thinking of getting ducks- need information

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by maurap123, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. maurap123

    maurap123 New Egg

    Feb 18, 2014
    Hi- we have a saltwater river in our backyard and was thinking of raising white peaking ducklings; we would like them to mix with our chickens in the coop. Once the ducks are full grown, will they go to the river but come back at night to coop to sleep? We don't want them to become river-meat and we want them to enjoy life! Also, is it okay to mix chickens and ducks in the same coop? Thanks- any information is helpful -I haven't done any research yet!
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Welcome, maurap123,

    Some folk have little trouble getting their ducks to come in at night, others have had real trouble with it. You are right that free ranging poses risks to the ducks - and night time is especially dangerous. At the same time, people have lost ducks to predators in broad daylight.

    I urge you to get or borrow a copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. There is a section in it on raising ducks around salt water. And there are loads of helpful facts from incubation to necropsies.

    Search the archives here - all kinds of experience and ideas.

    There are Stickies at the top of the Duck Forum Index, click the link and explore some of the compiled wisdom from forum members.

    Please post any more questions or thoughts - sometimes it seems everyone is out minding their flock, but responses are often pretty quick.

  3. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    They will probably float down the river and not come back. My grandmothers ducks floated down the creek and never came back.
  4. Finny

    Finny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2014
    Did your grandmother raise those ducks as ducklings or did she buy them already full grown? Usually ducks stay where "home" is (where they were raised.) If they are raised as ducklings they will stay near where they were raised, but if someone buys ducks as adults and lets them free range during the first couple weeks of being at their new home chances are they will not come back. If someone buys them as adults they need to keep the ducks in a pen for at least two weeks before letting them free range. The ducks need to recognize their new home.

    Maurap123 I am not sure if you are getting the ducks as ducklings or adults, but either way I hope what I said helps.
  5. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    or maybe predators got them.
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Depends... i know not much of a precise answer but it's an honest one. Technically, by providing an "area" that they know gives food, shelter they should return mine do.. we keep a 1/3 of an acre fenced and that contains the housing, all feed and pools and then i open the gate they can go where the please.. i do keep full flight here and my breed flys so the girls can fly out anytime, they return BUT you'll notice no river and no pond... that can be a huge enticement.

    Most ducks will sleep on the water, i keep calls and they do... so a river would be a tough thing to pull them from, again a dedicated area where food is would likely help, but no guarantees.

    Housing ducks and chickens, people do i am not one of those people lol ducks are messy and what they do to water is not what chickens want to play a part in, my standard hens free range so do go in the duck area it's a short live arrangement, they are rather indifferent to each other but i dislike how chicken peck, they could easily catch a ducks eye, plus their roosting could leave a duck rather icky. I again have a breed where they do roost so less risk of that but still... most ducks are on the floor.

    As well, it must be said drakes will go after hens( meaning female chickens!) they are not compatible.. and can worse case kill a hen, now not all do.. i keep drakes here too, they don't bother my hens but they have ducks of their own and again are not housed together, it's a caution that must be mentioned however because of the the possible deadly outcome.

  7. Billy-jean

    Billy-jean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    I Don't advise having ducks loose on the river at all,,like a few others here have said,they won't come back,,or they will most definitely be eaten,and not only at night,,daytime poses great risks as well.
    I have 7 ducks 3 large breeds and 4 call ducks(mini) I LOVE my ducks and could never live without them,however having them mixed inside the hens coop at night is a no no. Ducks are super messy/dirty and need to have their own nighttime house/pen. The hens need dry,clean environment to be healthy,adding ducks inside there could cause havoc.
    I still think you should get ducks though,you would enjoy them..but can you seperate them at night and put them inside a different pen/house away from your chickens? I have an outdoor kennel,tarped and covered in the winter,and during the day everyone (hens rabbit,ducks and 2 goats) have free range of our whole enclosure,,there's a small pond the ducks swim in,and everyone gets along just fine. If you could have a safe daytime place for your ducks and not let them out into the free river, it would be fine :)
  8. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    I have no idea if she got them as ducklings or not, that was probably 50 years ago. She has passed now, but I remember her telling the story. The problem with a river or creek is that it carries them off. My ducks do stay close to home. They may go to the pond and swim in a circle but they get out and come back.

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