Bantam ducks in a wire floor cage

dheltzel

Crowing
8 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,891
1,994
341
Pottstown, PA
Do bantam ducks (BEI, it it makes a difference) do OK year round in a cage with a wire floor run and a sleeping/nesting area with a solid floor? Sort of like a rabbit hutch.
What size wire works best?
Is the wire hard on their feet, are they more prone to problems than if they were on the ground?
What size cage would you recommend for a pair?

I've steered clear of ducks because of their messiness (compared to chickens), but wire run with a sunken pool with a drain to the garden sounds like a doable solution. Could the pond be left dry for the winter, if they have a heated bowl to drink from?
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
22
113
I have call ducks on 1/2" hardware cloth. No feet issues. They are in chicken tractor setups that are 2" off the ground so they can eat grass in the garden. I don't provide a pond. The pens are 6x4 for 3 so 8 sq ft per duck plus the little house on top. In winter I put it up on blocks to prevent the manure from accumulating higher than 2". A heat lamp is put on their waterer to keep it thawed.
 

subhanalah

Crowing
5 Years
I have call ducks on 1/2" hardware cloth. No feet issues. They are in chicken tractor setups that are 2" off the ground so they can eat grass in the garden. I don't provide a pond. The pens are 6x4 for 3 so 8 sq ft per duck plus the little house on top. In winter I put it up on blocks to prevent the manure from accumulating higher than 2". A heat lamp is put on their waterer to keep it thawed. 
do you have a picture?
 

dheltzel

Crowing
8 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,891
1,994
341
Pottstown, PA
I have call ducks on 1/2" hardware cloth. No feet issues. They are in chicken tractor setups that are 2" off the ground so they can eat grass in the garden. I don't provide a pond. The pens are 6x4 for 3 so 8 sq ft per duck plus the little house on top. In winter I put it up on blocks to prevent the manure from accumulating higher than 2". A heat lamp is put on their waterer to keep it thawed.

That sounds pretty nice. I agree pics would be great, but I think I can picture it. How high up is the entrance to their sleeping/nesting quarters? Do they use a ramp, or fly up to it? Do you ever put a tub of water in for them to play in? Seems like that would be one of the most fun parts about owning ducks (for them too).
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
22
113
Sorry no pictures of my own but will try to post pictures from the add on craigslist where I bought them. The only difference is I put bigger wheels on and added some to the end with none as well to get a space between the ground and bottom of the pen. If hardware cloth is on the ground manure will accumulate on it. If off slightly grass can grow up and manure can fall through. The door is about a foot from the bottom to their little house. I removed the ramps and they hop up.

I don't provide a pond in the tractors. Not really enough room in them. I have a large pen and a kids swimming pool to let them play. It has wood ducks in it normally but they have been evicted for a short time. Right now it's housing a bunch of game birds because I just planted crops in their flight pen and I want to give it about a month head start before they start eating them. It will be occupied for another 2 weeks.








 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
22
113
Oh sorry. I use the normal fountain style waters. The heat lamps are just the aluminum clamp on style fixtures. I use ceramic heat emitters off of ebay. They don't put out light, just heat. Just aim it at one corner of the exposed water on the area where they drink with it a foot or two above. I imagine it would work on a bowl or small pool as well. They get to bask in the heat as a bonus.
They used to be much higher than they are now but the quality seems to be exactly the same. The oldest one I have has been outside for 10-12 years and is used every winter. I use them for brooding as well. They put out more heat than the same wattage infrared heat lamps and don't burn out quickly or break like the red lamps do.
Heat Emitter

BTW I always aim them at a 45 degree angle diagonally from the waterer and just catch the corner of exposed water on a fountain waterer. My thought was the least amount of heat to keep it thawed so the water would not get hot and more heat allowable for them to lay in if they wanted.
 

BGMatt

Songster
6 Years
Feb 28, 2013
2,031
485
208
Battle Ground, WA
This is what I use for bantam duck housing (Perfect thread timing, just took pictures of a brand new one constructed) This one is 3'x8' but I prefer 3'x6' (this one is a customer order for a customer). The wood is treated and sealed for the elements. I use mortar mixing basins (about 12" x 24" or so?) for water and set that in the middle of the wire portion of the house so that the solid floor portion stays clean and not wet & messy. The roof of the sheltered end is hinged and lifts up for feeding, health checks, cleaning, egg collecting etc. I use them year round and stole the idea from a breeder in MN that uses them year round even with multiple feet of snow on the ground.






I run anywhere from 2-4 adult Call Ducks in them, the East Indies are a bit larger so maybe a max of a trio
 
Last edited:

bilsie

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 30, 2012
32
4
22
Thank you both for the pictures, I think we will borrow some of these designs. I've had a hard time deciding what to do about permanent housing. Is 1/2 " hardware cloth strong enough to keep out raccoons?
 

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