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Author Topic: Keeping ducks with chickens  (Read 480 times)

DippyEgg

  • Joined May 2017
Keeping ducks with chickens
« on: September 17, 2017, 06:00:14 pm »
So I've been researching keeping ducks and I've read that they can be kept with hens. Does anyone do that successfully? I have space in a section of the hen house that isn't used at the moment so I could make that a sleeping area for a couple of ducks. Would that work? I'm thinking Campbells or Appleyards.

Any duck keeping advice very welcome! :)

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 03:54:42 pm »
Do you mean that you have a largish shed and would section off one side for the ducks? I think that could work. I have ducks and hens and the ducks regularly go into the hens enclosure. Their a PITA, they guzzle any feed the hens have before they get a chance to eat it so you can't let the ducks out until the hens have eaten and have to put the ducks away before the hens at night so you can feed them. The ducks make a mess too, any drinking water they muddy up within minutes and they turn any wet bits to mud very quickly!

DippyEgg

  • Joined May 2017
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 09:28:31 pm »
Hi, Thanks for your reply. Yes I've got an area on the floor or the chicken shed that they're using at the moment (they don't need that much space so I've blocked if off to save on bedding and cleaning). I am not sure ducks would get their bills into the chicken feeder so hopefully they won't steal the chicken's feed. I could put some food in a big bowl for the ducks.

Yes, the mess....I am a bit concerned about that, but most days they'd be let out of their run onto an acre field so hopefully that shouldn't be too much of a problem

Do ducks lay eggs in the winter:? Do they poo at night like chickens do?

Alex_

  • Joined Jul 2016
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 01:43:37 pm »
Ducks defecate like you wouldn't believe. They can be quite messy. There will be fights and arguments when you first mix them.

One issue I have heard about is that if a duck scares a chicken they might fly into the pond/pool for the ducks and drown.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 02:38:50 pm »
A couple of things I learnt to reduce the mess made by ducks - learnt by trial and error when I kept a pet duck :&>  in my bedsit as a student.
 1. Keep the food and water at opposite ends of the accommodation. In fact as far away as possible. A ducks natural instinct is to dabble all its food in the water. So if you put the food and water containers near each other then in no time the food's been dropped in the water and the water dripped on the food and you won't be able to distinguish between the 2. However if the duck has to walk between the 2 then it appears to get fed up so will eat its fill of food, then waddle over to the water to wash its beak. The water stays a lot cleaner and the food a lot drier.
 2. While it may appear that a duck continually defecates that is because it constantly eats. It takes 20 minutes for the last soggy food or messy drink to pass through a duck. So if you wish to socialise with your duck (which I used to do) then wait at least 20 minutes before something has passed its beak and you will amaze your friends by having a house trained duck. :sunshine:
life's too short to be boring.

DippyEgg

  • Joined May 2017
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 04:39:17 pm »
Really? So don't they poo through the night like chickens then, I thought they did?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 10:02:49 pm »
When they go to bed they will initially empty their guts because there is still food going through so you will find droppings in the morning. But I don't believe they carry on all night.
life's too short to be boring.

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • West Pennine Moors
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 06:14:17 pm »
1. Keep the food and water at opposite ends of the accommodation. In fact as far away as possible. A ducks natural instinct is to dabble all its food in the water. So if you put the food and water containers near each other then in no time the food's been dropped in the water and the water dripped on the food and you won't be able to distinguish between the 2. However if the duck has to walk between the 2 then it appears to get fed up so will eat its fill of food, then waddle over to the water to wash its beak. The water stays a lot cleaner and the food a lot drier.

That's really interesting and fits perfectly with what I see our ducks do - they are comical marching up and down between the two!

Quote
2. While it may appear that a duck continually defecates that is because it constantly eats.

It certainly does appear like that! Any hardstanding areas quickly become covered.

Our ducks have kept laying all year round through two winters. They don't even really seem to stop for a moult so to speak. At 2.5 years old the egg regularity is dropping off a little although from two white campbells we're still getting 10+ eggs a week.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 03:08:59 pm »
Bar in mind that wherever you have their water it will be spread around and turn into a skating rink in icy weather.  I kept Aylesburys and Khaki Campbells until I realized they were going to be a major hazard over Winter and sold them in the Autumn. 

kipper

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2017, 07:37:01 am »
I have runner ducks with my bantams and they get along just fine
My ducks don't use the run or hut even if it's raining heavy they stay outside

They do need somewhere to lay there eggs or they will just lay anywhere in the garden and could cause problems with the crows etc

The pond my ducks love and can't get them out even when it's pitch dark they are in the pond

Only downfall if you were to chase them in the hut at night is the ducks are messy and you will have a never ending job of cleaning up after them , not sure if this is healthy in a small coop style for the bantams

Good luck

madchickenlady

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Old Newton Suffolk
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2017, 11:32:56 am »
Hi, I keep both ducks and chickens but separately. My ducks are free range (as are the hens) but come in at night. I have to wash the pen down every morning they are very messy!
My reservation about keeping ducks and hens together is actually about the winter bird flu regulations which we are likely to see again this year, ducks are very messy, add to that the need for constant access to water and I can see difficulties during any lock down period, I am not saying don't, I am just advising you to take this into consideration. Good luck.
Heather

DippyEgg

  • Joined May 2017
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2017, 09:11:15 pm »
Thanks everyone. Good point about bird flu Heather. I'll think about it for a bit I think.

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Keeping ducks with chickens
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 05:24:21 pm »
We kept our ducks and hens together without incident for several weeks but the ducks struggled to get up the ladder into the hen house. Now they have Duck Mansions that we built on the flat for them. They do all get on fine - but the ducks are VERY greedy when it comes to suppertime so you do have to spread out the food to make sure the chickens get enough.

 

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