Thinking about Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Larson Chicks, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Larson Chicks

    Larson Chicks In the Brooder

    May 17, 2015
    East Idaho
    We have 19 chickens, different breeds, and I'm thinking about getting 2-3 ducks. I live in Idaho so I'm curious about whether they'll fly away in the fall and return in the spring? Also what's a good breed to have? We want good layers and friendly. How quick do they start laying?

    I understand they're messy. I'm planning on getting a nipple system and their pool will be outside the coop. They'll be free range with the chickens. Will this be enough access during the night? We have a coop attached to a run so I could put another pool in the run that they could get to during the night. Then a larger pool in our yard. Any help would be appreciated.


  2. Venevee

    Venevee In the Brooder

    Oct 12, 2016
    Hello! [​IMG]
    Ducks can be messy, mostly around their "splash pad" area. Be prepared for some mud around their kiddie pool!
    If you are getting domestic ducks (Rouen, Cayugas, Pekins, etc.) then they won't fly off. They are like chickens and don't have the ability to get up high in the air and fly long distances. Unless you are getting Flying Mallards, you won't have to worry about them taking off on you. I suggest getting Rouens or Khaki Campbells to start with. I only owned ducks for the past two years, and don't have any at the moment but I plan on getting some ducklings soon once they come to the country store. I have raised Rouens, Khaki's and Cayugas, so I don't know a whole lot about which breeds are the friendliest. My drake Rouen was very sweet, but didn't like chickens a whole lot. I think he was just protective over his hen.
    Ducks don't start laying as quickly as chickens do, they aren't bred for production. Hens lay once they are getting close to a year old, verses a chicken who will lay as early as four-five months depending on the breed.
    I hope this information helps! [​IMG]
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Welsh Harlequins are pretty friendly, look nice and lay a crap ton of eggs and are too heavy to get their butt much off the ground to fly. She started laying 6 months or so.
    My girls don't get water at night, they don't need it. If they have access to food, then they need water.
    I lock them up when it is dark and let them out when it is light enough for them to free range. The food is in a separate hut from the chickens or the ducks, so nobody has access to food/water at night. We get very hot and humid here in the summer and I would provide water for the birds, but the ducks I think just played in it. They have been perfectly fine without overnight water access.

    The ducks make a mess of every water source around. I fill up a clean dish of water every day and the chickens seem to prefer to drink out of any of the nasty duck water sources. Ducks find clean water quickly and make a mess of it. I think they just sense clean water and are attracted to it like moths to light!
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Songster

    Oct 16, 2015
    I'm adding ducks this year, so I don't have any on-hand experience, but a word of caution with the nipple system.

    Ducks need to be able to dunk their heads when they eat to prevent choking. Obviously they can't do this with a nipple system. If the pool is too far from their feed you may run into issues. A shallow rubber pan would be ideal, It's enough they can dunk their heads, but not so much that they swim and splash like they will in a pool. Plus, in winter, you can just step on it to break the ice without breaking it.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Hello,

    Just a word of caution.....Sometimes the two bird types can not be housed together.....My Ducks hate my chickens and they were raised together from babies....I have a Duck pen and my Chicken coop......Plus a fence to keep them apart....Also Drakes can kill Hens if he tries to breed them....

    Be prepared for plan B if things get mean.....

    Also nipple waters are of no use to a Duck.....

    Best of luck!

  6. Ashleymarie529

    Ashleymarie529 Chirping

    Feb 17, 2017
    Katy (Houston), TX
    My chickens and ducklings struggled the first 2 days of living together in the same coop, but that was only for the sake of a pecking order my picky Silkie's had to have. Now they get along great and my silkies have no problems with the new roomies.

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