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mixed poultry flock: runner ducks and chickens

Posts: 48
Location: Northern Ca
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Hi Victoria,

Thanks for joining us this week. I have a flock of 12 laying hens. They currently have one main run, and as I establish a better containment situation I plan to run them through a network of paddocks in the rest of my yard. While they'll eat just about anything (I chopped a gopher in half yesterday and tossed it in- they didn't touch him while I was around, but he was gone next time I came back to look), they are very reluctant to eat slugs and snails. I'm thinking of adding a couple of runner ducks to the flock. Right now when the chickens are in their main run I hardly have to do any daily chores at all. Their shelter is predator proof, so they can just go back in to their coop at night and they'll be fine. Other than adding a new waterer (I've got the chickens drinking from a 5 gallon bucket auto waterer with nipples), will I have to do much to accommodate the ducks? Do you think the ducks will tend to lay their eggs in the same nesting boxes as the hens?

I'm hoping to let the pair of ducks free range in the yard on occasion for slug patrol, and I would also be a lot more motivated to go on late night snail hunts if I knew how happy the ducks would be in the morning when they got to have their feast.

Thanks again!
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Location: North East Scotland
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You will need to provide separate housing for the ducks as if they go into the same house as the chickens the will get pooped on when the chickens roost at night. Also they tend not to lay in nest boxes as they find them difficult to get in and out of but prefer a dark corner on the floor.
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