Thinking of adding ducks.. some questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Wildhaus, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Wildhaus

    Wildhaus New Egg

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm new here and have some questions I'm hoping the resident duck experts can help with. :)

    We recently got chickens, and I've been tossing around the idea of adding some ducks. We would want the ducks for eggs, not for meat.

    Chicken housing is a 6x8 coop with an attached 10x20 run. Moveable chicken tractor for them during the day. We can't have the chickens truly free range due to predators so the tractor is the best of both worlds in that regard.

    I've searched the forum and it seems like adding ducks to the chicken flock would probably work in terms of them getting along, but there is no guarantee and we wouldn't know for sure until we tried.

    I would like to have the ducks range freely during the day, rather than be in the tractor with the chickens. Mainly because we have a 1/2 acre pond that I am sure they would love.

    Here are my questions:

    There is a pair of wild geese that makes our pond it's home every summer, and we get wild ducks as well. Would this be a problem for domestic ducks sharing the same pond?

    How predator resistant are ducks, in the sense can they get away easily if they are free to move about as much as necessary and can get out in the middle of the pond? The biggest concern would be hawks, fox, raccoon or weasel. We do have coyotes but they don't venture onto our property much. Would they be reasonably safe ranging around the property and pond during the day?

    The pond area where I imagine they would spend the majority of their time is a good 50 yards from the coop. How likely are they to be cooperative at coming back to the coop in the evening? Are they suckers for treats like chickens so they'll come when called/lured? We would want them closed in with the chickens for predator protection at night when there is the greatest danger, but also so that we would have an opportunity to collect the eggs in the morning before letting them out again.

    Is having them housed together at night, but separate during the day, likely to cause any problems with the chickens and ducks getting along when they are in the coop/pen area, or would it have no impact there and they either will get along or they won't regardless of where they spend the daytime?

    Do you think this arrangement would work, or would we be better setting up a small duck house and pen near the pond and putting them in there at night? We'd rather not have 2 separate coops for each type of bird, especially since the pond is a ways from the house so much less convenient for doing chores morning and night than the chicken coop near the main barn, but if this arrangement wouldn't work we may either skip adding ducks or provide separate housing.

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  2. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would assume that ducks and chickens only together in a coop at night would basically ignore each other. I don't think ducks will go back in a coop on their own the way a chicken will but you can train them, to go in at a certain time by putting them some treats or snacks into their coop at a certain time everyday. I am not sure on any of this though as I am new to ducks and plan on building an 8x8 coop split in the middle to make 2 4x8 coops that will be for my ducks and turkeys. At least that is the plan. If it doesn't work out I can always just use another spot in our building that is under the chicken coop.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    [​IMG] If you don't want meat or ducklngs I would STRONGLY advise that you get sexed females. A male duck (drake) can mate with chickens which is dangerous/deadly to them. Getting just females allows you to avoid drake headaches.

    Check out the stickies section at the top of the duck forum in the blue banner. Lots of easy to find info there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

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