Newcomer with a duck question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by redsoxs, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,834
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Let me apologize in advance for what I'm about to ask. I'm pretty new to the poultry game and that's been chickens. I know squat about ducks. But reading a lot of these posts has me interested. My very amateurish questions are: do you have to keep ducks away from chickens? How much space do ducks need (my chickens free range, can ducks do this?) Will they stick close to the farm or are they wanderers? Maybe if there is a good link you can direct me there. Again, sorry for the newbie questions.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,979
    1,950
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    [​IMG]

    All reasonable questions. No apologies necessary.

    Some keep ducks and chickens together - you just need to remember ducks are a little different. They nest on the ground, so don't put them under the roost where they'll get dropped on. They cannot be as neat with water, so separate duck and chicken waterers are needed.

    At least 25 sf per duck is a good idea - more is better. Some people let their ducks roam, but they are quite susceptible to predators. Mine plan in the gardens, but while I am nearby. When I am not, they spend time in the 10'x16' day pen attached to their 64sf house and porch. At night, they are in the house/porch with electric fence on.

    If you raise them from day-olds they will most likely stay nearby, older ducks sometimes try to go "home" from the new place.

    Ducks need water they can bathe in, and you need to plan for their swimming area - slight slope, well drained, no really, it needs to be well drained, with pea gravel around it (a few inches in depth at least). They don't need a pond, a kiddie pool will do but they need to be able to easily get in and out of it, and ducklings ought never be left in swimming water unattended.

    Ducklings, by the way, need three times the niacin as chicks.

    I'll let others chime in here.
     
  3. stargazingmommy

    stargazingmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    837
    3
    133
    Apr 19, 2011
    Spokane
    Quote:my 2 ducks were raised in the same coop as the 3 chickens. They are seperated now, mainly because the ducks are filthy. they make everything wet and nasty.
    My duck run for the 2 is 12 ft X 4 ft and works fine, however, my little jerks are escape artists AKA I gave up trying to contain them and now they free range the yard. Yesterday the chickens were out in the yard also, and one of the jerks attacked the chicks, pinning them to the ground. territorial.
    I have urban poultry and they live in my fenced backyard. I think if mine were to get out they wouldn't wander to far, and the pekins and runners don't fly.
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,834
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Quote:my 2 ducks were raised in the same coop as the 3 chickens. They are seperated now, mainly because the ducks are filthy. they make everything wet and nasty.
    My duck run for the 2 is 12 ft X 4 ft and works fine, however, my little jerks are escape artists AKA I gave up trying to contain them and now they free range the yard. Yesterday the chickens were out in the yard also, and one of the jerks attacked the chicks, pinning them to the ground. territorial.
    I have urban poultry and they live in my fenced backyard. I think if mine were to get out they wouldn't wander to far, and the pekins and runners don't fly.

    Great info - thanks. Pertaining to your reply, do your ducks go to their pen at night or do you have to round them up?
     
  5. stargazingmommy

    stargazingmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    837
    3
    133
    Apr 19, 2011
    Spokane
    Quote:my 2 ducks were raised in the same coop as the 3 chickens. They are seperated now, mainly because the ducks are filthy. they make everything wet and nasty.
    My duck run for the 2 is 12 ft X 4 ft and works fine, however, my little jerks are escape artists AKA I gave up trying to contain them and now they free range the yard. Yesterday the chickens were out in the yard also, and one of the jerks attacked the chicks, pinning them to the ground. territorial.
    I have urban poultry and they live in my fenced backyard. I think if mine were to get out they wouldn't wander to far, and the pekins and runners don't fly.

    Great info - thanks. Pertaining to your reply, do your ducks go to their pen at night or do you have to round them up?

    I'm one of those bad duck mommies. I let them do what they want.
    The predators I have to deal with are squirrels, cats and dogs. my dogs and cats are afraid of the ducks(I posted a video this morning of the ducks chasing the cat out of their pen).
    My ducks sleep behind the gate to their run. Or next to the chicken run.
     
  6. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    623
    3
    121
    Jul 9, 2011
    Northern Wisconsin
    I think ducks are just as great to have as chickens. I just like looking out the window and seeing my ducks wondering the yard or swimming. To me there much more fun to watch then the chickens. We live on 100 acres they have access to 40 but of course never go past our barn, and rarely do they even venture that far. We have a pond in our yard they love and one farther done behind the barn where are chickens are. We have never had a problem with the chickens and ducks but they rarely run into each other since there coops are in different areas. All our birds are free range, with coops for night time.

    I got my ducks full grown, and they never had a coop they were just free range all hours, but I knew we couldn't allow that because they would be gone with in a week. It took me only one day to get them to understand to come in at night. They now are actually waiting for me at dusk like the chickens in there coop for me to just shut the doors [​IMG]

    I would take in account what others say about chickens and ducks if your getting ducklings they will grow with your chickens and be fine, if your getting older ducks, it probably be best for all to have them seperate.
     
  7. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    436
    2
    123
    Apr 22, 2010
    Woodinville
    my 2 ducks grew up with my chicks for 2 weeks, until I got sick of the mess they made; and they grow rather faster than the chicks did. They wait, just like the chickens, to free range.
    they can not get up in the coop but are willing to be picked up to go in there. they sleep under the chickens poop board.
    My ducks stick together (males:( ) They wander but no further than the chickens do.
    Their running of their feet when they see the treats emerge is so funny and cute. [​IMG]
     
  8. tbitt

    tbitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    944
    9
    121
    Apr 28, 2011
    IL
    Welcome!!!

    You have to start somewhere and there is not better place then here! [​IMG]


    I find that my ducks do wander.....but I think they are easy to train.

    I've noticed if you catch them wandering to a place you set as off limits all you have to do is catch them in the act, give them a scolding voice and herd them back to the proper area.... and after a few times they get it.

    I got 4 adult ducks this year; we live close to the road so I started scolding them EVERY time they have gone into the road and herded them back..... so far the furthest they venture now in into the ditch. they wander into the hay field and along the path near the road, but I have not seen them wander into the road for a VERY long time.

    Mine alos will put themselves in the barn at night if I do not get to them first.

    The babies on the other hand, I had to scoot them into their shelter last night..... But we are still not letting them free range without us RIGHT next to them. I am too afraid to let the little ones out of my sight [​IMG]

    They are such a joy to have! [​IMG]

    Good Luck!
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Welcome!! Never apologize for asking questions--this is the place to learn. [​IMG]

    Ducks are not all that different from chickens, but there are some basic things you'll need to know to add them to your flock. Your questions have already been answered well, but I thought I'd throw in a link to an article I wrote for Grit magazine, specifically for chicken owners thinking of adding ducks:

    http://www.grit.com/animals/livestock/raising-ducks.aspx

    Good luck and keep coming back with questions!
     
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,834
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Thanks everyone for all the great advice and links. I feel more confident now about taking the plunge and getting 2 or 3 ducks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by