Questions about mixed flocks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Pocahontas7799, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Pocahontas7799

    Pocahontas7799 In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2013
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I have some very general questions about shelter, food, and water with raising ducks with chickens. I'll give an introduction to my plans and follow it with my questions. You can skip the introduction and get to the questions if you'd like, just want to give all the information you need to base your answers off of.

    Between now and spring I'll be converting a shed (8'x8'x10') into a coop. I will be adding on a large run to the coop but they will also free-range majority of the day since I'm a stay-at-home-mom. I will be getting 10 hens in total to start off with, 2 of each of these breeds; ameraucanas, barred rock, black australorp, rhode island red, and buff orpington. I really want to bring home at the same time 3 Cayuga ducklings, 2 ducks, 1 drake. I will be using sand as litter in the coop and have all the waterers elevated so the ducks cannot dirty the water up. The run will also contain elevated waterers on tripods. Plenty of ventilation will be there in case of accidents. I may even add a little nook on one side of the coop just for the ducks so they feel somewhat seperated from the chickens.

    So here are my questions:

    1. Is there an easier, cleaner, lazier way to give the ducks a water source to swim in besides a kid pool? Would a medium sized (10'x7'4') goldfish pond be big enough to handle the waste and dirt the ducks would drag in without killing the water quality or fish? My neighbors next door have huge 1 acre pond I could walk them to since its a good 100-150 yards away. Or would they like it so much they refused to leave? Any suggestions on how you do it?

    2. Cayuga ducks can withstand our winters here in Ohio with just an insulated shelter from wind and snow, but can the chickens? Will adding heating elements like a lamp or two be too much for the ducks to handle? Are the breeds of chickens I chose best for the zone I am in (6A)? Will I need heat for them if I insulate the walls and roof?

    3. Diets. I want to stay as organic as possible. They will get plenty of garden scraps in the summer and I can supplement treats in the spring and winter when I am not growing any. Is there a huge difference in feed between ducks and chicken?

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