learned that they had to go in at night, and now they do it at a certain time each night. We had guinea fowl once, and we did the same thing with them, but when they got the hang of it, we let them free range, and they went back to the coop at night! The first couple of nights, we put some food in the coop so that they would be motivated!

    If you have dogs, I would not let them free range, unless the dogs are inside dogs and never go outside, or have an electric fence.

    Hope this helps! I'm sorry about the loss of your son's chicken... it's always sad when an animal passes away. :(
     
  4. Crazy4Fowl

    Crazy4Fowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My duck coop
    If you had gotten ducks earlier when you got the chickens it would have been much better. They seem to get along more if they are grown up together. Since they aren't growing up together I recommend a separate coop for you ducks. You could have a little plastic pool in the run of the coop for the ducks. But ducks are flock animals so you can't just get one. Like I said earlier most places make you get at least 4. But if you can get less I recommend getting 2 golden 300 hybrid layers.
     

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