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9 Tips:Raising Ducks With Chickens| Ducks | Chicken | Raising Chickens | Raise Chickens

3 Tips:Raising Ducks With Chickens?
  1. Protective fencing is needed to keep chickens and ducks from attacking each other.
  2. Ducks need a body of water to swim in, while chickens do not.
  3. Chickens like to roost in trees, while ducks do not.
  4. Chickens need a coop to sleep in at night, while ducks do not.
  5. Ducks eat more than chickens, so more food needs to be provided for them.
  6. Ducks can fly, while chickens cannot; therefore, the fence around the pen needs to be taller for ducks.
  7. The pen needs to be cleaned more frequently with ducks present, as they are known for their messy habits.
  8. Chicks and ducklings can be susceptible to being attacked by predators, such as raccoons or coyotes; extra care must be taken to protect them.
  9. Both chickens and ducks can lay eggs; however, it is important to distinguish between the two types of eggs, as chickens’ eggs cannot be eaten by humans whereas ducks’ eggs are edible.

Raising Ducks with Chickens – The Things you want to know                         

Ducks and chickens are lovable creatures. In recent years, the concept of combining farming ducks and chickens is becoming popular and getting more attention from farmers. Many farmers ask questions about raising the ducks and chickens together. For example,

Are ducks and chickens comfortable with each other?

Is it a good idea to raise chickens and ducks together?

Can ducks and chickens transfer diseases to each other?

Do the dietary requirements of chicken and ducks match each other?

3 Tips:Raising Ducks With Chickens?

In this blog, we are going to discuss “Raising the ducks and chickens together “and all other related facts.

Do Duck and Raising Chickens Make Sense

However, chickens and ducks stay happy when raised with each other but they prefer hanging out with their own family members. You can raise them together but there is a need for proper planning and keeping a few things in mind.  Here, we will share some important tips with you that can be helpful for you in making the decision.

Benefits of Raising Ducks and chickens Together?

Ducks and chickens are often raised together because they offer a number of benefits to each other. Chickens typically eat more insects than ducks, which helps to keep the insect population down. Ducks, on the other hand, tend to eat more vegetation than chickens.

This helps to keep the grasses and weeds trimmed, preventing them from getting out of control. In addition, the two types of birds often help to keep each other warm.

Chickens roost at night, and their body heat helps to keep the ducks warm. Ducks also preen each other, which helps to keep their feathers in good condition. As a result, raising ducks and chickens together can be a great way to provide them with the best possible care.

Problems of Raising Ducks and chickens Together?

Ducks and chickens are both popular farm animals, but there can be some problems with raising them together. One of the biggest issues is that ducks are waterfowl, and they need access to a pond or other source of water in order to stay healthy. Chickens, on the other hand, are land birds and don’t require as much water.

This can lead to fights over the water bowl, with the ducks trying to chase the chickens away. In addition, ducks tend to be messy eaters, and their food often ends up scattered around the coop. This can attract vermin, which can then spread disease to the chickens.

Finally, ducks are generally much louder than chickens, and their quacking can disturb the peace of the farm. For these reasons, it’s important to carefully consider whether ducks and chickens are a good fit before bringing them home.

Ducks and chickens can often be found together on the same farm. While they may seem to get along well, there are actually a number of problems that can arise from raising these two types of poultry together. For one thing, ducks are generally much messier than chickens and their droppings can contaminate the chicken feed and water.

Ducks also tend to eat more than chickens, which can lead to competition for food. In addition, ducks typically require more space than chickens and their larger body size can make it difficult for chickens to escape if they are being bullied.

Finally, when it comes time to process the poultry, ducks and chickens must be kept separate because they have different butchering requirements. As a result, raising ducks and chickens together can be more trouble than it is worth.


According to the scientific literature, the housing requirements of chickens and ducks are almost the same. However, there are some exceptions there.

There are different variations in the environment of chicken and duck coops. The chicken requires a well-ventilated, insulated coop with temperature variations. Keep in mind; that the temperature and the ventilation are two critical factors in the overall maintenance of chickens.

On the other hand, ducks don‘t have complicated requirements. They are easy to manage and need a secure place to keep themselves happy and calm.

3 Tips:Raising Ducks With Chickens?


Water is very important for both chickens and ducks. However, chickens do well with nipple drinks or traditional chicken fonts. In contrast, ducks need a deep drinking water system to dip their whole head inside it.

Kiddie pool for ducks

As you know, ducks like swimming and a Kiddie pool is a good idea to keep ducks happy. In addition to that, be careful about the baby chickens as they can drown in the pool.


Feeding management is very important for the overall well-being of chickens and ducks. This is important to know that, adult ducks and chickens have the almost same nutritional requirements. However, baby ducks need more niacin in their diets.  All along with that, ducks need a different kind of feeding bowls as compared to chickens.

This is better to keep chickens and ducks in a separate feeder to avoid complications. Last but not least, ducks consume quicker than chickens so they can undergo overfeeding issues. Also, you can choose the same kind of treats for both chickens and ducks.

Note: The habit of egg production is also different in chickens and ducks. All along with that, nesting material for ducks is very important. Ducks like to nest on the ground and chickens do the opposite (perch).

Can Ducks and Chickens (Chicken) Transfer Diseases to Each other? (Raise Chickens)

Yes, this is one of the most important concerns of the farmers. There are different health conditions that are transmitted between the ducks and the chickens. As you know, ducks like to be messy and contract mites, and ticks are associated with infections more quickly as compared to chickens because of the high body temperatures. This is very crucial to ensure the proper cleaning of the coop to control the cross-transmission of diseases from the chickens to ducks and vice versa.

According to research, ducks act as the carrier of various microbes of chickens on backyard farms. This is why it is very important to be careful and monitor the mixed flock on regular basis.

Note: The higher level of humidity in the coop is responsible for the enhanced growth of bacteria and other pathogenic microbes.

Things to be Considered | Flock | Coop | Baby Chicks

However, this is a super idea to keep the chickens and ducks as a mixed flock. All along with that, the proper flock ratio is very important for the better performance of the flock. In short, keep the following points in your mind while mixing the chickens and ducks with each other: Keeping Chickens, Chicken Hen, Duck Hens and Baby Chicks can be Challenging. Chickens backyard ducks are great for the small Homestead.

  1. Management of coop: This is one of the crucial points that you must keep in your mind. Keep the ventilation in the coop to the optimum levels, particularly during the winters.  High humidity is a major cause of respiratory illness in chickens.

    So, you need to pay maximum attention to the overall cleanliness and maintenance of the coop. Last but not least, this is a good idea to manage the security of the coop to protect the flock from predators by adding different gadgets.
  2. Space management of the chicken and duck flock is also very important and needs lots of attention. The requirement of the minimum space for the free-range and confined flock is different.  You can check out the reference values for the free-range and confined flocks for a better understanding.

    As a thumb rule, the minimum space for an egg-laying duck should be three square feet all. On the other hand, the minimum space for the egg-laying chickens should be around 2-3 square feet per chicken in the chicken coop.
  3. Male and female ratio: The ratio of male and female ducks, and chickens should be monitored thoroughly in the mixed flock. If the purpose of the mixed flock is egg production then don’t keep the duck and chicken males in the flock. They are usually very aggressive and can cause lots of trouble in the flock.
  •  Natural behavior:  In the last, you also need to keep in the natural behavior of ducks and chickens. As you know, ducks don’t have a pecking order, on the other hand, chickens develop a pecking order. There are also aggressiveness concerns of both chickens and ducks. Keep in mind that, female ducks are pretty laid back as compared to drakes (male ducks) which aggressive and territorial.  In the same way, male chickens are more aggressive compared to female chickens.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: The proper mixing of the chickens and ducks is a good idea and fun.  Enjoy your backyard farming.


Henning, K. A., Henning, J., Morton, J., Long, N. T., Ha, N. T., & Meers, J. (2009). Farm-and flock-level risk factors associated with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks on smallholder duck and chicken farms in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam. Preventive veterinary medicine91(2-4), 179-188.

Pauly, M., Snoeck, C. J., Phoutana, V., Keosengthong, A., Sausy, A., Khenkha, L., … & Muller, C. P. (2019). Cross-species transmission of poultry pathogens in backyard farms: ducks as carriers of chicken viruses. Avian Pathology48(6), 503-511.

Annala, D., Tuck, B., Kerr, S., Hammond, E., & Olson, S. (2014). Backyard Chicken Coop Design.

Author: Dr. Juon Abbass

DVM, M.Phil, PhD (Veterinary sciences)

9 Tips:Raising Ducks With Chickens| Ducks | Chicken | Raising Chickens | Raise Chickens 1
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