Will ducks and Chickens live together? More ?'s for my fellow Alaskans

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Alaska animal lover, May 28, 2008.

  1. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    I have an 8x8x8h chicken coop with eight 4 week old chicks in it. It is fully insulated. I plan to get two Khaki Campbell ducklings and I am wondering if they need their own "winter home" or can they live with the chickens in the winter?
    If they have to be seperated, how big should their house be? What should the temp be in there, and they don't have to swim in the winter do they?
    If any Alaskans here have ducks, could you let me know how you care for them in the winter, unless you eat them [​IMG]
    Thank you all for any help!!!
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    We have ducks, but this is our first time. We don't have them penned with the chickens, but our neighbors down the street used to. I'd see those birds out in a foot of snow in the winter, and I don't know that they had a heated coop, either.

    Hubby plans on keeping water for them, but as for a pond in the winter, I don't think so. We'll probably just keep something inside that they can stick their heads in. But hubby is the keeper of the ducks... he knows more about that than I do. I remember in CA my parents kept the ducks and chickens in the same pen...
  3. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    Thank You! In the summer, I'm not too worried. I just don't know how to tell my DH that he will have to build another house just for two ducks! He understands the chickens, he see's their value. They are still all mine though. The ducks, I don't know how well he will take it, just because they are cute and I want them. LOL.
    He's a pretty awesome DH, but even he has limits!
    If I can keep them in the coop with the chickens for the winter it would be awesome.
  4. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska

    We're just now getting our chicken coop and duck house built and we haven't had them through the winter, but I can tell you how things have gone so far.

    The ducks and chicks have been separate since they were about two days old b/c I didn't want the ducks stomping on the chicks or eating the medicated started. Now that they are all about 4 weeks old the ducks are huge - easily 3 x's the size of the chicks. When I let them all out in the yard together the ducks won't tolerate the chicks. I've had two of my ducks chase and bite at any chicks that come too close. Same thing when a chick flew into the duck brooder. You might have better luck though since your ducks will be younger and you can introduce them to the larger chicks earlier. Maybe they'll always thing of the chicks as the "bigger" sisters.

    We are using the same building for both, it's a 9x10, but I'm dividing it down the middle and creating two different living spaces and covered open areas. A couple of reasons. One, the chicken's living quarters will actually be up off the ground and accessible by a ladder. Mainly to make egg collection and cleaning easier. The ducks can't climb a ladder (not easily, anyway) so they will be in a smaller, doghouse type shelter that sits on a sub-floor. I'm going to insulate the living areas of each. I may or may not end up using a heat lamp in winter. We don't get as cold as you but we get a ton of moisture and wind - both of which can be more deadly than straight cold, which is why I am choosing to insulate.

    The duck's wading pool will be out back in the open fenced area. Inside, in their covered open area I will put in a large rubber water bowl (the types used for livestock) so they can play in the water but not completely cover everything. Inside their living area I haven't decided if I'll allow water at all. Probably something small that can be heated in winter so they have water when they can't get out. I'm may go no water in the sleeping quarters just to keep it from being saturated.

    So, basically, I am keeping the critters separate but they'll be able to see each other through the mesh. I think in the open fenced area I may allow them to roam together, but it will depend on whether I end up with girl or boy ducks. Hope this helps!
  5. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    I read on here that male ducks will violently breed chickens and injure them if kept together past 3 months old. Also, imo ducks do better in an outdoor setup instead of inside a building due to their very messy way of handling water.

    Mine are together now because they are only 2 months old. At first the ducks did pick/ pick on the chickens. They no longer do this. In fact the ducks look for the chicks if i take them out. They calm down when they are all together again. They feel like a family now. I will have to work on seperating them gingerly so as to ease the separation anxiety.

    I will put my new brooder babies in with the chickens.... ducks and all. They are very motherly you see. So far the chickens have raised 2 slightly younger mallard babies and treated them like their own chicks. The pekin ducks tried to show the chickens that the mallards are ducks and not chickens.... They didn't seem to care. They were their chidren as far as they were concerned...albeit only a few weeks younger than them.
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  6. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I've got 3 plans for keeping our ducks over winter.
    Plan A - Solar powered pond aerator, it blows bubbles keeping the surface tension disturbed so ice can't form.
    If I cant keep their 55 gallon drum (cut in half side ways) pool open year round.
    Plan B - Heated dog water dish, puts out enough heat to keep the dogs water from freezing even during the coldest weather.
    As a last resort if plan A&B both fail.
    Plan C - sneak 'em in with chickens. My wife keeps the layer coop heated to like 50 all winter long and have you seen the size of her new breeder coop. Surely I can squeeze 15 ducks in. [​IMG]
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Hahahahaha!!! [​IMG]

    Nice try, dear!
  8. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    Well, I will have to see how it goes this summer I guess.
    I will get females for sure now.
  9. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    Do you think we could keep them in our crawl space?
    Does that sound terrible? LOL.
    It is a huge area that dosen't get below freezing, about 40 degrees. It is almost five feet in height. If I were to put a little wading pool down there, the floor is just sand so it would drain really good, I could make a pretty big area for them to stay in the winter.
    Just let me know if you think I'm nuts, I can take it! I'm just throwing out ideas since DH is back on the slope.
  10. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Songster

    ducks like to slop in water..so depends on your bedding in the coop you will have a mess in and around the food & water containers...I personally wouldnt raise the 2 togeather...

    For use we like everthing to have its own space..turkeys, pheasants, quail and of course chickens..

    Dont like raising none species togeather..to risky with it...


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