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Do ducks need access to swimming water ALL day?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HouseMouseHens, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chirping

    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    I have 11 chickens, and am getting 6 ducklings in April (we're probably only keeping 3-4 of them as we had to buy one of the breeds straight run so we ordered four to make sure we got at least one girl) and this is what I am thinking on a set up for them.

    We have a large chicken coop with a predator proof run with a roof that is about 15x9. We'll be getting a large doghouse to house the ducks in that will open up into the run like the chicken coop does, and when we are gone during the day we're planning to let the ducks and chickens hang out together in the run. We're also building a picket fence in the front of the coop which would be about 25ftx10ft that we would have the ducks and chickens "free range" in when we're home. We have feral cats in the neighborhood so we wouldn't leave them to free range unless we were home, but I only work from 7:30am to about 1 or 2, so they would get the whole afternoon to free range plus all day on the weekends. We're planning on going the kiddie pool route to have water for them, but I am wondering if it would be okay to have the pool in the free range area, or if they wouldn't be okay without water to swim in during the early part of the day. We would have a tub of water for them that they could wash their faces and such in the run, but the big pool would be out in the fenced area.

    Does this sound like a bad plan? We're planning on cutting a doorway in the front of the run and putting a door similar to the chicken coop one that hinges up to open, and bolting the doghouse to the run, so when we let the door open they would come straight out to the run. When we let them free range we'll just open the big door to the run and let them out.

    This is our current coop and run set up: It looks like there is less room in front of the coop and run than there is. It's about 12 feet from the front of the run to the edge of that patio, so we'll have the fence go out about 10 feet so there is more than 8 feet between the fire pit and the fence.
    Also, there is a ton of grass and clover in front of the run now, this was taken in the summer, and in the PNW summer is when everything dies because it doesn't rain much. Hahah!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013

  2. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Songster

    Feb 18, 2013
    I think it looks great! And its ok if they don't have a pool to swim in all day...bucket works great. Sounds like you have a good plan :)
  3. Ducks are pretty versatile if limited on the water but... swimming water is important tho. As long as they have some access daily to preen the feathers. Ducks should be able to preen so the oils in their skin can bve washed up sorta speak. Water fowl of all sorts can drown in body oils as I call it. They need to be able to get rid of excess oils from their skin. A kids swimming pool would be great with a couple of small ramps to get in and out of the water. An easy way is to use old red bricks or something like that. Set them up like a set of stairs inside and outside the pool on a couple of sides. No slippy slidy thing to worry about with wooden ramps.
    Bottom line is access to water is important. Enjoy your ducks, a nice range of personalities in them fellas as well.

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