Can Muscovy Ducks Live With Chickens?

# 715 4 - 5 mins. 3

I've seen posts around asking if Muscovies and chickens can be raised together. Some people say it's okay while others warn to never try it. So I want to throw my hat in the ring and talk about why it can work.

I live in a small neighborhood where I am not technically allowed to have chickens at all, but I am on good terms with my neighbors so no one reports me. But I try not to take advantage of those good terms by only getting animals that are relatively quiet. So roosters aren't an option for me.

So a month after I got my 6 hens as chicks, I picked up 5 Muscovy ducks since they don't make a noise louder than a hiss. I got really lucky with the genders and ended up with 1 drake and 4 hens. The whole flock lives in a coop that is somewhere around 64 square feet, and it has an attached run that is probably double that. The run is always open to them and has a feed trough filled with water to act as a mini pond for the ducks.

At night, the chickens usually roost in the coop while the ducks tend to sleep in the run near the "pond". During the day, the ducks do tend to pick on the chickens a bit. They will peck at them and occasionally pull a couple of feathers, especially if the chickens get between the ducks and their food. But it has never been anything harmful and the chickens have learned that the ducks are on the top of the pecking order.

But one of the main reasons I tolerate the squabbles is because of Charcos. He is my drake. Muscovy drakes are pretty massive, with big clawed feet and a wide wingspan, and they are supposed to be able to take on a raccoon on their own. That's pretty impressive if you know how well a raccoon can fight. Although, he is also super friendly. When ever I let them out in the yard, he loves to come up to me and my kids just to talk in his weird way. He will bob his head and wag his tail and hiss at you over and over. At first, it seems like he is trying to intimidate you, but this is the same way he talks to the other ducks. He's just socializing, and has never even tried to hurt me or my kids.

A few weeks ago, I had the birds out to free range in my yard. I was across the yard when all of the birds started to act strangely. Many of the chickens bolted toward the barn, while one was hiding underneath the door to the run. Then we saw Charcos run over toward the chicken at the run as we got closer to see what was going on. It turned out that a red tailed hawk had swooped down to try and snatch up one of my smaller hens, which was hiding beneath the wire fence door. But by the time I got over there Charcos had already beat up the hawk enough to scare it back to the sky. We got lucky that the hen had found a good hiding place where the hawk had a hard time getting her. But given more time, the hawk probably would have made off with my chicken. It was thanks to Charcos that the hawk didn't have that extra time. As a result, I had a red-tailed hawk attack my flock and didn't lose a single bird.

So, that is all to say that yes, i think chickens and Muscovy ducks can get along just fine. There will be some bickering, but chickens do that to each other anyway. And the benefit of added security to you flock in places where roosters aren't an option is definitely worth it. Plus, ducks are just fun to have around. They are goofy birds that are fun to have around.

What do you think about Muscovies? Have you ever had them?

Tags: ducks chickens


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