In a perfect world, we would love to keep all of our favorite poultry types together but the reality is, it is not safe. Different species have different dietary, space, housing, and water requirements in order to maintain growth and health. In addition, different species can be carriers of bacteria and or diseases that can be fatal to other poultry types.
Chickens and Waterfowl
Many are successful in raising both chickens and ducks together, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Waterfowl and Chickens have different dietary needs. Click here for more information on Poultry Feed Guidelines.
- Waterfowl love water and require a big enough waterer to dip their entire bills into. Chickens on the other hand are not fans and when they are younger and not yet feathered this can be dangerous as they will chill easily in a damp or wet environment.
- Male waterfowl are very territorial and can be aggressive with chickens.
- Larger waterfowl such as geese and swans need a large body of water to mate.
Chickens and Turkeys
There is much debate on whether or not you can raise turkeys and chickens together. With proper husbandry, regular deworming, and plenty of free-range space, many people often do it successfully. Here is a great article on the topic, specifically Blackhead disease, which is your primary concern.
These two poultry types also have different dietary needs and their size difference makes housing them together more risky.
Once full-grown guineas can be housed with chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, and even peafowl. They do not require as much protein as other species so as long as they have access to appropriate feed they will do just fine. Guineas also like to perch up high and like a bit of adventure so making sure they have plenty of high roosting space and room to range will make for a happy flock.
Peafowl do not have a tolerance to the parasites that most of your domestic fowl carry. For this reason, we recommend brooding and housing peafowl separately from turkeys, chickens, and other domestic fowl. Peafowl and pheasants are often kept together without any issue. Many people are also successful in keeping chickens and peafowl together, but very diligent cleaning regimes, avoiding overcrowding, and a strict de-worming program are highly recommended to help avoid spreading disease. Do not house turkeys and peafowl together.
Pheasants and peafowl will do well together and require a secure aviary. Pheasants are not tolerant of bacteria and diseases carried by other poultry types, so it is imperative for their health and safety to house them separately.
Chukars prefer and will thrive in an aviary setting. Like other gamebirds, they are also not tolerant of bacteria and diseases other poultry types are carriers of, so they cannot be housed with other species. They do best when housed alone. Males can be very aggressive so plenty of space is needed and separation may be necessary.
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