Parting with my ducks


6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
Rockford, IL
I was assured by several people I trust that I would have no problem housing my ducks and my chicks together. And up until a few days ago, I haven't.

Well, I've now lost 2 chickens to the duck's water. The first one fell in 6 inch water, the second fell in shallower 3 inch water. I have another that is on the fence - oldest daughter fished her out of the water, and we took her in, dried her off, warmed her up, and she's still acting shell-shocked.

I love my ducks. I knew at some point soon I would have to slaughter my drakes, but now I just can't keep water there. Which means the ducks are compromised. Which was my concern with keeping them together from the start, but was told it wouldn't be an issue. I thought 3 inches of water would be shallow enough that the chicks couldn't drown but...ugh.

My ducks are 6 to 7 weeks old. I got the first set as hatchlings, and the second set as "older" (probably from the same group) 2 weeks later. I know I have at least 2 - probably 3 - drakes. I'm really attached to my lone duck and wanted to keep her. She's always the one cuddled up with my black sex links at night, while the drakes chill elsewhere.

Someone please run down my options here. Will my duck be OK as the loner of the bunch? If I do keep her, how can I provide her water without endangering my layers?
She may or may not be okay. It depends on the duck, but they usually need at least one duck buddy. Same sex is best, in my opinion.

I will let someone with chickens and ducks answer your waterer question.
I have ducks and chickens and last year lost a chick in a water bucket first time ever since I've had my chickens going on 4yrs now, so this year I put away the buckets and am using 4 gallon waterers I got from McMurry hatchery last year, they work great for the ducks because they are very large and they can get their bill into them to clean them out. I have 1 -3 gallon bucket set up for the geese away from where mama and chicks hang out. Since my chicks are raised by the hens maybe they are less susceptible to drowning than chicks being raised with out mamas. as for your duck For her happiness I would have at least her and another duck female would be good too then you won't have to worry about the drakes trying to mate with your hens.
Well I personally haven't kept ducks and chickens together, but I adopted a female duck who'd lived her entire life with chickens... Until her humans decided to give away the whole flock. Short story long, I suspect that she was accustomed to drinking from some sort of nipple waterer. She never took to my bucket style waterers and if you love your duck, just get rid of the drakes and keep the duck. I do think it can work. Hopefully keepers of both will be on soon to provide you with some tips. Good luck.
well, is there anyway the ducks pool could be elswhere..or you could let the ducks out of the chicken coop to play in the pool during the day and only have them in with the chickens at night? they can drink water from the same waterer that the chickens use. if you make sure the pool is such that everyone including the chickens can get out maybe? why do you have to get rid of the drakes? i'm assuming they are your meat ducks? I do know alot of people who keep chickens and ducks together and don't have issues..the chickens don't really go into the water..but they have a set up where the chickens can easily get out..and one of them has the ducks in the same pen at night but they free range during the day and have access to their pool/ pond during free range time
My ducks drink from the nipple waterer. I have a very shallow dish - about an inch and a half of water. My duck loves to run her beak along the bottom of that, but the drakes just jump in it and make a big mess.
Sorry about your chickens.

Well this is our first year with A duck. She is only about 7 or 8 weeks old, but she has her "own" brood of bantam chicks right now that love her. She has a little shallow pan that I had for my chickens to drink out of. The bantam chicks drink out of it when Mochi is not around it, but have yet to try to get in it.

Now I have chickens as well that range in age from 2 years down to 8 months. My two year old and my 1 year old LOVE to get in their pan, same kind, about 3 inches deep and walk around or even sit in on hot days. Have never had a problem with drowning, knock on wood.

Not sure how it will be with a duck, so I am going to watch this thread for suggestions.
I have seen people raise chicks and ducklings together by cutting a small hole in the side of a milk jug so that a duck can get its head in to drink and splash, but a chick cannot fall in and drown. Couldn't it be possible to do this on a larger scale with adult ducks? I believe Miss Lydia has pictures of what I'm talking about.
How old are your chickens? If everyone is babies it ought to get better as they get older for the whole walking into the duck waterer. I used to have ducks and chickens together and they just had a small pan of water to drink from and walked out to their mini pen everyday for a swim. If they chickens had gone they would fly out of the pen since it was only 3 foot high, but I never had an issue with my calls and they could have flown if they had wanted to

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