Backyard Poultry - Keeping Hens and Ducks
I've kept chickens for 13 years. Our flock number fluctuates. Currently, I have one orpington hen who is probably 4 years old, 2 serama bantams who are still pullets, and 3 pekin ducks. They are completely free range, except for my bantam babies since they're too small.
My duck trio consists of one male and two females, and they're about six months old. The girls are laying eggs, which I collect for my breakfast. I tried to let them brood on eggs, but it was too hot and they all spoiled. I'm not sure if we will ever hatch little ducklings, but I am hoping we will at some point. The ducks have 2 small pools of water of varying depths that I change out daily. There are also various deep bowls around the yard with clean water. Ducks need to dunk their heads frequently to clear their eyes and nostrils. They get quite dirty noodling their bills around in the dirt looking for slugs and roots.
My birds are all fed with this brand that is non-gmo and non-soy. I buy it at our local feed store, and it's $26 a bag. We also give them frozen organic green peas, scratch grains, lettuces, and old fashioned rolled oats.
I learned a lot from joining groups on social media for backyard poultry owners. And this book is very helpful too!
You can keep ducks and chickens together. Pekins cannot fly as they are heavy birds, so they need ramps to get up on things. And be careful with water sources around chickens, because they can drown.
I didn't get ducks until early this spring 2020, and they quickly became my favorite birds to keep. They are so cute and have a lot of personality. I've also never had bantam chickens before, and they're a lot of fun.