Building outdoor habitat for ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MallardDuckling, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. MallardDuckling

    MallardDuckling Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been looking into building an outdoor habitat for ducks.
    I currently don't own any, but I am just getting ideas for the future.

    I found someone who builds chicken coops on Craigslist. They really have some nice products. I saw on their website that they can build custom animal enclosures.

    They list some sizes of chicken coops, but I haven't raised ducks so I'm not sure how much room they would need.
    The can do:
    4x4
    4x8
    4x12
    If I did this, I would also get them an enclosed pen, so they could enjoy the outdoors too. They list this as 8x8.

    I haven't decided on breed yet, but we could be talking as big as a Pekin.

    I may just use their's as a reference and build my own as the enclosure I'm picturing could be over $1,000.

    Any ideas on size?
     
  2. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    I have 4 ducks in a 4x5x3 high coop. I use portable fencing to switch their pen area around every couple of weeks. I use a kiddie tug boat for their swimming needs and several water bowls scattered all over their pen area do they always have water where ever they are foraging. I can not let them free range like my chickens do since there is a stream across the street that they get into and will not get out unless I go in after them. LOL. NOT HAPPENING AGAIN!
    My coop is a basic box style. It sits up on blocks, and I use a broad ramp for the ducks to go up and down. They do not go in to bed on their own. I also use bread crates filled with pine shavings for the next boxes, and it also make cleaning the coop out nicer. I'd place the door center. I have hardware cloth covering the rest of the front for the spring/summer/fall and then shuttered in the winter to provide wind break, and help keep their body heat it. All in all, between the hardware cloth, fencing and building the coop, the most expensive thing what the fencing. I put maybe a total of $100 bucks into the whole thing. I used reclaimed wood as well, so that made it cheaper. I had a the tug boat from my kids... I actually picked it up off the side of the road for free.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Necedah, Wi
    Personally I am all about lowest cost. My ducks and chickens are livestock to me. I open range from 7am to dusk then all the ducks and chickens go into the same coop. Its a 10x10 A-frame. My pond was built using a heavy pool liner we had and dont plan to use anymore. Before the pond we used a plastic kiddie pool from Kamrt that cost about $5 .The coops cost me about $4 for the latches, all the wood, nails, and screws, as well as buckets I built into nest boxes were all recycled from a building we had collapse during a heavy snow storm in 2010.

    As for Pekins, they are great ducks. I have 1 pekin that is absolutly my favorite of the ducks, 7 Mallards, and 1 jumbo pekin/rouen mix. Pekins get pretty large and since they are flock birds you really need at least 2, but if one of those is a boy youll need more female so he doesnt kill a lone female with all him mating. Be prepared for "duck math" to occur. Unless you can control yourself and stick with a certain number. lol I would built larger than you need just in case. As for sq ft r anything like that I am not sure whats needed, all I know is I have 2 acres unfenced and they wander most of the property.
     
  4. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  5. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Port Orchard, Wa
    The first thing to do is figure out how many ducks you want to have and build your house big enough to hold a couple extra. The average square footage needed per duck is 4-5. We have 8 ducklings, 6 are mediums and 2 are larges. Their house is 5' x 10'. So my house is almost maxed out in the number of ducks it can hold which means I cant buy anymore. [​IMG] We have designed it with two doors in case we need to divide the house in half. Their yard is about 50' x 75'. We wanted to free range but since the ducklings have arrived we now have bald eagles and coyotes visiting our property so fenced in they will be.

    We also have two goslings who are going to get their own house in our backyard. That way they will always have access to green grass and their fence is already built. We will let them roam around the property when we are home and can keep an eye out but when we go to town they will be ushered back into the yard.

    Next year we will be able to fence in the orchard and put in a pond for the ducks to use. In the mean time they get large wading pools. At this point because no one is full grown, they are all still in brooders in the house. We take them outside to the backyard when the weather is nice for foraging and swimming for a few hours a day.
     
  6. MallardDuckling

    MallardDuckling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you all!

    Apyl: I will def. look at that link ASAP!

    Wildpeas: I'm looking at 3 total for ducks. So when I build I will build for 4-6 just in case I get addicted and want more [​IMG]

    I should add about my property.

    I live in the city, so I don't have lots of space, but a decent sized fenced in yard.
    We started off with a chainlink fence, but we are in the process of tearing it down and building a 6ft privacy fence. We only tear down a section at a time so our yard remains 100% fenced at all times.
    When we first moved in, we built a good sized pond in the backyard. It's concrete and has rocks around the outside. It's about 1ft deep (in the city I reside in, if it's any deeper you MUST put a fence around it) and has a trickling water fall.
    I'd love to let them roam my backyard, however I have dogs of my own, and while they are great with all animals, I don't want to push my luck. Plus all of my neighbors that surround us all have dogs and I don't want to assume that they will stay in their yard.
    I would like to dedicate the corner of the yard to the ducks.
     
  7. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Port Orchard, Wa
    Will the pond be a part of the ducks enclosure? If so be prepared to clean it out frequently, ducks make their swimming water pretty gross(poopy) within a few days and they shed little feathers that can clog pond filters. Also before you get ducklings decide how much noise your neighbors will tolerate. In the morning when I go in to see my ducklings they make a huge racket! You might need to look for quiet breeds like muscovies. I have Rouens, Runners, and Campbells. The Runners are really loud. [​IMG]
     
  8. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the noise part. My pekin is the loudest of all our ducks and "Quacks" very loud over everything.
     
  9. MallardDuckling

    MallardDuckling Chillin' With My Peeps

    The pond will be outside the enclosure, but they can still play in it when I let them roam the yard (as adults). I'm also buying a cheap plastic kiddy pool for them also to play in, while in their enclosure. That way it's easier to clean out than the pond.

    AS for noise, most my neighbors don't mind at all. I think only one would sort of care. They would be the furthest from where I put them. I don't think that even they won't mind much. The only thing they've ever complained about was our dogs jumping the fence, hence the privacy fence.


    As for Pekins, are the drakes not as loud as the females? I'm guessing they are still pretty loud though.

    I really do like the Muscovy ducks.
     

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