Can Ducks and Chickens be Raised Together?

Can Ducks and Chickens be Raised Together?

A common question that get asked is can ducks and chickens be raised together?  There are mixed opinions on the subject, some will tell you that they need to be kept in separate pens and other farmers will tell you that they raise their ducks and chickens together without any difficulty.  If you decide to raise your birds together then you need to keep a couple of things in mind.  Here are some hacks for raising them together.

Squabbling

Chickens and ducks don’t always get along, they can fight among each other just like they do among themselves.  The problem is that chickens have very sharp beaks and can cause a lot of damage.  Not only that if you are raising Call Ducks you need to be especially careful since they are so much smaller than regular ducks. It is usually the males that end up doing to the fighting so watch them carefully.

Sharing Food and Water

If you do decide to raise them together then you want to make sure that the pen is big enough that they have separate food and water.  You also want to make sure they have separate coops to sleep in.  When they are young, chickens and ducks eat different diets and this is the time where it is absolutely necessary to keep them separate.

Baby chicks are fed a specific diet that contains drugs to help prevent coccidiosis, but that same feed is dangerous to ducks.  Baby ducklings also eat more than baby chicks do and need to be fed more often.  Also the female chicks are going to need more calcium in their diets to get ready for when they start laying eggs.  Both birds can be fed poultry food when they are older along with foraging for bugs.

Water

Your birds are going to need separate water containers otherwise ducks will bathe in the water and make it undrinkable for chickens.  To prevent this you can hang containers of water off the ground with a place for chickens to perch on so they can drink.  Chickens can fly up and drink while the water is out of reach of the ducks.  For your ducks you will want to put a small tub in the yard, a kid’s paddling pool actually works well.  This lets ducks bathe and play in the water, but you need to keep the chickens out so they don’t drown.

While technically you can keep ducks and chickens together in the same enclosure it is probably less work for you overall to separate them.  That way you don’t have to worry about them fighting or getting into trouble.