Converting coop to duck house

igorsMistress

Crossing the road barefoot.
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2013
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Hi all. I’m converting my coop to a duck house and have a few questions.

The coop is on blocks because termites can be an issue here. Will Runners need a ramp to get in and out? They’re about 8” high but with bedding its not as much of a jump.

I scrubbed the coop down with soap and water, then sanitized. The screens on the front help cut back on wind and rain getting in, but they also trap moisture inside so I have to run a fan to dry it out. The plan is to cover the bottom half of the front wall with wood panels, but should I remove the screens? The tree is pretty good at cutting down the rain now unless it’s horizontal from wind.

Finally, this space is 12’x8’, big enough for six ducks as sleeping quarters? They’ll be let out to the yard daily.

thanks in advance for your help.
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Floof

Songster
Sep 28, 2015
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I have questions about those screens. Are they sturdy enough to keep out your areas predators? A coop that doesn't keep out predators but only keeps in birds is not worth using, better to just leave the birds out where they can try to escape from a raccoon rather than be trapped inside with one.
 

cheezenkwackers

Crowing
Aug 28, 2016
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I like your coop. I am in the process of planning a new one and want to use cinderblocks. Yes, it is big enough for a night time coop. I have six ducks in a coop/run combo that is about that size total (at night only also).
As for the screen, is it metal? I had a screen window going from my duck house to their run and they put their bills right through it. You could cover it with hardware cloth if it isn't strong enough for them or predators.
If it were me, I would leave the screen open on one end (the lower one) and cover top to bottom with wood on the other. That way they can have a really protected area to sleep in when it is cold and a more open area for when it is warm. They also like to see out so they can watch for you in the morning.
Be ready for wet and muddy especially by the water dish and when it rains. Ducks are much wetter than chickens and they do not roost above it. I have clay soil and have to plan paths for the rain water to take. I use large plastic bins (the kind that goes under the bed) filled with shavings and hay for them to sleep and nest in. It's just easier for me to clean but it would help keep them off of the damp ground and give you cleaner eggs.
 

igorsMistress

Crossing the road barefoot.
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2013
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I have questions about those screens. Are they sturdy enough to keep out your areas predators? A coop that doesn't keep out predators but only keeps in birds is not worth using, better to just leave the birds out where they can try to escape from a raccoon rather than be trapped inside with one.
The screens are over HWC screwed and stapled to the coop frame. They have been used to provide shade in the coop in Spring and Fall when it’s warm enough to open everything up. The sun used to shine in there quite a bit then before the tree grew up. It also seemed to make my chickens feel more secure in there. A piece of screen on the door got torn and after I removed it the flock avoided roosting in front of the door.
Our predators consist of hawks, owls and maybe a neighborhood cat. We get a coyote in the neighborhood once in a blue moon.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
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At 8x12 that is plenty big enough for duckies!

I keep food and water out of the duck house which helps a ton. I also found large flake bedding to work better for mine. It doesn't pack down as much as the fine stuff.

Ducks are a hoot! I think you will really enjoy them....once they are out of the messy baby stage lol.
 

igorsMistress

Crossing the road barefoot.
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2013
20,437
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My Coop
I like your coop. I am in the process of planning a new one and want to use cinderblocks. Yes, it is big enough for a night time coop. I have six ducks in a coop/run combo that is about that size total (at night only also).
As for the screen, is it metal? I had a screen window going from my duck house to their run and they put their bills right through it. You could cover it with hardware cloth if it isn't strong enough for them or predators.
If it were me, I would leave the screen open on one end (the lower one) and cover top to bottom with wood on the other. That way they can have a really protected area to sleep in when it is cold and a more open area for when it is warm. They also like to see out so they can watch for you in the morning.
Be ready for wet and muddy especially by the water dish and when it rains. Ducks are much wetter than chickens and they do not roost above it. I have clay soil and have to plan paths for the rain water to take. I use large plastic bins (the kind that goes under the bed) filled with shavings and hay for them to sleep and nest in. It's just easier for me to clean but it would help keep them off of the damp ground and give you cleaner eggs.
Thanks for your reply! This coop stays very dry even in a good rain; the only time the ducks will be confined is while they’re ducklings. There is HWC on the front and the screens are shade cloth attached to wood strips and then to the coop over that. They do a good job of slowing down the wind. We use screen mounts to attach wood panels over those in Winter mostly because of wind, and usually the top and bottom are covered. We are a corner house and this is in a side yard so wind can create quite a breeze from more than one direction. In summer that’s not a bad thing but in winter it can be brisk.
Once the ducklings are old enough to be let out I don’t plan to keep water or food in the house.
 
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igorsMistress

Crossing the road barefoot.
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2013
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My Coop
We kept ducks with our chickens (we didn't know until after we lost them that you're not supposed to because of the drakes)

They didn't have a hard time getting up steps as long as they weren't heavy like pekins. However they seem to do better with steps than a ramp
Thanks, steps I can do! I’ve got plenty of pavers in various sizes. I’m keeping ducks only for now and I’m undecided about whether to keep a drake or not. I’ve read about drakes injuring chickens before but without chickens it’s not an immediate concern.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
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Thanks, steps I can do! I’ve got plenty of pavers in various sizes. I’m keeping ducks only for now and I’m undecided about whether to keep a drake or not. I’ve read about drakes injuring chickens before but without chickens it’s not an immediate concern.
I really like my little Webster. He is still young having hatched on 4-1-2020....lol an April fools flock was a fun start for me.

Mine are Welsh Harlequins and so far my drake has not been a jerk.
 

JacinLarkwell

Crowing
Mar 19, 2020
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South-Eastern Montana
Personally I enjoyed the drakes. We had Swedish males and Swedish and pekins females. But definately get lots of ducks if you want drakes. Ours (again didn't know they had ratios to help) always looked poorly by the end of summer
Thanks, steps I can do! I’ve got plenty of pavers in various sizes. I’m keeping ducks only for now and I’m undecided about whether to keep a drake or not. I’ve read about drakes injuring chickens before but without chickens it’s not an immediate concern.
 

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