Can you Keep Ducks, Geese and Chickens together?
Regularly we are asked, Can you keep Ducks and Geese with Chickens?
Yes, you can keep ducks, geese and chickens together. If you cater to the different needs of the birds and provide ample space, they tend to get along very nicely.
Avoid problems by considering the following potential issues before you add ducks and geese to your chicken coop:
Also, you should know that Dine A Chook Chicken feeders work well for not only Chickens and Laying Hens but also Ducks and Geese.
Different feed types
While ducks and geese will eat layer pellets, medicated feed is not suitable, and they do best on a waterfowl feed. Ducklings and goslings need extra niacin and cannot live on chick starter.
Nesting and Sleeping Quarters
Waterfowl nest differently to chickens. Ducks and also Geese tend to prefer to nest on the ground. They can sleep on the floor of the chicken coop, but ducks and geese rarely put themselves to bed like chickens and often prefer to sleep outdoors. If you have a safely enclosed run, try a separate house for your waterfowl that allows them to go in and out at night.
Can ducks, geese and chickens live together happily?
You might be wondering, Can Ducks, geese and chickens live happily together?
Here's the deal, they tend to co-exist peacefully once they establish a pecking order. It's like a group of friends moving in together. Once they work out their position in the home, things normally run smoothly. But if the house is too small or cramped, issues can arise. That's the same with ducks, geese and chickens. If in confined quarters, there can be an ongoing conflict.
Also, it can get worse. There are stories of large waterfowl harassing chickens to death.
Allow enough room for the different flocks to avoid each other during the day. It is also smart to include a few areas where smaller birds can escape larger ones.
Male birds need Females
The key to keeping male birds content as well as happy in a mixed bird flock is providing enough females of their species.
And roosters like the ladies. A good ratio is eight hens per rooster. Drakes are more preferential and are satisfied with two or three ducks.
Here's the takeaway, having enough females is crucial with drakes. In the breeding season an “unsatisfied” Drake may try to mate with the chickens, causing injury and possibly death.
Ducks and Geese make mess
Ducks and Geese have fun as they play in their water. This also includes drinking water. Such wetness and damp is not ideal for chickens. Nipple drinkers are better but waterfowl must also have enough water to fully immerse their heads in order to remain healthy. You can use a Dine A Chook Chicken Waterer for Ducks as well as Geese.
Protection from predators
Geese are great guard dogs and keeping them with your chickens will provide a warning system if predators are about. But guard geese are more dedicated to a flock they’ve bonded with, so if that’s your goal get one goose and raise it with your chickens.
If you have any other tips for the question of Can I keep Ducks and Geese with Chickens? Please contact us so we may consider adding them to this article to help other backyard Duck and Chicken Keepers.
So it is possible to keep the peace in a mixed flock. The key points to success are:
- Plenty of room
- Accommodate the feeding needs of the different birds
- Allow spaces for smaller birds to find a safe place if they need one
- Keep the male birds content with the correct ration of female birds
Ryan at Dine A Chook
More reading: How to stop disease in the chicken coop