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Author Topic: ducks, table hens and laying hens...to mix or not to mix - that is the question!  (Read 2314 times)

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
we have 8 ducks and 8 to be table birds (hubbard hens).  they have all lived together quite happily since birth - free ranging during the day and in a 12x12 stable at night - no-one perches.

we plant to move them into our field over the next few days and i think i want to separate the ducks and the hens now.

ducks will be straighforward i think - into their new house/pen one night and keep them in a pen for a few days - they'll have a bigger pond so i'm hoping they will be happy with this arrangement.

the hens i'm not so sure about.  we also have 9 laying hens and i'm considering putting all the hens together - mianly from a mess point of view, but also so that the hens can have clean water for more than 5 minutes a day!  the hens are in a huge area with a poultry fence around it.

i'm just wondering if i should put the whole lot together from the get go, or do what i do when i introduce new laying hens and let them see each other for a few days but have a fence between them - short on housing so this wouldnt be my preferred option.  plus i am feeding the ducks and table birds maize as i wanted them to be tasty...tastier!  what impact will that have on my laying birds - anyone know?

thanks in advance for comments - will be interesting to hear others views
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doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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I only have layers, but then only down side to putting your hubbards in with them is that the hubbards are maybe not supposed to have as much exercise -maybe I'm wrong about that though, they maybe just don't take any exercise even if offered ;D ;D  Put them all in the same house at bedtime and they should be OK.  I keep my ducks separate - both house and pen in teh morning and evening, but they all free range together during the day.  As you say, the hens get clean water now!
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Sharondp

  • Joined Jun 2009
I don't raise meat birds but I understand they have a different diet to layers - would this be a problem? I know how you feel about being short on housing - I need to get some more for the new chicks!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
I wouldn't keep the meatbirds and laying hens together, as they should have different feeds (meat birds, ours get a mix of wheat and grower pellets, and the layers get layers pellets, different amounts of protein in the feed), also I find that the meatbirds scoff ALL of their pellets wihtin about 20 minutes, then sit all day and look out for me just in case I bring more, no way do they take exercise of any kind...

Also I have a cockerel in with my layers, wouldn't want him to try and injure himself on the not-so-slim meatbirds (ours are just coming up to killing, so they are big). The meatbirds have a few cockerels in there, not sure what the dominant layers cockerel (a Maran) would do to the bigger, but immature meat cockerels... they are just trying to crow, but it's at the really funny sounding stage..

So, yes, I would keep them separate...

 

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