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Can you Keep Ducks, Geese and Chickens together?

Can You Keep Ducks, Geese, and Chickens Together?

At Dine A Chook, we frequently address questions about mixed poultry housing, such as, Can you keep ducks and geese with chickens?

Yes, you can cohabitate ducks, geese, and chickens successfully. By catering to each species' unique needs and ensuring ample space, they generally coexist harmoniously.

Before integrating ducks and geese into your chicken coop, consider these potential challenges to avoid issues:

It's worth noting that Dine A Chook Chicken Feeders are also effective for feeding Ducks and Geese, along with Chickens and Laying Hens.

Key Considerations for Mixed Poultry Housing

1. Different Feed Types

While ducks and geese can consume layer pellets, medicated feed should be avoided as they thrive on a waterfowl-specific feed. Ducklings and goslings, in particular, require additional niacin, which is not found in chick starter.

2. Nesting and Sleeping Quarters

Ducks and geese have distinct nesting preferences, typically nesting on the ground. Although they can sleep in the chicken coop, these waterfowl rarely self-settle at night and often prefer sleeping outdoors. For those with enclosed runs, consider a separate waterfowl house that allows them freedom to enter and exit as they please.

Can you keep ducks, geese and chickens together?

3. Social Dynamics and Space Requirements

Wondering if ducks, geese, and chickens can coexist happily? They typically do, once a pecking order is established. Similar to roommates settling into shared living, peaceful coexistence is achievable. However, cramped conditions can lead to conflicts, mirroring the issues that arise in too-small housing for mixed poultry.

Furthermore, instances of aggressive behaviour from larger birds can occur, highlighting the importance of sufficient space to prevent conflicts.

4. Male to Female Ratios

Maintaining balanced male-to-female ratios is crucial. For instance, a healthy ratio involves about eight hens per rooster, while drakes generally require two to three ducks. Without enough females, male ducks might display aggressive mating behaviours towards chickens, which can cause harm or even fatality.

5. Ducks and Geese as Mess Makers

The playful splashing of ducks and geese can lead to messy, damp conditions unsuitable for chickens. Though nipple drinkers can help, all waterfowl need access to water deep enough to submerge their heads fully. Consider using a Dine A Chook Chicken Waterer adapted for ducks and geese.

6. Protection from Predators

Geese also serve as excellent guard animals, alerting your chickens to any nearby threats. For optimal integration, raise a goose alongside your chickens from a young age to foster a strong bond and effective protective behaviour.

If you have additional insights on housing ducks, geese, and chickens together, please contact us. We are always eager to expand our advice for the benefit of the backyard poultry community.

Conclusion: Maintaining Harmony in a Mixed Flock

  • Ensure ample space for all birds
  • Address the dietary needs of each species
  • Provide escape areas for smaller birds
  • Maintain appropriate male-to-female ratios

Authored by Ryan at Dine A Chook

Further reading: How to Prevent Disease in a Chicken Coop

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