mixing ducks with chickens

chickens and ducks together in their run in the gardenMixing ducks with chickens…

Back in January the ducklings arrived, and since then we have discovered alot about ducks. They are messy, stinky, needy, loud and messy. Yes, I said messy again. Albeit they are much smarter than chickens, what they make up for in brains they lack in cleanliness! Forty ducks, as you might imagine can be messy. Their basic routine is eat, drink water at the same time you eat, swish the food around in your mouth, sit around, nap, poke your bill at things, poop, repeat. And as you may or may not know, they are very loud when the entire brace gets chatting. That is what they are called as a group

Now that you have the basic idea of what it has been like since they arrived in late January, I will now describe in two words what my venture into the world of raising and keeping ducks has been… pure love. Yes they are messy…we have established that. But, when it comes to personality and overall cuteness, they win hands down in comparison to chickens. Before ordering the ducks I was led to believe that they were beyond adorable. They would follow you around like a shadow. I read somewhere that they would sit in your lap and cuddle. I also read that they were more like pets than most people understood. All of which are big fat lies! They do not want to sit in your lap, nor do they follow you around like a puppy. In fact, they go in the opposite direction that I am going. I go toward them, and they scamper the other way! I installed a six foot wide, 18″ deep galvanized tank for them to swim in, and they get in and splash most of the water out of it…pure love!

Anyway, since the new chickens had made it to their 10 week birthday, but still too young to integrate into the coop with the older chickens, I thought we should see how the girls got on with the ducks. To my surprise, everyone is pretty darn happy! The chickens are growing fast. In about 8 more weeks they will start to lay eggs. But something about the chickens being with them, has sped up the ovulation of the ducks egg laying cycle. Each afternoon when I arrive at the farm, my noisy brace of ducks seem to be saying “look papa, I layed another egg!”  They are smaller than they will be when their systems are fully developed, but they are eggs…pure love.


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