Construction Advice: Small Yard, City Ducks

mr pants

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
12
0
22
Hey guys! I love all the inspiration on this website. My wife wanted some ducks and like a good husband I said "yes dear" and here we are. My biggest contribution in this is constructing what we're calling a "duck run" (pictures attached) as well as a "coop." (hasn't been built yet) Our run is covered on all ends except for the floor. Does everyone agree for the safety of the ducks the floor needs to have chicken wire too? Also, I didn't want to add any bedding per se in the duck run. I want the ducks to be able to feel the grass on their feet. We plan to move the run in different areas of the yard as needed.

Second, I'm about to build the coop using 6 ft fence posts. Basically, the coop will be like a stilt-house. It's entirely separate from the "duck run" but I might design it so that it can be attached later. My big question is how much width and depth and height should I provide for 3 Khaki Campbell's to sleep in (2 ducklings and 1 adult)? Should I provide a few sleeping areas or will they all huddle together? I'm going to angle the roof for drainage but they will most likely stay under our covered patio. I'm incorporating a an unused oil pan for the floor that can slide out and be hosed off to be cleaned. We are in Dallas TX. I hope the heat doesn't get to them. Any advice there?

Thank you for your answers. I'm just trying to keep these babies safe and happy.



 

cosbackyard

Songster
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
414
32
118
Colorado Springs, CO
Nice run!

I'll contribute point by point where I can:

1. how much width and depth and height should I provide for 3 Khaki Campbell's to sleep in
I have the same quantity and breed. They don't do any flying inside their coop - they just like to stand up tall and flap their wings so 3' high should work. For width and depth you'd ideally like a combination that comes close to 12 sqft. So 3x4 or similar. Might want to make it a little bigger in case you want to add a few more.

2. Should I provide a few sleeping areas or will they all huddle together
They will all huddle together, or space out as they choose. No need for separate areas - it'll just make cleanup a pain.

3. I hope the heat doesn't get to them. Any advice there
Lots and lots of vents will help here. If they're in the coop when it's hot then there should be tons of airflow. Cover any openings with 1/2" hardware cloth and secure them well. If it gets cold there then also consider drafts in the winter. They should be out of any direct drafts. Here in colorado I have a sliding window that I can close and flaps to cover some of the vents on windy days. You can also build a little taller and put most of the vents up high to avoid drafts.

Missed one:
4. Does everyone agree for the safety of the ducks the floor needs to have chicken wire too?
If they're only in the run during the daytime then I personally don't think you need to cover the floor. That will depends on what kinds of predators you have there, though. Most won't come out during the day. Dogs will.

Oh, and the ducklings in your pic don't look like any Campbells I've had.
 
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Going Quackers

Crowing
9 Years
May 24, 2011
7,835
966
371
On, Canada
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Nice run! the main thing is ensuring nothing tries to dig under but i would in no way wire it, i would not want my ducks on wire .. if they are trying to forage wire would prohibit that plus again, i don't want a webbed foot on wire for hours on end lol

Coop size... Storey's guide to ducks quotes medium-large ducks for housing at night only 2.5-6sqft per bird. Obviously, if they will spend more time in it the bigger the better, plus their is this rather elusive thing called 'duck math' it seems to effect quite a few people
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Key points with housing, good ventilation, predator proofing! plus for your own sanity, keep cleaning in mind... nothing worse than a fussy, hard to clean coop.
 

mr pants

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
12
0
22
Thank you for your comments! I'll build the coop according to your advice and I'll post pictures when it's completed. The other thing I've decided to do is to build a small rooftop herb garden on the coop. That will provide cooler temps inside as well as feed our family, the ducks, or both. One things has come up this morning and that is that we are doubting the breed of our ducks. The breeder however said "there are at least a dozen breeds that "look like mallards" when they are born. I told her I was unsure of the breeds of the ducklings because they were only a week old, and not showing any color change. They can't be mallards because I have no Mallards on the farm this year. They could be one of five other breeds I have in the duck breeding pen." So, what do you guys think? And, if they are mallards, should we be concerned having them in a small yard in the city?
 

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