Raising ducks with chickens? How was your experience?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kelliejanine, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Kelliejanine

    Kelliejanine Songster

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    So I currently do not have any ducks but I do have chickens. I’ve never even owned ducks but I’d like to add a few to my homestead. I’ve done some reading but would like to hear from people with experience. We let our chickens free range and the ducks would as well. Space isn’t an issue and we have a large coop with plenty of space. So my main questions are What was your experience raising ducks with chickens? Is there anything you learned that is beneficial to a new duck owner? Is this a good idea? Thanks
     
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  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    The ducks like the pond. The chickens do not. Thus, they stay pretty separate until I start chasing the ducks into the coop at night-time to avoid opportunistic winter predators.

    Ducks are paranoid. I have ever had a friendly duck. Friendly chickens, yes. Friendly ducks, no. The females, less muscovies, are very loud. They're easy to herd. They will not want to come in at night. Your chickens might return to the coop every night to roost; ducks will try to stay outside (again, except muscovies)

    Ducks can rip up a wet yard in no time flat. They'll drill little holes in the mud for food, and they'll eat all of your baby cucumbers. They glory in making mud puddles larger.

    If you get ducks, it's preferable to get them sexed. You want a 1:4 male:female ratio at the very least, 1:7 is better, (That's mostly if you have more than one drake. Single drakes sometimes do alright in pairs or trios.)

    Drakes and ducks operate seasonally. Spring is breeding season. Mating. Egg-laying. Brooding. Keep that in mind. All hormonal behaviours will escalate in spring. They will get louder. They will fight more. If they're a broody breed, this is when they'll go broody.

    Drakes shouldn't be kept with chickens unless there are ducks as well. Drakes will sometimes try to breed hens if there are no females of their own species, and that can end pretty disastrously for the hen, as they're not built to deal with penises. I have never personally experienced this issue.
     
  3. Kelliejanine

    Kelliejanine Songster

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    How do the ducks and chickens get along with sharing a coop? Has that been a problem at all?
     
  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Nope. My game bantam roosters sometimes pick fights with the drakes, which is a bit hilarious to watch, honestly, but the ducks usually sort of clumsily bulldoze the regular-sized chickens out of the way while the chickens look on disapprovingly.

    Sometimes a boss hen will decide that she's going in, and the ducks'll grudgingly make way. One of my roosters likes to chase them out of the feed. How successful he is depends on how hungry they are. Mostly, they just don't interact.
     
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  5. Kelliejanine

    Kelliejanine Songster

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    last question i promise. I’ve read that ducks will overeat and I have to keep food separate somehow? Any advice on that or if that’s accurate? Thanks so much for the help :)
     
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  6. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Ducks are pigs. I can't speak for the accuracy of the above though; I only feed them at night (makes getting them into the coop much, much easier.)

    @Miss Lydia might know.
     
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  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia ~Delight yourself in the Lord~

    I feed all mine same feed and they all share feeders I have 39 birds so I put out multiple feeders that way no fighting. My Ducks and chickens share a large coop my female Muscovy's roost with the chickens, My drake sleeps on the floor. I put roost shelves up last year to keep the ducks from getting poop on at night. That has been the best thing I have done and easier clean up too. I don't put food an water inside any of my coops. My Runners are sleeping in with the Chickens and ducks right now but will soon go back to their own house because of hormone surge. My geese have their own house. But everyone for the most part lives together well. I have 2 drakes and they both have their own females and have never had one of them go after a chicken hen. They are not penned they forge over half acre[fenced] and then are locked up at night.

    What breed are you interested in?
     
  8. Kelliejanine

    Kelliejanine Songster

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    That would make sense, are you able to keep your chickens feed available throughout the day? I guess if t
    thanks for all the information. I was interested in getting the runner ducks but I honestly wasn’t sure which breed would do well with chickens in the same coop.
     
  9. PenguinsCraft

    PenguinsCraft Formal Chicken

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    Ducks are slobs. They will eat like mad and make a huge mess. No medicated feed since they will eat more than a chicken and overdose on the medication in the feed.

    We usually use old dog houses and keep the chickens separate for sleeping. Make sure the drakes have plenty of ducks or you will have other problems. I have had my chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc all in the same pen. Make sure there is no water in the coop at night. The ducks will make a mess of the coop pretty quick.
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    This is *not* true.
     
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