It is more and more common to find people acquiring an eclectic collection of chicken, turkey, game bird (quail, pheasant, etc.) and waterfowl breeds (ducks and geese) and keeping them as one flock. While it can be done, it is not an optimal situation for the birds, as chickens, turkeys, game birds and waterfowl often have very different nutritional and environmental needs. They may also have distinct temperament differences that can cause problems if the birds do not have enough space to be comfortably separate. If you plan to keep waterfowl, game birds or turkeys as well as chickens, you should plan to be able to feed and house them separately for best results. Ducks are smaller than geese, require less room and are very fun to watch, but they are also more prone to predators. Duck breeds raised for meat include Muscovy, Pekin, and commercial Rouens, while Mallards, Khaki Campbell and Blue Swedish are becoming increasingly popular as Mallard Duck pets.
Geese are good foragers. Given enough acreage, they will generally need less feed than ducks. In addition, they are seldom bothered by predators. In fact, Canada geese are popular for their “watch dog” personalities. Breeds of geese commonly raised for meat or pets include Emden, African, Toulouse, Pilgrim and White Chinese. Game birds such as pheasant and partridge can be beautiful additions to backyard flocks, but many have specific requirements for environmental “cover” plants. And their nutritional needs are very different from those of waterfowl and chickens, which resembles those of turkeys more than any other bird.
A wide variety of exotic and wild waterfowl can be raised, but many require special facilities for successful management, and you may need a special permit to own them. Always check what is required in your area.