Raising Ducks and Chickens together

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lindsy, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Lindsy

    Lindsy Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2011
    We currently have 1 rooster, 6 hens and now, the addition of 3 kakhi campbell ducks who are 7 weeks old (approx) - and I have some questions about how to have them "best" all get along.

    The chickens have their own coop which opens into the large run. The ducks have their own separate house inside this run. They all get along....but, the chickens keep eating the duck food, the ducks keep making a mess of the large 5 gal water jug...ugh! Our chickens get let out to free range once a day and I have been leaving the door to the run open but the ducks won't come out. I would have to very "actively" chase them out...so I haven't done that yet. I have a great kiddie pool outside the run that I think they would love...but they won't come out.

    So my questions are:

    1. is it ok for the chickens to eat the duck food? The ducks don't seem to care about the chicken food.
    2. How should I deal with the water situation? it makes a mud hole. Someone mentioned using pea gravel in the run (currently dirt)? Any thoughts?
    3. How should it introduce outside to the ducks? Just chase them out? I'm afraid they would run away and refuse to come back?

    thanks for all your help
  2. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass

    This is my first season with ducks and have a setup similar to yours. My chickens and ducks each have a coop (stall) that opens into a shared run (100'x50') that is netted over top.

    1) When I let everyone outside, I pull the feed. I figure they really don't need it during the day and this forces them to forage a bit. At night, the light stays on in the coop for 2 hours before bedtime, giving them this amount of time for dinner, and whatever they eat before I wake up. My flock is all on the same feed - Blue Seal Gamebird - so I don't know much about the chickens eating the duck food. I have found that chickens are more like pigs and will eat anything you put in front of them.

    2) I have mud holes all over. Maybe do a search on nipple waterers.

    3) When I first opened the coop to the run, I had to herd the ducks outside, maybe two mornings, now they are ready and waiting. My kiddie pool is in the run, they don't free range. It also took these dummies about 2 weeks to become brave enough to jump in. They seem to like a routine though, especially when it involves treats. I chop up fresh lettuce and toss it in the coop at night so I don't have to herd them back in. You may have to do the same if you let them out to free range. Also, I was quite surprised last week to see the campbells fly almost as well as the mallards. (just a thought if you don't want to lose them)

    Hopefully someone else will have more answers.
  3. ben is a terror

    ben is a terror Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    Welcome to the world of multi bird types. My flock has hens ,ducks and a goose all in the same pen MESSY UCK [​IMG] I have my water things on blocks so they have to reach a little to drink or I hang them. The ducks have a kiddie pool but not in the run it's just outside the run to one side so it does keep down some of the mud. I asked the same question last night about feed. There is a feed made for a mixed group flock raiser and free choice oyster shell Nutrena Nature Wise 18% All Flock . I looked it up and it gives you dealers where you can get it. Ask at your feed store and they should be able to help you find something. I don't keep food in my coop My gang all live in the same coop I never have water on the floor in there since they don't drink at night they don't need it.
    Give the ducks a poke. I just walk behind them with a stick tapping the ground. when mine found the pool it was a beeline for it every morn after a few days they can be such babies can you entice them out with treats? Is the free range area huge? My gang pretty much stays together once they are out
    Hope that helped some
    BTW [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am pretty new to ducks too. I have a very mixed flock. 20 hens, 1 bantam rooster and 4 bantam hens, 5 silkie chicks and 5 ducks! I was stressing out about the water situation. This forum is the BEST for solutions!!! I nailed a 2X4 in the corner of my coop about a foot off the ground. This leaves a little space underneath so I blocked that off. The chickens are able to hop up on the board and jump over to their water. The ducks do not hop up on the boards, kinda lazy! This has worked really well. I also have their pool in the corner of the coop with gravel around it. This keeps the mud holes down. Ducks are scardy cats! You have to make them do things. Shove them out of the coop. My chickens are so nosy and will explore everything, but the ducks are different. Takes them awhile!
  5. Lindsy

    Lindsy Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2011
    Thanks for all the great suggestions.

    Last night I put the large waterer in the top of a rubbermaid container. The chickens can reach the water...the ducks can splash it everywhere and it gets caught by the rubbermaid top. Definitely not the best, but a whole lot better!!

    Tried to herd the ducks out...I think they are having a hard time getting out of the run...there is a six inch bottom to "step over". I need to make a ramp that will let them get out easier...maybe that's been part of the problem. I guess it is always a work in progress!
  6. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put my water on a 4 by 4ft gravel bed, like a french drain. Works pretty good. [​IMG]
    Laura1011 likes this.
  7. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    With animals it is always a work in progress:D That's why I enjoy it so much. But I was getting very frustrated at the ducks messing up all the water until I was able to get ideas from this site!

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