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Can ducks live in a "tractor?"

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mlheran, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like everyone in the "other poultry" section has caught duck fever lately! [​IMG]

    And I'm one of them! A few of my semi-local feedstores are getting some ducklings next week and I am really, reallllllllllly tempted to get a few. Three probably, no more. (is that a good number?) I haven't decided if I want Khaki Campbells or Calls. What I'm wondering is, can they live in an A-frame tractor like the ones for chickens?

    I have a coop in-progress for my chicks, but I don't want to house them together because of the mess factor. Ideally, I'd like to house them in a tractor and let them free-range and swim during the day. Obviously they don't need roosts and height, but what about nestboxes or a general sheltered room?

    Our neighbors have three ducks and a chicken that free-range down our road (they march in a line with the chicken last! [​IMG]), and they seem perfectly healthy and happy. Of course, I can never get a hold of the people to ask them about their set-up (I have spied an old tub in the yard that I suspect is their "pool"). They have dogs too, but obviously they don't bother the birds.

    So any thoughts on duck housing? Or general yay/nay stuff about small flocks of rural ducks?
     
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sure, a couple ducks could be housed in a tractor. All in all, the housing requirements for ducks in our area (SF area of CA) isnt much. Basically, they need a place that keeps their feed dry, a place to lock them up at night to protect them from raccoons or other predators, and some protection from the worst winds and storms. But generally, they dont require much shelter, they are ducks..... so they dont mind the rain. A tractor could meet all those needs easlily.

    I use chain link dog kennels to lock them in at night. We put a roof made out of corrugated metal or plastic (like for patio roofs) just to keep the pen sort of dry and keep out climbing predators. Then we use plastic dog houses for nest boxes. Rock is a good base because it wont get all mucky from their waterer and can be hosed down to rinse the poo off.

    The best pool is one of those blue plastic kiddie pools that you can buy at Walmart, RiteAid or Target. The small one is really easy to just dump out and refill and is big enough for 3 ducks. The medium size is manageable, too, but the largest size is tough to dump out because of the weight of all the water. If you put the pool on rocks or concrete then the water will drain away when you dump it without making a mud hole, and it prevents the ducks from dabbling in the mud then rinsing in the pool.... turning the pool to a mud puddle, too.
    Here is a pic of a few of my geese in a medium size kiddie pool.
    [​IMG]

    chel
     
  3. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much for the tips, eggchel!

    The combination of plastic housing and gravel around the water sounds like it would make cleaning much easier. I think I'll have to have a dedicated duck pool and another one for my dog (she has a kiddie pool to dunk in [​IMG]), since the two together would probably make for a big muddy mess!

    Thanks again, and what beautiful Sebastopols you have!
     
  4. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You might not want your dog smelling like duck poo.... wet dog smells bad enough!

    Keep your eye on Craigslist.org and freecycle.org. I got several large plastic dog houses, kennels, kiddie pools, etc. for cheap or even free. My ducks and geese dont care if the stuff isnt pretty or has a few mars. [​IMG]

    Anything that can be hosed off is a good thing with ducks and geese. LOL

    chel
     
  5. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahh I love that picture eggchele!! My husbands always saying no to my duck question cause he says they need a pond!!! Well i'll show him !! [​IMG]
     
  6. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    eggchel, your ducks are absolutely gorgeous!! I have never seen such beautiful ducks. [​IMG]
     
  7. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chel, I love your geese, they are divine!
    My ducks swim in a blowup pool too but they love it when I empty it into their mudhole as well. They go crazy paddling in the mud, and yes they rinse off in the pool but gee its fun to watch them.
    With the large blow up pools: I undo the plug then place a tennis ball under the pool next to the plug hole to raise it and give it height then I put a heavy smooth round rock over the flap to keep the valve open and the water rushes out.
     

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