Chickens are a great first animal to raise in a backyard coop or on a hobby farm. They’re productive, hardy, and fun to have around. Once you get the hang of chickens, though, you might be itching for something new to raise. Many other species of birds can offer eggs, meat, feathers, and other valuable products. Will they get along with your existing chicken flock, though? Fortunately, the answer is yes! Here’s a rundown of two different birds you can raise alongside chickens and what you need to make both flocks successful.
Many people keep guinea fowl for their meat and their rich, flavorful eggs. One of the most challenging issues farmers and hobbyists have with guinea fowl is that they aren’t fully domesticated, which can lead to them being more aggressive than the average chicken flock. However, integrating your guineas into your chicken flock at a young age can eliminate much of this aggression. The louder and larger guinea fowl serve as excellent protectors for your flock and can fend off would-be predators. If you raise guinea fowl and chickens together, be sure to keep a careful eye out for signs of aggression or altercations, especially between male guinea fowl and hens.
When it comes to birds you can raise alongside chickens, ducks are an incredibly popular choice. Ducks are generally amicable with chickens—if they both have enough room—and their needs line up pretty well. Plenty of elbow room is the key to raising chickens and ducks peacefully. Make sure everyone has their ideal roosting and nesting space as well. Fortunately, ducks prefer to be closer to the ground than chickens, making it easy to keep nesting and roosting areas separate. Just make sure you don’t place duck roosts beneath your chicken roosts, as chickens tend to leave a lot of droppings in their sleep. Finally, be careful with water. Keep waterers small enough that your ducks won’t go for a swim in them. Your ducks’ water baths should also be shallow enough that your chickens can get out of safely if they ever take an accidental dip.
Providing a safe and comfortable living space for your birds is the key to raising them together. You can stock up on chicken coop netting, waterers, feeders, and other essential supplies by visiting Stromberg’s Chickens today. Gather everything you need to welcome new birds into your flock and make a happy home for all your feathery friends.