There’s no rule that when you start raising backyard chickens that you can only raise backyard chickens. In fact, there are plenty of other species that you can raise alongside your chickens including guinea fowl, turkeys, and, of course, ducks. Ducks are a great species to raise together with chickens, but there are some things you should know before introducing them to your flock.
Ducks love water. Chickens? Not so much. While ducks enjoy splashing around, chickens despise getting their feathers wet. To keep both happy, there will have to be some sort of compromise with their water. Ducks require water to digest their food, often dipping their beaks into their water after taking a mouthful of food and then splashing around. This can make a huge mess that your chickens certainly won’t care for. So, keep the food and water outside of the coop to ensure that your chickens’ bedding isn’t soiled.
In addition to their drinking water, you should also have a place for your ducks to swim. While this isn’t totally necessary, having a place for your ducks to swim will make them much happier than they would be without one. A small pond or swimming pool will be enough for your ducks; just make sure that it’s kept well away from your coop.
Chickens and ducks can stay in the same coop, but you should provide extra accommodations. Ducks can be a bit chatty at night, disturbing your chickens’ sleep. They also prefer to sleep on the floor outside, while chickens prefer to be perched off the ground inside their coops. In that respect, you can either have two separate coops that are both connected to the run, or you can have one coop with a door open to the run for your ducks to go outside at night.
Chickens and ducks can coexist rather peacefully, but there is the chance of bullying when roosters or drakes (male ducks) are introduced. If you’re planning on having males around, then you should raise them together so that they are less aggressive towards each other once they’re fully grown.