Do Ducks Want to/Have to Sleep in a Coop?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    So we have a dozen young ducks. They have their outside pen with a kiddie pool pond, super large dog carrier/kennel to go inside if they want, and some umbrellas to ensure dry spots. Then at night i herd them onto our patio where i've put together some welded wire kennel panels. Inside is a large rabbit hutch where i stuff them in to sleep at night. Since they're getting too big for the hutch, our friend is putting together a playhouse today for their new sleeping quarters. They are pretty much full grown at this point.

    But, it doesn't seem like most of the ducks want to go inside any enclosure at night. They certainly aren't like my chickens who instinctively go inside as soon as it gets dark. So i'm wondering if this is normal. Does everyone keep their ducks inside an enclosed coop at night? If i were to enclose the kennel panels on every side and on top with 1/2" welded wire so it was secure from predators, would that be sufficient? i'm thinking if they have that playhouse to go into at night if they want, or stay outside of it inside the secure enclosure, does that sound like it would be okay?

    We live in Northern California in a residential neighborhood. Temps are low 40's - 50's at night and into 60's during day, dipping below freezing maybe once or twice per winter. This set-up is on our back patio that has a roof, flanked by our goat pen, so seems relatively safe. Only predators so far have been our neighbor's cats. i also keep patio string lights on at night out there.

    i want our ducks to be happy, and they sure don't seem happy being locked inside an enclosed hutch/coop.
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I have a duck house inside a pen for mine. When it was warmer they stayed outside in the run all night but now that its got cold they go inside their house. I dont lock them in the house because the pen is locked.
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Mine go into the duck house all by themselves. That is the only place they know to sleep in. They also have food and water inside of the duck house. I keep the temp in my duck house around 40 at night, but that is mainly for egg production. They can handle freezing, because they are out in the snow all day long. I think you are fine with your temps and it is ok for them to be outside at night as long it is predator proof. You can build them a triangle shelter for around 15 dollars.
    This is 1/2 inch sheet of plywood cut in half and screwed together. Home Depot cuts it in half for free so it can easily go into the car. I added some 2x2" to support the sides and a back wall. All you need is a zigzag saw and a drill with a screw driver bit. Simply put down hay and they have a perfect sleeping spot to keep warm for those few cold nights. One of those shelters easily fits 10 ducks. I have 9 heavy weight Saxony ducks and they fit in nicely. I have those shelters out in the daytime pen so they can get away from the snow and warm their feet.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  4. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    My ducks have a doghouse, but only use it in the coldest,worst weather. They are much more resilient to bad weather than chickens, and in your temps, would not be surprised if they only used a shelter infrequently. I would definitely provide them with one, but they may only use it for laying.
  5. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    My calls decided to sleep on the floor in the chicken coop all on their own. I got tired of moving them to their own barn every night so I just let them stay. They did try to stay out a few times over the summer but its not safe here and that was only a handful of times. They don't go in as early as the chickens but eventually they all head in.
  6. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    My ducks are always the last to go up at night. I do like to lock them up even though I have a Grt Pyr for their protection. I still worry.

    It will usually be past dark before I get to head to the house and most of the ducks are already in the coop but I just say "Bedtime!" and the others go up and I close the door. If it is very chilly they will already be up but nice evenings find them still lounging by the pool. Ah, to have such a life.........
  7. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    My Duck House is mostly 1/2" hardware Cloth. It has wood up about 2 feet on 2 sides, with 4 feet more in highth in hardware cloth. It does have those weavy roop panels over the hardware cloth for a roof. I tarp it in the winter if its going to be below 40*. Normally in the winter there is a hatching going on with my Muscovies and I tarp to keep it a little warmer for the Ducklings and help keep out the wind. Same for the Hen House pretty much but the wood goes up 3 feet on all 4 sides, for that one. (CA Hen house style from way back).

    But ya, they like it open so they can see all around, but they also like the protection of their Duck House. We have opposums, so they put themselves to bed at night, when they see me go lock in the chickens. I just close and lock the door so nothing gets in. Once they get used to the routine, they are easy to work with.

    So a Dog Kennel with small wire over it for protection and a tarp over that if you want to pamper them a little, should work just fine.
  8. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Cool, it sounds like this might work then. Our friend is outside now putting the playhouse together. There are a million pieces so i'm glad i hired him. i have to say i just love my ducks. Never thought i wanted ducks until a friend gave me some eggs. Only one hatched so then i got her some friends. They are the cutest, silliest, most interesting critters. i can't imagine ever not having them now.
  9. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    i free range them with my chickens but at night instead of going into the coop they sleep on the pond actually swimming as they sleep im kinda worried with winter coming im going to have to go out with a hammer and pick 1 day to chisel them out of the ice
  10. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    My ducks go in their house every if's, and's or but's. I have an old hose on my property, so we have the back room as the duck house. Its raised off the ground 3ft and the room is 18 x 10.. I have rubber matts down and shavings on top.


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