new to ducks I have a idea.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by joshremlin, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. joshremlin

    joshremlin Out Of The Brooder

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    Never kept a duck in my life, we've had chickens for a few years now and we have a 6x4 shed as a coop and a big run all our birds are free ranging at least a few hours a day.

    We a finding more success stories of chickens and ducks living together daily, so our idea was to sell on a few chickens and replace them with a duck but we are unsure on there requirements and how to set up our coop and run if you could please send us pictures of your runs ect especially if you keep chickens and ducks together to help us get a better understanding on there requirements.

    Oh and are they really noisy?
    Thanks all
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    First thing - ducks are MESSY. Depending upon the breed they can be noisy, and never put a solitary drake in with chickens. The pluses - Ducks have great personalities, and the eggs are excellent for baking.
     
  3. OmAnNom

    OmAnNom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had chickens for three years before we got into ducks. The initial plan was to let them sleep together in the same coop but there were a few issues we had with that. First the ducks are messy, second they would sleep directly under the chickens and get pooped on which I wasnt ok with and finally two out of the four ducks had difficulty learning to use the ramp into the chicken coop so we would have to catch them every night, not easy for my wife when I'm out of town. For the 2-3 weeks they lived together we never noticed any issues with them getting along, in at night out at first light. But eventually I made a separate house for them closer to the ground.
    As far as a run, we don't have one. Our backyard is fairly large at just under a half acre with lots of different small environments (veggie garden, herb garden, flower garden, bee hives, citrus trees and a pond and the five chickens and four ducks have free range of it all. This allows them plenty of room to do there own thing separate of each other if they wish but often times they are lounging in the flower garden or under the patio table together. Overall there is peace in our yard in fact our scottish terrier loves to lay in the sun among all the birds, she's quite protective of them. This might be differnt if they were enclosed in a run? Our chickens are all hens and the ducks are 1 drake to 3 girls

    The living quarters. The duck house gets fresh hay daily

    [​IMG]

    Ducks and chickens kicking it at the pool
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    Plenty of space to just get lost
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    Ducks really are awesome, they are always talking about you behind your back and It's hillarious to watch them play in the pond. They do however require more attention than chickens. Because they sleep on the ground you have to keep up with cleaning there sleeping area. They quickly make a mess of drinking water and empty it quickly. they also "drill" holes in wet parts your yard with there beaks which can wreak havoc on your grass during a long spell of rain. They will take mouthfuls of water from a drinker and drill next to it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  4. joshremlin

    joshremlin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2012
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    What breeds aren't noisy? And the mess doesn't really matter as it would only be one duck 3 chickens so it would be more than manageable. Must they have a pond too??

    All you advice will be taken into account and thank you for your replies.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I use concrete mixing pans made of heavy duty plastic. I can dump, rinse and refill in minutes. I have the yard set up so the pans are at the highest point, and the dumped water goes into a shallow channel into the garden to fertilize and water.

    Each flock is different, but I have found my flock is not very noisy if they are content.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  6. OmAnNom

    OmAnNom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 2 Swedish and what we think is a Swedish/mallard mix that are all pretty quiet. The Peking on the other had is VERY loud. Of course, this can vary duck to duck...
    Do a search for the Cayuga and khaki Cambell breeds. while I have no experience with them I've heard they can be quiet.

    Our initial plan was to get one duck but when we went to purchase it, we found out that state law where we live prohibited the sale of a singular duck. You had to by two. That may be different where you live. We were a little annoyed by this law at first, because like you, we just wanted to integrate it into our chicken flock. However, now that we have had ducks we see how different the two species are and how important it is for them to have another one of its kind. Ducks and chickens will get a long and cohabitate, but they are very different animals with different preferences and personalities. After owning ducks, it is now my belief that they need a partner of their own kind. Now how we ended up with four is another story. Chicken math and Duck math are very similar.

    They don't technically need a pond but they do need a constant source of water near their food. They use the water in four ways. To drink, to help them swallow their food, to keep their nasal passages clear and to clean themselves.

    And they just plain LOVE water!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have and have had, Runners, Pekins, a Mallard, a Cayuga cross, a Saxony cross, Swedish, and Muscovies. The Muscovies are the only ones that could not wake the dead with their quacking! Well, also my Runner drake, who is very quiet. But my female Runner is L O U D. And that is an understatement. The Muscovies, while I realize are not aesthetically pleasing to everyone, are lovely ducks once you get over the caruncles. I used to be really freaked by the way they look, then I adopted our first two and fell madly in love with them. All our ducks are wonderful in their own right, but the Scovies are sooooo personable. So, for quiet, I recommend them. All my other breeds, which I really enjoy are very very noisy. Especially early in the am.

    FWIW, I agree with OmAnNom. Ducks and chickens are birds, yes, but totally different personality and care wise. And I think that only having a single duck is not really fair. That is my opinion. My thought is that two are not more work than one, and three are not more work than two, so three works really well (HA!, duck math). Especially if one is a drake. If you get a drake, you really should have two girls for him. It can work with one, I did it for a bit, but it is vastly better to have a trio. Now I have 8 girls and one boy. No one is ever over bred, and I have a VERY happy drake!
     

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