Do Ducks Protect Chickens

It’s not uncommon for animal enthusiasts to want to house ducks with chickens.

They’re both birds, lay eggs, and don’t mind eating the same feed. 

But does that mean chickens and ducks get along well enough to be housed in a single coop?

Or can they form attachments enough to watch over each other?

If you’ve been asking do ducks protect chickens, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will discuss the dynamics between chicks and ducks and how well the birds get along.

Stick with us to discover whether the myths of ducks guarding chickens are true or if it’s all one big farce.

Do Chickens Get Along With Ducks?

We’ve all seen movies and books where barnyard animals coexist happily.

But is that necessarily true in real life?

Chickens and ducks are omnivores, have feathers, lay eggs, and even look similar if you squint (a lot).

It’s almost like they’re closely related, right? 


Ducks and chickens may qualify as birds, but science tells us they’re pretty different from each other.

Ducks belong to the Anseriformes (aka waterfowl) family.

This group also includes species like geese and swans. Ducks have wings, webbed feet, and bills. 

On the other hand, chickens belong to the Phasianidae (aka junglefowl) family and are more closely linked to pheasants and turkeys.

Chicken morphology includes combs, beaks, and claws. 

Ducks and chickens are also pretty unique personality and temperament-wise.

Chickens are often described as docile, social, and curious.

Whereas ducks can build long-lasting bonds with their owners.

They’re also emotional and intelligent animals.

Still, how these two species interact can depend on various elements.

Here’s what some of them are.

Males vs Females

First off, hens and ducks are much likelier to get along with each other.

However, you may not be able to say the same thing about roosters and drakes.

Males of both species are territorial and can get tetchy when protecting their territory. 

Timing the Socialization

Chickens and ducks can also get into fights when you try and house them together as adults.

Introducing the species is a much better idea when they’re young.

Younger candidates have a better chance of acclimating with each other without fights breaking out. 

Inadequate Housing

Problems with one’s living space are enough to drive anyone angry.

That’s something humans have in common with chicks and ducks.

If the coop is too small or has too many occupants, it can lead to brawls between the birds. 

Your coop should have enough space to give all the birds plenty of legroom.

Having multiple feeders to cut back on food competition is also a good idea.

Finally, nipple waterers care great for chickens, but ducks will require troughs that allow them to swirl their beaks as much as they want. 

Other Factors

Chickens and ducks can get into tiffs if they’ve been exposed to too much light.

That’s right.

Think of this as the avian equivalent of being sleep-deprived.

It’s best to give both ducks and chickens no more than 16 hours of light per day. 

Besides that, things like inadequate nutrition and being exposed to high temperatures for too long can also cause fights between ducks and chickens. 

Do Ducks Eat Chickens?

If you’ve been getting weird looks for asking do ducks eat chicken, allow us to assure you this is a judgment-free zone.

There are two ways one can take this question.

One, do ducks fight and kill chickens and then eat them?

Or, two, can you add white meat (like chicken) to your duck’s diet?

To answer the first question, fights between roosters and drakes can get pretty intense.

They can injure each other, and in rare events, these fights can result in fatalities.

But neither chickens nor ducks have a cannibalistic instinct.

That means they might fight to the death, but it’s not in their nature to turn into predators. 

As to the second query, you can definitely feed your ducks cooked chicken meat.

Not only do they like eating cooked chicken, but we’re told ducks are pretty partial to the meat.

However, when you add white meat to your duckies’ diet, ensure it’s boneless, skinless, and cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Will Ducks Sleep In a Chicken Coop?

Ducks are low-maintenance when it comes to housing needs.

If you like the coop floor with shavings or soft straw, the ducks will make themselves comfortable right there.

What’s more, duckies are hardy and have a significant cold threshold, so they don’t need items like nesting boxes or any other kind of sleep shelter. 

As long as your coop is placed on high ground (to keep water out), includes a water trough, feeders, and an area covered with soft straw, you’re good.

Once the ducks have filled their tummies and feel the need for shut-eye, you’ll see them waddle over to the straw area and settle themselves with a minimum of fuss. 

Do Ducks Need a Pond?

As stated earlier, ducks belong to the waterfowl family.

While they don’t need a pond to stay happy and healthy, they require access to water.

The species don’t just like splashing in the water; they need water to drink, to keep their nose and eyes clean, to maintain their feathers, and much more.

Suffice it to say water is critical to the existence of ducks. 

If you’re unable to build a pond, you can place an old bathtub in the backyard instead.

Just ensure there aren’t any cracks in the tub or any jagged edges that could harm the animals.

Once you’ve made all the checks, fill the tub with water and let your ducks enjoy. 

Wrapping Up

We’re at the end of our duck-centric article and hope you’ve had all your questions answered.

Ducks are fascinating animals and get along with chickens most of the time. 

If you notice your ducks and chickens are battling it out like gladiators, there has to be a reason for it.

For example, perhaps the animals aren’t being fed enough or are feeling the heat. 

If you have any comments or queries for us, please don’t hesitate to use the comment section below.

We love hearing from our readers. 




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