Can Ducks and Chickens Share a Coop and Run?
Yes! Chickens and ducks can live together peacefully and share a coop. It does require a little planning so that the chicken roost is not located above the sleeping location for the ducks. However, these two backyard poultry favorites are easily housed together and kept in the same run. When considering can ducks and chickens share a coop, I recommend having a backup house. This helps ease the mixing of the flock together.
Chickens and Ducks Share a Home
Cohabitating small flocks of chickens and ducks are possible to share a house together. It can take some time to properly integrate the flock if they did not start as ducklings and chicks together.
How to build a duck coop that also works for a chicken is straightforward. Ducks grow faster than chickens so keeping them in seperate brooders as the grow is wise until mature. Whoever is the new addition to the house may get bullied and picked on if still small when mixing the birds together. An integrated coop does have special requirements for setting up the coop though to keep all the birds happy.
The number one need for chickens is a roost. It is advised that the chicken roost in the coop is not above the location where the ducks like to sleep. This is more difficult than it seems. Unfortunately, the birds have minds of their own so be conscious of where the animals are sleeping. A shared coop is nice, however, compartmentalizing is necessary if they are not cohabitating nicely.
Ventilation for Ducks
The need for additional ventilation for ducks is important due to moisture in their feathers. Ducks get wet when they feed and store a lot of moisture in their feathers as they preen themselves. Chickens on the other hand need a dry and warmer coop than ducks. Add a few ventilation holes that are protected from the wind by creating a false cover on the outside. This allows the air to exchange with the outside without allowing cool breeze winds to blow inside during the evenings and winter.
Chickens Need to Roost
Chickens want to go up inside the coop and roost near the top. Installing a couple of roost bars is important for them to be happy. Of course, they will poop when up there so consider adding a layer of wood below the roost. This will keep any chicken poop from falling on the ducks all night long. Ducks prefer to sleep in the ground and will always find a nice corner in the coop to cuddle up together.
Keep Waterers Out of Coop
You should keep water out of the coop irregardless of a mixed backyard poultry flock or not. Water increases the moisture in the coop and is a leading cause of generating large amounts of bacteria in the coop.
Chickens and Ducks Share a Run
Chickens and Ducks sharing a run during the day and then going into their own respective coops at night solves the problem. We tried the shared coop but found making a separate coop for each within the same large run ended up as the best solution for our mixed flock. The typical run is compatible for both animals. A run provides the animals a safe and secure location during the day.
We place our coops inside of the run area so that they have an added layer of protection from predators at night. Having trouble deciding what kind of enclosure is right for your ducks. Consider these duck pen ideas.
A duck and chicken run that does not have an enclosed roof made of hardware cloth is susceptible to daytime predation by birds or raccons. Despite night time being the biggest risk period of the day an open run can lead to bird loss if there is a large predator population nearby.
Mixed Backyard Flock Tips
- Offer two waterers. Ducks need to dip their entire beak and preferably head underwater during the day. Chickens do not need this. We set up a traditional chicken waterer and then offer our ducks a tub filled with water.
- Food can be the same. However, we like to provide two feeding stations. One next to the duck water and one next to the chicken water. They will intermingle, but in the morning when food goes down this helps reduce competition and bad behavior between the ducks and chickens.
- Duck drakes and chicken rooster are the protectors of the flock. If your flock includes male birds be extra cognizant during the mixing stage of introducing the birds to each other.
- Overall, ducks and chicks should coexist peacefully, so if you notice an injured bird isolate them. A weak one may get picked on and unable to brush off an aggressive bird.
- Go the DIY route when building a backyard duck coop so making an addition or subtraction to include chickens is easy.
- A diligent homesteader can easily integrate a mixed poultry flock for success. Take time to spend with your birds and give them an alternate place to rest and sleep if something is off with their normal behavior.
- Chickens and duck snacks can be given to both at the same time.