Learn about housing chickens and ducks together with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Hobby farmers generally have mixed opinions about housing ducks and chickens together. Chickens are fairly easy birds to raise–they’re small and manageable. Ducks are easy, too–they’re hardy and lay eggs year-round. Housing them together is possible. It just takes a little work and adequate space. Follow these simple tips for keeping chickens and ducks together from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Feeding Chickens & Ducks
When they’re chicks and ducklings, your birds will need to be fed separately. Baby chicks need chick starter that is typically medicated for healthy growth. However, ducklings will need non-medicated baby chick starter feed, as well as a niacin supplement and brewer’s yeast. Adult duck feed and medicated chick starter can kill a baby duckling.
Once the birds reach an adult age, they can both eat on poultry feed. Another option is to let your birds free-range. Ducks will find plenty of food such as insects, slugs, grass and duck weed. Ducks can also be given brewer’s yeast in their adult years as a supplement to the layer poultry feed.
Water Supply for Chickens & Ducks
Ducks love the water, and they’ll want somewhere to drink and swim. A kiddie pool or rubber tub can work for a duck’s water needs. You’ll need to put some bricks or cement blocks around the edge of the pool, or a ramp on the outside. While ducks will be fine, chickens can drown in the pool. With the ramp or bricks, chickens have an easier way to get out of the water. For your chicken’s water source, using a hanging poultry waterer.
Keeping the Coop Clean
Finally, keeping the coop clean is important, regardless if you’re housing your birds together or not. Ducks tend to make a mess when they’re eating and drinking, so keep feed and waterers outside the coop. It’s also important to keep your coop well-ventilated as ducks produce a lot of moisture. If you can keep the coop ventilated and dry, your birds should be fine.
Housing ducks and chickens together can be a great way to add some variety to your hobby farms. They’re both fun animals that the whole family can learn about and enjoy. For more tips on raising your flock, visit our Hobby Farming blog.