Building the Duck Run


In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
My ducks are just about full feathered, they're about 7 weeks old now (I think). I have their inside coop done, but they are extremely messy lol. My question is when I build their outside run, do I need to net the top as well? I have a Cayuga, a Welsh Harlequin, a Mallard(or Rouen I can't tell) and a Pekin. I would also like to know if I need to clip their wings? Any info would be nice please!! And thank you!
If its a mallard then yes but if its a Rouen then no. Domestic ducks like the ones you listed can't fly. Mallards, Muscovy, and calls are the only ones that can fly. And of course the ornamental ducks can too. If you post a picture of it I could help you to identify it. Do you have any predatory animals that are out during the day? Hawks especially need to be watched out for. Mine free range all day but I also have no animals around during the day that could get them, however night time is a different story. I've seen a few hawks but only one comes through everyday. But the Amish have a ton of fields right next door so I think that's what intices the hawk. And if there's something worth sharing then there's a couple but they aren't that big of a concern for me. At first the hawk was but he seems not to care much about my ducks anymore. So if you have hawks and that's it just watch their behavior especially when the ducks are outside. If they come in or circle around more than a few days then I'd put something over top but if they just sorta check em out and then decide its not worth it then you should be OK but its up to you.
I guess it really just depends on your surrounding predators. We used to have a pekin and rouen in a chain linked fence with cattle fencing on top with a small gap... we ran out of fencing. Within two weeks, something got both of them. Second time around we have 3 pekins and we made sure to securely cover them! Predator wise, we have hawks, snakes, coyotes, foxes, minks, opossums, raccoons, and more.
I'll try to get some pictures, I've never noticed hawks I do live in the country though, but I have 3 dogs, they stay inside during the day but because of them I don't have any predators come on my property. I don't know how to put pictures on here but if you can go to my facebook page I put some on there.
I put a video on as well. The coop is dirty but they do that within a couple hours LOL.
Also, if you can see the Cayuga at all I don't know if it is a hen or drake, I haven't noticed any curled tail feathers but it might still be too young...
Also I am only assuming the tan/white one is a Welsh Harlequin I don't know how to tell the difference. Maybe a Campbell but I can't tell by looking at pictures. I was told she is a Runner but that is not right
Ya we have coons, and snakes too and I'm sure opossums. But I planned on putting them in the inside coop at night so I don't worry about the nocturnal critters. There are coyotes as well but we have so many neighbor dogs I don't see or hear them much. And like I said not many animals come on my property my dogs are good at keeping them at bay.
Your Pekin is crested I see. There's a link on here somewhere about crested ducks. As the crest is a deformity in the skull. Have you read it already? The Cayuga I can't tell its probably still to young. And or welsh harlequin kinda looks like my fawn and white runner did growing up. Does that one stand funny? If not I'm not sure what it is some kind of mix maybe. Its not a khaki as they are a nice brown. What kind of snakes do you have? Could they eat a duck? If so then I'd put a top on it. Unless they would just be able to go through the holes anyway then there would be no need for a top. Other than that they would need a top. Also you deff have a Rouen it looks exactly like mine so I have no doubt.
For our ducks, we have a chain link fence around the pen and house and we covered the top with wire so nothing will get in. Our ducks tend to sleep outside of their house almost all the time, especially in the nicer weather. They prefer it. It used to freak me out (new duck mamma) when they wouldn't go into their house and it was raining or snowing. I learned that if they want to go in, they do and if they don't, they don't. But I make sure their area is secure all the way around. Doesn't take much to get them in an unsecure environment. And it is totally the pits when you lose one of your babies to a predator. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Ok, I probably will put a top on, I was just worried about the cleaning of the pen if it was too short, but I can work around that. I do plan on running some 2x12's along the bottom of the fence to help with them sticking their heads through it. And yes Ducklover87 I have read about the crested issue. Both my Pekin and Cayuga are crested. I didn't know it was a deformity until after I got them. Hopefully all will be well with them. And the snakes I have found are pygmy rattlers, and rat snakes. I am getting 2 kittens next week that I will raise with the poultry( hopefully that goes well) and they will be kept outside for the most part to keep away critters I am hoping!! I am glad to hear that they are all non-flyers tho, I was worried about that, tho I would like to know how to tell the difference. And the tan/white one I have noticed every once in a while she will stand up, but I have only seen this when she wants to see me and she is standing on the other side of the waterer. She is probably a mix of some sort, she was all yellow as a baby and then got a little gray, now she looks like that. Anyone have any pointers on how to get them to trust me? I feed them peas and I try to pick them up as much as possible but they run from me more often than not. I don't like frightening them.
Oh, and I was also wondering I read somewhere that ducks need grit as well as chickens, is this true? I currently give my chickens grit in their food but I didn't know fi the ducks need it as well. Thanks again for y'alls help!

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