Give your mixed flock a lot of space, to ensure there’s ample room to escape if tempers flare between housemates. You need at least 2-3 square metres of outside space per bird, and 1 square metre of nesting space.
The main thing that ducks need (that chickens don’t) is a pool of continually fresh water to dabble in.
Stagnant water can grow bacteria like botulism, which can harm your birds, so if you have a wading pool it needs to be changed every day. Make sure there’s an exit point to stop curious chooks from drowning. Separate drinking water will need to be provided for the chickens.
Ducks prefer to nest on the ground, whereas chickens prefer to nest off the ground. Set up separate nesting areas. This will also stop the ducks getting the chooks nesting area damp
When it’s time, chickens instinctively put themselves to bed. Ducks usually do not. Ducks do tend to enjoy sleeping outdoors no matter what the temperature. So, if your ducks typically free-range during the day, you will probably have to herd them inside at dusk to avoid predators
Consider size differences, as ducks are generally larger and stronger than chooks. Mix calmer-breed ducks with larger-breed chickens that can hold their own. Avoid male ducks entirely
Ducks will act as “guard ducks” for the chooks, – quacking loudly when there is a predator about, alerting you and hopefully scaring the predator off
So get quacking!
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