If you’re a lover of birds or you’re raising them, surely you’ve asked yourself if you can bring different kinds of species together and whether or not they can live in harmony. Will they be good or will they peck on each other in hatred, over and over again? Placing them together would solve a lot of problems regarding space, feeding and general care, but can chickens and ducks live together, realistically? Let’s find out.
Chickens and Ducks Have Different Needs and Requirements
First things first: before anything else, you need to know that both chickens and ducks have totally different needs. For example, chickens are considerably more independent than ducks. They will get out and go back in to their coop by themselves. Chickens will find their own roosts and they can even be let out in colder weather because they will acclimate. They prefer to sleep next to an open window.
Ducks, on the other hand, require more attentive care and a more hands-on approach. With ducks, you will need to be present early nights and early mornings in order to herd them in and out, because they will not do it by themselves. Ducks also have different sleeping arrangements and they can be restless during nighttime, that is definitely something to keep in mind.
Can Chickens and Ducks Live Together?
Keeping in mind all of the above, yes chickens and ducks can actually be kept in the same building. There is no fundamental incompatibility or reason why the two types of birds cannot co-exist harmoniously. You may find that the ducks are maybe more aggressive, especially in the beginning but they get used to each other pretty quickly and you shouldn’t experience problems with them, once they are familiar with the new arrangement.
However, there is one exception. While they are still small and growing up, it is best to keep chickens and ducks separately. Not only because they have different needs but also a different behavior. They develop differently and it’s better for them to only be surrounded by their own kind. After they reach maturity, you can keep them together without any issues.
Can I Put the Ducks in the Same Place I Used to Keep the Chickens?
The answer to this question can be yes and no, depending on where you were keeping your chicken. For example, if the enclosure didn’t have particularly sturdy fencing, you’re going to need to change the arrangement because that won’t work for ducks. Why? Because they are easy victims for predators. Predators will be able to easily locate your ducks and eat every last one of them and probably your chickens as well, unless you apply proper protection.
In order to protect all of your poultry and prevent them from having a cruel fate, make sure you keep them inside at night. In an actually enclosed space, with a door, roof, etc., not just a fence that can be easily jumped and/or climbed by other animals. You will need to be there to open and close the door mornings and nights and this way you ensure that none of them will get eaten.
Can I Feed Chickens and Ducks Together?
As far as feeding goes, you need to be aware of the fact that chickens and ducks require different types of food, especially when they are little. As mentioned earlier, small chickens and ducklings are best kept separately anyway, at least for a while. As adults, both chicken and ducks can be fed with poultry layer pellets. Remember that they will also find their own food such as earthworms etc. Chickens will find and peck on grass, bugs, and other kinds of weeds and insects.
Water can be tricky as well, ducks will get into the container and make a complete mess of it, leaving themselves, as well as the chickens, without any water to drink. This can be solved by including different water bowls or containers, for drinking and for bathing. Place the one for drinking off the ground by either hanging it slightly above ground level or placing it on a tripod of some sort. The goal is for the ducks to be unable to reach it. You can put a different container with shallower walls for bathing.
In conclusion, these two types of species can co-exist, if you want them to, as long as you are aware of the differences between them and their respective needs and requirements. Just make sure that each side is taken care of and everything should be fine.