wanting to get ducks, need some advice!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Nikkumz, May 19, 2011.

  1. Nikkumz

    Nikkumz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Spanaway,WA
    So i have my chicken coop all set up for my 7 chicks that will be going out next weekend for good!! YAY!! But were thinking about getting two ducks, a male and female, off craigslist. I need to know what i will need to change in my coop for my chicken and ducks to live together? My chickens are on unmedicated chick feed still (only 5 weeks old) Do i need to keep the ducks and chickens separate? Can they eat the unmedicated chick starter? Oh so many questions!! My coop is about 7 feet tall, A-frame. The coop itself is 4 feet X 8 feet and the run is about 8 feet X 8 feet. My chickens and ducks will be allowed to free range whenever my dog is locked up and in the run whenever shes out untill they are big enough to stick up for themselves. The ducks im looking at are already 1 year old. Any advice?
     
  2. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    I cant really say much, but I can confirm that many members here house both their chickens and ducks together without any issues. The biggest thing to remember that ducks can only have the UN-medicated feed. Medicated feed is poison to ducks. Beyond that, add a small kiddie pool for the ducks to play/bathe in and you should be good to go. In regards to the ducks age, I am not sure if that would be an issue or not, I'll let that answer up to the veterans here, but I dont see it being a problem.
     
  3. Nikkumz

    Nikkumz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Spanaway,WA
    Ya, i have my chicks on UNmedicated feed. I read about someone on here using an all poultry feed? Or something? Should i do that, or would the ducks be okay on chicken feed? And do they also need a layer feed? and oyster shell and all that good stuff, The ad says the female is already laying about 10 eggs per week? Is that normal for ducks?
     
  4. Bobberduck

    Bobberduck Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    we have been keeping my ducks in with the wife's chickens till the rest of the garden fence is up. We have a 3 inch deep 9x13 one duck bath in for a water dish at the moment, the 6 foot plastic kiddy pool is going to be sunk into the middle of the garden. They are both being fed sprouted barley, which they love, bits of clover from the yard, which they adore and handfuls of Dandelion greens which they literally riot to get to. We also give them a good sized bowl of scraps every day, and they are doing fine together. The ducks are a little pushy with the chickens as they are bigger, but the chickens cry and complain when we take the ducks out to the temporary pool at bath time, so I don't have any idea how they are going to do when we finally separate them. All in all, they use the same bedding, you will want a ground level nest box, and you need to remember that a duck is basically made of webbed feet feathers and poop. They will necessitate more frequent changing of the bedding.

    All the best,

    D.

    (EDIT) We have a bowl of oyster shell and another of fine gravel and coarse sand in the pen for them and both the chickens and the ducks are in both every day. I would definitely suggest getting both.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  5. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    Oyster shells are good for laying hens, it helps with the egg development and makes the eggs stronger. I personally use chick feed for my ducklings and so far have had no issues. Others use game bird feed and is a good choice for both ducks and chickens. Scratch can also be used with ducks as it helps in digestion by breaking down the foods they eat. If your ducks are going to be free range, then scratch isnt needed since they will pick up all they need by foraging in your yard. sounds like your on track so far [​IMG]
     
  6. Nikkumz

    Nikkumz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Spanaway,WA
    Ok awesome, so i pretty much just need to add a floor height nest box and im good to go! yay! How big should it be for ducks? My chickens are homemade an di believe i made them 12 x 12 x 16 or something along those lines
     
  7. Bobberduck

    Bobberduck Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    It really depends on the size of your little lady duck. Depending on how big she is, as to how big you want to build her a box. My Cayugas are massive, so we are just going to let them discuss housing arrangements with the Jersey Giants who use a 18 inch cube nest box. the Harlequins on the other hand would need something smaller, like 12 square. What breed of duck are they, and how big is the hen?
     
  8. Nikkumz

    Nikkumz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Spanaway,WA
    I actually have no idea, i wanted to learn a bit more before actually contacting the people with them. I had another question, do ducks lay like chickens? Will i get eggs year round?
     
  9. Bobberduck

    Bobberduck Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Quote:There are some breeds that do, but ducks are more notorious for stopping in the middle of the winter, so quoth the wife. I remember hearing somewhere that it was light based, so a lamp on a timer should help alleviate some of the issues with winter laying, I would think.

    D.
     
  10. froggie71

    froggie71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    Quote:THat is actually incorrect. It used to be they could not eat medicated chick starter but the medication they now put in the chick starter does not hurt the ducks. We've raised plenty of ducklings with chicks and guineas on medicated feed and they are fine. You may have to seperate the chickens and ducks for a bit until they are used to each other. Aside from needing a water source always when there is food available, the ducks are much messier than chickens. When they are of laying age they can all eat a layer feed (girls and boys). We feed all our birds the same. Spoke to a Purina rep and they said that is exactly what we should do. Some breeds lay more than others. Ours take a break from laying over the winter and of course if they go broody. Our ducks like to make their nests in the dirt, not in a nesting box.
     

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