Newbie with duck and chicken questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Stumpy, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In 1997 I was intrigued by an article in Organic Gardening magazine about keeping ducks. Lately my dream of keeping them has come to life again, but after doing a good bit of reading here, I have become so interested in chickens, too. I was wondering if it would be possible to keep ducks and chickens in the same enclosure. Does anyone do this? I'm a long way from the reality of having a coop and run, but if I am able to accomplish this somehow, is there any reason they can't live together?
     
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Some people keep them together, but I wouldn't ever want to since ducks are unbelievably messy. I keep mine seperate. I think they're both happier that way. [​IMG]
     
  3. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keeping them separate is of course better because ducks like water so much for one thing. And yes, they are messy. But I have an idea for you. If you can only afford to build one coop, just split the coop, let the ducks out during the day and they will come back in at night if you make sure to feed them in the coop everyday. [​IMG]
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    They can be housed together at night if only a few ducks to more chickens. But, the ducks will want to wander the yard during the day looking for their next bath. Chickens will do better in a confined run. Ducks need more freedom.
     
  5. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I can see why shavings would be better. Do you buy these at a farmer's co-op?

    I see -- the more I read about ducks and chickens, the more different I think they are. I live on a lake, but our house is high above it on a hill, with a steep almost drop-off. There are far too many predators, including an eagle nesting on the lakeside, to allow the ducks into the water.

    The water-changing involved with ducks sounds more labor-intensive than keeping chickens. I had always thought I would only try to keep two of each.
     
  6. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my ducks with the chickens. It's taken some creativity but it can be done. I have silkie babies that like to sleep in between them. [​IMG] The biggest issue was the water. I have a 3 gallon waterer that I have to fill daily. The ducks get it all over. The solution was to put landscaping timbers about 3 feet long in an L shape in the lowest corner of the coop. So that it made a square in the corner. Hard to explain... the coop floor is covered in wood shavings, and that square of space in the corner is a (mostly) shaving free zone. It's just bare concrete. Being in the lowest corner, the water that's splashes out runs out of the coop instead of puddling in the shavings and getting them soaked. Eh, i'll have to take a picture. Anyway, it's a large enough area that the ducks can play in the water and the shavings don't get completely soaked. The water splashes onto the floor and right under the wall of the barn. It's not THAT much- it's just enough that it would make the shavings soggy. Out in the run I have a big tin pan feeder that I put water in every day. They get to play and splash, and the chickens just stay out of the way. I also take the water hose and fill it up from a height, because they LOVE to play in the water as i'm filling the pan. They try to bite the stream.
    Anyway, it can be done, you just have to play with your design and be prepared to shovel wet bedding in the meantime [​IMG] Here's the ducks chilling with a SLW.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and that's the silkie chick that likes to sleep with them.
    Also, if you make a big enough run, you can put a kiddie pool out there. Especially if it's near the drop off. Most of the water will probably run down the hill and the run will stay pretty dry. I find that if they have some water to play in all the time, they don't make as much of a mess with the drinking water.
     
  8. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Badhbh, thanks for sharing that. They do look so content together.
     
  9. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Quote:Boy two of each would be no problem at all I would think. I have 4 goslings and 5 ducklings in the brooder box right now and they get along fabulously. I agree with you about shavings - I've ben using straw for two weeks because they were babies - but I'm going to the Big R tonight to buy shavings. They've been in the dining room brooding - but the smell this morning tells me they'll be in the "Bomb shelter" (Our secret basement room made of concrete by the weridos who lived here before???? [​IMG] ) by tonight.

    2 of each - that's cake. I bet the mess from two ducks and two chickens would be very manageable. Try keeping them in the coop together and putting out a shallow bin of water for the ducks and see if it works, otherwise split the coop in half like ChickenLittle said.

    Don't give up on ducks!! [​IMG]
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I am not an advocate of housing different fowl together. They don't live together in natural settings and to my way of thinking shouldn't be forced to live together in the domestic setting.

    Once they get to mating age and you have a big aggressive gander that has decided a small chicken is his love interest you have problems. The same with ducks and chickens. A drake will try and succeed in mating a chicken. The eggs won't be fertile but still ... Poor hen! They each need their own pens and runs and their own mates. With the water and the muck and the mess and the poop you'll find your chickens don't like the environment that ducks do. Honestly, I don't want to eat chicken eggs where ducks have free run of the hen house.

    Many people do raise them together but for me it is just not an option. I keep them all separated in their own housing and never the twain shall meet. It makes me crazy to see them all thrown in together.
     

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