converting dog kennel/pen NEED HELP


6 Years
In two short weeks we have 10 ducklings arriving at our house! This is our first adventure with ducks so I have tons of questions. Once they are big enough to go outside, we have a unused dog kennel/pen that we want to convert for them to use. Here are specifics of what is existing:
The pen is 7ft x 24ft.
It has chain link on three sides and garage wall on the fourth.
The floor is concrete.
The sides of the pen are very high but open at the top.

We plan to put chicken wire over the top to keep owls out.
Is chain link on the sides enough to keep predators out? If not, what can we do to make it safe?
Is the concrete floor ok? Is straw over it enough or do we need something else?
Is this space big enough for 10 ducks? Our plan is to use this for their "home base" where their house, food and water is, but let them out roam during the day.
Any other ideas, comments, questions, suggestions would be really helpful!

There are some good posts in the Stickies

In particular you may be interested in the duckling care and housing threads.

Meanwhile, I would say that 7 x 24 is about 17 sf per duck, pretty good for your plans.

Not only may owls and hawks try to get in from the top, but raccoons and possibly other climbers as well. Please make sure whatever you do is very very sturdy, with no way for something to pull open a gap and slip through.

I would put something over the concrete. And what's the drainage like? Water needs to run off the area so you don't have stagnant pools of water.

The bottom three feet would be best covered with metal hardware cloth so nothing can reach through and grab the ducks.

Make sure there is no way something can reach under the chain link near the bottom. They will pull the duck out piece by piece if they cannot actually get into the pen.

Is the pen in the open? What do you have for shade? How large is the dog kennel?
Here's what it currently looks like. This dog area was existing when we bought this house a few years ago and has sat unused ever since. It would be nice to use it for the ducks since it is already here.

We plan to use the crates inside also as shelters. The wire doors have been removed.

I am not sure about the drainage. It looks like it slopes gradually toward the front but I'm not sure. I'll have to check that out. The fencing goes to the ground but isn't buried at all.

What should we cover the concrete with? Is straw enough?
make sure the latch on the gate is impossible for a wise old raccoon to open, they are amazing animals.
I would also bury one foot wide wire one inch under the ground toward the predator, they will not know to back up to start digging, attach it to the bottom of the dog run, easier to attach before you put dirt on top.
The ducks like the kiddie swimming pools and having them on concrete will keep them out of the mud.
People sometimes use horse stall mats on top of concrete - that protects the ducks' feet should the straw get thin in places, and that in turn will help reduce the risk of bumblefoot.
Make sure that the top is covered very well. Edges are especially vulnerable to a determined predator.
Where are you located?
My ducks are locked up in their duck house or free range in the yard.
If you are going to have them in the kennel at night and not locked in the house, then yes, you need to fort knoxify it a bit. I'd build some supports from the roof to the edge of the kennel and put some welded wire fencing up there, chick wire is easily torn apart by a determined raccoon.
As for the base of the fence, put some wire or blocks on the edges not covered with patio pavers or the garage - this will help prevent them digging in. Though the need for that will depend how far the kennel fencing goes to the concrete pad. I'd get some hardware cloth and run that along the bottom length of the kennel to prevent a hungry coon from reaching in and pulling the ducks out piece by piece.

But if that is just for them to go in and hang out and eat during the day, it is fine as is and just fort knoxify their sleeping quarters and you should be fine.

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