Raising ducks and chicks together


10 Years
Oct 6, 2009
Yolo County
I'm getting some Silkies and Indian Runners soon. I plan to raise them all in the same brooder, but I have a question regarding niacin. I know that ducks require more niacin than chicks, so how would I go about making sure that the ducklings get enough without harming the chicks?
Also, I've heard that mixing Brewer's yeast in with all-purpose feed will work, but how much should I put in the feed if I'm going to be giving it to everyone?

Also, I'm new here, so let me introduce myself
I'll just go by Snow Goose to keep things simple. I'm an 18 year old girl and I current;y have a flock of 2 Toulouse and 4 Golden 300 Hybrids (from Metzer Farms). They're all female and will begin laying in about a month or so. Pleasure to meet you all.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
Hi snow goose,
welcome to BYC! ive got ducks and chickens in the same area and they get on fine, ho the ducks and gannets and eat all the food real quick! good luck with yours x


10 Years
Aug 29, 2009
Pilesgrove, NJ
i just raised 4 chicks and a duck, and i was quite an interesting experience. as far as food goes, i just fed them all medicated chick feed, but i think thats technically a no-no for ducks.

be prepared for a mess! my one duck made more of a mess than when i had 12 chicks. my chicks and duck got along great, they are still best friends. but im not sure whether the duck thinks hes a chicken or vice versa...... i did get him a real duck to play with.....

have fun and good luck!


10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
Monroe, North Carolina
Gail Damerow, who's a pretty good expert on fowl, says not to raise wetland birds with dryland birds. The ducks need more water space than the chickens do because ducks need to wash their faces in their water, and the damp that the ducks cause can be harmful to the chickens.

That doesn't mean that baby ducks need to swim. They don't get enough oil on their down unless they're living under a mama duck, and without the oil they get too wet and chilled.


11 Years
Apr 27, 2009
Not knowing any better I guess.... I raised my geese, ducks, and chickens together. It's true they all have special needs, but those didn't seem to be important to them as chicks. As "buck" said in a earlier post I' m not sure whether the duck thinks hes a chicken or vice versa either. The good thing is that they all get along and seem to look out for one another. Now that the chickens are separated and the ducks and geese free range during the day, when it's time for their afternoon nap the ducks and geese cozy up against the fence with the chickens pressed against the other side><>


10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
I have 2 ducks and 7 chicks. I was given my ducks before I had my chicks so there is a 4 week difference between the two. I feed both the ducks and the chicks medicated chick starter feed. The medication amprolium in chick starter is ok for ducks to eat.
When you want to give them some extra niacin then you could put it a little food in a seperate bowl and sprinkle it on top then take out the ducks and let them eat real quick. I never worried about that for my ducks when they were little. They did fine on chick starter feed I just give them some pees everyday so they got there greens. My ducks were outside and never brood together with my chicks. I would say that when they are little under 3 weeks old they will be ok together. Your ducks are going to want to play in the water and your chicks are only interested in drinking the water. So make sure you don't have just an open water bowl or your ducks will be in it. But big enough for them to get there entire bills in the water b/c when baby ducks eat they have to have water right next to there food so they can swallow there food. They put food in there mouth then go over to the water and drink to wash it down. If they don't have this they can choke to death. That is another reason why the water gets very messy very quick. Now my ducks are 12 and 14 weeks old and they free range all of the time but my chicks are always in there coop and run. Cleaner that way.

You can just fill up your tub with about 2 or 3 inches of water and let them take a little swim. I always kept the water low enough so they could stand when they get tired. Also like someone else said they don't get there oil gland going until they are older so have a little towel ready so you can dry them off when they are done swimming.

Your chicks will be more friendly and like being cuddled more then your ducks probably.

Congrats on your new additions comming and take lots of pics, we all love seeing little fuzzy butts.

LOL..just realized all you asked for was advise of feeding them. Oh well I gave you an ear full.
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14 Years
Oct 6, 2008
I have 6 ducks and about 40 chickens and they are all together and get along GREAT!


Resistance is futile
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
I raised my ducks and chickens together.....but OOOHHHH the mess those ducks can make..... and if not kept dry those little chicks will get wet and they don't take as kindly to the water and being wet as ducklings... LOL But it can be done
Now that they are older they have resolved to hang with their own kind and like kind.... the ducks now run with the geese and only go around the chickens when food or shelter is involved

Congrats on your new birdies

I don't know what to tell you as far as diet goes..... I used a multi-bird flock raiser for mine when they shared the brooder.

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