Building a duck house

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AcornDrift, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. AcornDrift

    AcornDrift New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Virginia
    Does anyone have advice on the requirements of a duck house? Size, building materials, style, features to make it easier to maintain? How did you build your duck house and what would you have done differently?

    My husband and I are designing our duck house and want to make it as efficient, effective, and attractive as possible. There are a million cute chicken coops out there and we would like something just as nice for our ducks. The ducks will be here in the middle of March, and will spend the first few weeks inside so we have some time to work on the design before we need to have it ready.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    Welcome to BYC Duck Forum!!!

    Simple is best - ducks - except Muscovies - don't roost, they need a secure house with good ventilation, tall enough for deep deep bedding in the cold, easy for you to maintain, and get into if you need to pick up an ailing or injured duck, or eggs.

    They often don't use nest boxes but sometimes make their own nests in corners.

    Here is our first one - the only shortcoming is there is no way to heat it, so the ducks now have their own room in the walkout basement. Yup.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  3. Richb353

    Richb353 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here is what I built:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I found all the material at Lowe's, Home Depot, or TSC. Altogether it probably ran me around $600 in material. The frame is made from galvanized chain link fence posts (10' long x 1 3/8th thick)
    -Here in Florida I am not concerned about cold, but did want shade and plenty of airflow.
    -The bottom is open and I put wheels on one end so I can move it around the property like a very heavy wheelbarrow. I move it once a week to a fresh patch of grass.
    -You can see the large door, makes it easier to herd the flock into the "Quack Shack" for the night.
    -I roll some landscaping timbers around the sides to prevent predators from digging underneath. So far no losses and no signs of digging.
    -The sides are 2' high and wrapped in 1/2" steel mesh, above that is chicken wire.
    -Those green Ondura panels were a nice touch, but three on each side make the shack quite heavy. If I was to build another, I would probably use 2, maybe 4 panels for shade, but run chicken wire over the top instead.
    -At 10'x10' I have 100 square feet of space for the flock of 21 medium (Cayugas) and light (Welsh Harlequin) ducks. Divided up each duck has roughly 5' of space. I'm probably going to add a few more females this year to improve the duck/drake ratio. Still plenty of room.
    -The "Quack Shack" sits within a fenced area the size of a basketball court. During the week, I let them out in the morning and put them away at night. They roam their pasture while I'm out. On the weekend, I open the gate to the pasture and let them free range the rest of the acreage. They know who feeds them and never roam more than a few hundred feet from their house.

    Good Luck,
    Rich
     
  4. AcornDrift

    AcornDrift New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Virginia
    We have come up with a plan for an 8' x 9' hardware cloth hoop- house for the ducks when we are at work and they will be able to free-range our acerage when we are home. I know they are going to need some type of enclosed space as well. We have cool spring and fall temps and winters can get down below freezing for short spells. Summers are hot and humid, but we are surrounded by trees so there is plenty of shade.

    How high off the ground should the house be, or can it sit right on the ground? How much square footage do they need inside? How much headroom will runners need? Should we build some partitions for nesting areas?

    We are getting a straight run of 10 runners and finding new homes for any excess males as soon as we can tell them apart. I would like to design a space that can easily accommodate 10, but will most likely end up housing around 4-6 ducks.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I keep nine runners and four buffs in a night pen that is L-shaped, a section that's 65 sf, plus a section that's a little over 36 sf. 101 sf for night pen. Very glad for that room - They have been in it 23 hours a day for weeks, now. Yes, I do daily room service, but it takes 15 minutes for the basics, then an extra 20 every few days to pull out a small section of bedding and replace it with clean, dry.
     
  6. AcornDrift

    AcornDrift New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Virginia
    Amiga, is it all enclosed like a little house, or is it partially a screened in pen? I am trying to figure out how much of each type of space they will need. Do you close them up in a smaller coop at night, or do they have free run of the entire 101 square foot area all night?
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Its "walls are mostly plastic poultry fence, one section is luan. I built a frame for the base from 2x4s, and have 2x3 studs attaching to joists above. The gates are just fencing that I clip or velcro to close - since they are in the basement, I only need to keep them from wandering about the basement - predators are kept out by the walls of the basement.

    They have the run of the entire area while they are in there, and as I wrote, that is nice for winters like this when frostbite is such a concern that they do not go outdoors for very long each day. There is also a 9 ft wide window, and 2 smaller windows - about 2 feet wide - for natural light, and some overhead light.

    No heater needed - the house and earth embankment keep that space above 40F.
     
  8. AcornDrift

    AcornDrift New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Virginia
    [​IMG]
    They are finally here! The post office called me at 7:30 this morning and we went to pick them up. They all arrived in good shape and are much more active than I ever remember chicks being. Now we need to get to work on that duck house!
     
  9. donkeydew2farms

    donkeydew2farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2014
    They are so cute makes me want babies again. good luck and if you fine a good design for a duck house let me no. I want to redo mine I am not going through another winter like this one. The ducks were fine but it was a lot of work on my part.
     
  10. JessiLynn

    JessiLynn Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2015
    Washington
    Congrats! I'm following along, as I had a lot of the same questions in regards to house/enclosure that you did. My ducklings are scheduled to arrive the end of March. Super exciting! :)
     

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