Tip The cute and ugly about keeping ducks - conversation.

Grandmother Goose

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I just finished watching Mark's latest video, . I figured that here was the best place to discuss this matter.

I'm not an expert on poultry by any means but there's a few things I do know about which are relevant to Mark's situation.

1. Drakes, especially younger ones, can be extremely randy to keep it polite. If there's not enough female ducks around for them they will attempt to mate with anything else that seems suitable, and if kept with chickens, they may see the chickens as fair game. The problem with this is that drakes are not anatomically suitable for chickens, to a terrible degree, in fact it's a bit of a horror story if you're not a female duck. When attempting to mate with chickens, sometimes the drake can inadvertently kill the chicken in the process. Even when the chickens survive the trauma, it can sometimes leave the chickens unable to breed and can cause complications for the chicken with laying eggs or even pooping in the future. This isn't always the case, and some drakes won't even take an interest in chickens, they all have their own personalities and different breeds have different traits, but as a general rule, if you're going to keep a drake, keep plenty of girls for him and don't lock him up with the chickens. Some duck breeds are smaller than some chicken breeds, and when small ducks are with large chickens, it's much less likely to cause a problem, but a large drake without a lot of ducks to choose from and a smaller available chicken that can't get away from him, is most likely going to result in a very bad outcome for the chicken.

2. Ducks will move their nests from one place to another if they feel that their nest isn't completely safe where it is. Chickens can sometimes be a little bit territorial and they have a strong inclination to insist upon pecking order, and ducks don't care much for pecking orders, so if a duck is trying to nest near chickens, the chickens may harass the duck in their attempt to put the duck into their pecking order, making the duck feel that it's nesting place is not safe. The more a duck moves it's nest around, the more likely the hatching rate for the eggs will fail. When breeding ducks, they really need to be given a quiet isolated spot so they can feel safe from any interference.

A lot of people have been able to successfully house chickens and ducks together. However, it's not always as clear cut as many people make it out to be.

Some questions I have about keeping ducks and chickens together...
1. How many ducks and chickens do you have and what breeds are they?
2. Do you have a drake among them?
3. What size are the drakes compared to the chickens?
4. How is your housing set up? Do the ducks and chickens have their own areas for breeding season with a shared roaming area? Do they have separate sleeping areas?
5. How old were the ducks and chickens when they were introduced to each other and how did you do it?
6. Do you have a rooster that protects the chickens from the drakes?
7. What time in the morning do you open the poultry house to let them free range and better get away from each other?

I know all these things can dramatically change the experience of keeping mixed poultry, and sometimes just altering or neglecting to mention one detail, can turn a positive thing into a horror story. So I'd love to see anyone that knows more chime in on this topic, especially anyone that has successfully housed ducks and chickens together, exactly how, in detail please, did you do it?
 
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Mandy Onderwater

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Very interesting! I'm not keeping any birds at the moment, and back when we did they were only chicken and quail. So sadly I cannot help you in this subject.
 

Jason890

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I just finished watching Mark's latest video, . I figured that here was the best place to discuss this matter.

I'm not an expert on poultry by any means but there's a few things I do know about which are relevant to Mark's situation.

1. Drakes, especially younger ones, can be extremely randy to keep it polite. If there's not enough female ducks around for them they will attempt to mate with anything else that seems suitable, and if kept with chickens, they may see the chickens as fair game. The problem with this is that drakes are not anatomically suitable for chickens, to a terrible degree, in fact it's a bit of a horror story if you're not a female duck. When attempting to mate with chickens, sometimes the drake can inadvertently kill the chicken in the process. Even when the chickens survive the trauma, it can sometimes leave the chickens unable to breed and can cause complications for the chicken with laying eggs or even pooping in the future. This isn't always the case, and some drakes won't even take an interest in chickens, they all have their own personalities and different breeds have different traits, but as a general rule, if you're going to keep a drake, keep plenty of girls for him and don't lock him up with the chickens. Some duck breeds are smaller than some chicken breeds, and when small ducks are with large chickens, it's much less likely to cause a problem, but a large drake without a lot of ducks to choose from and a smaller available chicken that can't get away from him, is most likely going to result in a very bad outcome for the chicken.

2. Ducks will move their nests from one place to another if they feel that their nest isn't completely safe where it is. Chickens can sometimes be a little bit territorial and they have a strong inclination to insist upon pecking order, and ducks don't care much for pecking orders, so if a duck is trying to nest near chickens, the chickens may harass the duck in their attempt to put the duck into their pecking order, making the duck feel that it's nesting place is not safe. The more a duck moves it's nest around, the more likely the hatching rate for the eggs will fail. When breeding ducks, they really need to be given a quiet isolated spot so they can feel safe from any interference.

A lot of people have been able to successfully house chickens and ducks together. However, it's not always as clear cut as many people make it out to be.

Some questions I have about keeping ducks and chickens together...
1. How many ducks and chickens do you have and what breeds are they?
2. Do you have a drake among them?
3. What size are the drakes compared to the chickens?
4. How is your housing set up? Do the ducks and chickens have their own areas for breeding season with a shared roaming area? Do they have separate sleeping areas?
5. How old were the ducks and chickens when they were introduced to each other and how did you do it?
6. Do you have a rooster that protects the chickens from the drakes?
7. What time in the morning do you open the poultry house to let them free range and better get away from each other?

I know all these things can dramatically change the experience of keeping mixed poultry, and sometimes just altering or neglecting to mention one detail, can turn a positive thing into a horror story. So I'd love to see anyone that knows more chime in on this topic, especially anyone that has successfully housed ducks and chickens together, exactly how, in detail please, did you do it?
We have kept ducks and chickens most of my life
My parents had them all through my childhood and I have kept for a fair whack of my adulthood
If you have ever watched a drake mate they are not gentle I currently only have a drake and 1 duck when old mate drake mates with duck he will be on top of duck in the dam for what seems like ages nearly drowning poor duck I actually throw sticks at him to try get him off
When I was young Mum had a pet drake if you sat on a chair he would try ride your leg drakes must have a high sex drive
We have always had Muscovy ducks I’m not sure if other breeds are different
I have gone away from ducks as they are very messy they breed like rabbits so before you know it you have a hundred running around, for me I think the cost started to mount for the return you got and to be honest I started to dislike the butchering side of it , they are a big bird and it’s a bit of a exercise to put a few in the fridge
What I do like about ducks is having a trio or a couple swimming around the dam
Our ducks excluding the drake ( he is to heavy ) can fly they fly from our dam to the neighbouring dam when there done there they fly home and it’s good to watch I have kept them mixed with chickens without much drama but mostly always separated because they are so messy and I have mostly always had a rooster so maybe he helps keep them in check
 

HelenCate

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I'm thinking about getting a few Call Ducks sometime. They seem like a relatively small, and 'not unruly' kind of duck. I hope I'm not wrong 😬
 

Jason890

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I'm thinking about getting a few Call Ducks sometime. They seem like a relatively small, and 'not unruly' kind of duck. I hope I'm not wrong 😬
I had a pair of call ducks
They are cute very tame and as the name says they call always talking only a small duck and will hang around you chasing a snack
It was a shame the female was sitting on eggs and something got her so I gave the male to someone that had call ducks
I would get these again
 

Jason890

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Jason, would you say the Drake was less rough than other types?
The ones we had where very tame I don’t recall the drake ever being aggressive ours where all white they where like pets
It was sad when the female went missing as it was her first lot of eggs she sat on
We had Muscovys as well but the call ducks kept to themselves
I am unsure how often they breed but I would have these again
Another problem we have at home is foxes they got some of the Muscovys and that’s probably what got the little call duck as I never locked them up
We don’t seem to have as much drama with foxes now as I have a couple of dogs that are always outside
 

JP 1983

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I've been a long time subscriber to Goldshaw farm on youtube - he's a poultry farmer in Vermont, USA (geese, ducks, chickens & just added Scottish highlander cattle). Has heaps of good stuff over on his channel about duck behaviours, breeding, housing, etc (including curing bumblefoot using epsom salt duck baths).

He uses a livestock guardian dog (maremma) to keep away the raptors, coyotes, bobcats etc with mostly good success.
 
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