Do ducks need more ventilation than chickens?

igorsMistress

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Well you can try it and if the make a mess, remove it, right?
Yep. I figure they’re going to have water in there for a little bit anyway since they’ll be in the coop after hatch. It won’t be long and the owls will be around so wee babies will be locked in for a bit.
 
Sep 19, 2020
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Hi all. I live in Phoenix; our winters can get down to freezing at night and we often get some cold winds as well.

I currently have a coop with 3 solid walls and an open front. In winter I typically close the front leaving the vents at the top open. I am curious whether ducks would need more ventilation than chickens? I have the option of closing off only the bottom half, up to roughly 3.5 feet from the ground and leaving the top half open if necessary. What do you think?
Ducks do release more moisture than chickens. They are more cold hardy too on average(not bantams ducks though). I would experiment with both options of vents. They don’t like vents or drafts at their level but above them should be fine. How large is your coop? Is it one big thing or is it a box(elevated with a ramp or not) and with an attached run? I wouldn’t keep water in a small coop as they are going to spill a big portion of it wouldn’t be able to find nice dry areas. I assume you would let your ducks out of the coop in the morning? If you do this later in the day I would definitely put a water in their coop, they will want to drink when they wake up and start moving around.
 

LT71689

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Jul 5, 2020
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Ducks can create a lot of humidity just by existing (their breath is very wet and hot) so purely on that, yes they require more venting than chickens. Their poop is also a lot wetter.

I'd do as others have said and block the 4th wall at least as tall as the ducks but probably a bit higher. Do you have a typical direction the wind comes from or does it blow all ways? Ducks ARE pretty cold-hardy but those winds can be bitter.

As for food and water in the coop - if you do food you HAVE to do water because ducks need to wash their bills out. You can do water without food but not the other way around. You also want to make sure your waterer is deep enough for them to get their whole heads in because again - they need to wash. Chicken waterers generally dont work because it's not just a source of hydration for ducks.

People have come up with all sorts of solutions to keep spillage at a minimum and soggy bedding at bay, the general idea being a container they cant get inside and something to catch spills in. I used a big 2 gallon plastic water jug with a hole cut about halfway up the side of it - big enough for them to get their heads in but not their whole bodies - and sat that in a shallow baking dish to catch the drips. I only had two so that was more than enough for daily water changes. If you've got a bigger flock, something like a large clean paint bucket or similar container would work.

Water in the winter is a little trickier because of freezing. You can go for multiple changes through the day, or you can look into heated pet bowls (downside is they can get inside those) or water de-icers from farm equipment suppliers.
 

igorsMistress

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Ducks do release more moisture than chickens. They are more cold hardy too on average(not bantams ducks though). I would experiment with both options of vents. They don’t like vents or drafts at their level but above them should be fine. How large is your coop? Is it one big thing or is it a box(elevated with a ramp or not) and with an attached run? I wouldn’t keep water in a small coop as they are going to spill a big portion of it wouldn’t be able to find nice dry areas. I assume you would let your ducks out of the coop in the morning? If you do this later in the day I would definitely put a water in their coop, they will want to drink when they wake up and start moving around.
Hi, thanks so much for your reply. The coop is 8x12 and I’ll be removing the roost, no nest boxes. They will be let out but I was hoping to leave them inside just long enough to eat and lay eggs in the morning. I can put a large brick or rock in the bottom of a bucket so it won’t get tipped over but I also have a chain I can hang one from that I was using for my chickens.
 

Ratchnick

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Well it’s the brooder for now. Why no food or water? I’d like to feed them in there in the morning and then let them out.
You cant feed them without water, and they will instantly splash the water on the bedding. Plus If you leave food in the house they will eat it, then they will poop it all out. This will soil your bedding in the span of about 4 days.
 

igorsMistress

Crossing the road barefoot.
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You cant feed them without water, and they will instantly splash the water on the bedding. Plus If you leave food in the house they will eat it, then they will poop it all out. This will soil your bedding in the span of about 4 days.
Thanks, I’ll definitely take this into consideration!
 

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