Do I NEED a duck pen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wallawu, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. wallawu

    wallawu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2016
    Hello! Our duck house is almost complete, ready for our 6 ducks that are about 2 months old. I don't have the pen built yet, and I'm starting to wonder if I need to. We live in a neighborhood in the city with a normal sized backyard (probably 50ft x100ft) and a LOT of tree coverage. We have a dog that stays indoors while we're at work, but I'm pretty sure most critters and neighborhood cats know that he's there and stay away. There are also dogs all around us that stay out all day. My neighbor has chickens, and I don't think anything has ever gotten to them. Do I still need to build a pen for these ducks to stay in during the day before we put them outside permanently? Could we put them outside and then build the pen in the next few weeks? The usual cleaning that used to get rid of their odor doesn't really do the trick anymore. We and the ducks are both ready for them to be outside all the time.

    On the weekends we put them out pretty much all day and pull them back in at night, and they seem to do well. It's funny that they come next to the house when it starts getting dark like "we're ready," but scream bloody murder and try to run when we pick them up. We'll have to train them to go to THEIR house. Very excited about it. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    The property I keep my flock in is half acre that is the only fencing I have we also have alot of bushes and trees for cover. You might want to keep the pen in your mind for winter if they will be in the open once the leaves fall. that way you can put some kind of cover over the top for aerial protection.Just make sure they go inside their house before night fall that is when the preds will be coming over the fence to see what goodies there is to eat. Hopefully your fence is dog proof [digging under]?
     
  3. addarr

    addarr Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in the city and we have a decent size yard, lots of trees, almost too much trees cause my veggies struggle a little. However ducks we do have a pen like 4ft high chainink and decent size. I have two dogs one is is their best friend and one hound who tries to snack in them. So they only roam once dogs have been potted and are in for the day and get put up if the dogs need out. Depending on my schedule that day I might let them out for the morning maybe an hour or so. Or in the evening for a few hours to eat the bugs in my garden and pick through the grass. Before we adopted the duck eater they were free to come in and out as they pleased and I would only put them in at night. I've had ducks fir about 4 years now. Over the years the only casualties have been when loose dogs would get into my yard and have killed a few. Even though I see owls and hawks they have never been cared off or killed by them. Ive got a mean male duck who chases any cats away that may get curious. They have two houses alot like dog houses with open doors to come in and out but no cover over their pen.
     
  4. wallawu

    wallawu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2016
    More good news! 4 years is a nice track record. I'm going to secure our gate a little better this weekend to make sure nothing can fool with it and push it open. We don't get too many loose dogs, but I do occasionally see some that decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood. That would really grind my gears.

    Since I know people like pictures, here's the almost finished, yet-to-be-painted duck house. I may have gone a little overboard....

    [​IMG]

    On father's day, both of our dads saw the picture separately, and they both asked the same question: "What are those things that look like planter boxes?" Answer: "Planter boxes"

    The windows have hardware cloth over them, and I'm obviously going to add a door. On the far side there's another door that was going to be the way to their pen. Now I'm thinking about using that wood to build some sort of deck for easier access to their pool or food and water.

    And here are the ducks...

    [​IMG]


    Do you leave food and water in with them at night? I wasn't planning on putting food in there, I feed them in the mornings and evenings so they're used to it. I was thinking of maybe having a mess proof water source, if one exists. Probably too hot now to not have access to water at night.
     
  5. wallawu

    wallawu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2016
    My response to you earlier didn't go through for some reason. I'm liking what I'm hearing here. Our weakness is the gate, its a pretty rinky dinky deal made out of chicken wire. I'm going to secure that this weekend, maybe using some of my spare lumber to build a new one that can't be pushed open by a determined animal. The only reason I still may build a pen is for when friends bring their dogs over to play with ours. Ducks and dogs that aren't used to ducks don't mix.
     
  6. wallawu

    wallawu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2016
    The smarter of the two of us just brought up a good point. Without a pen, are there eggs all over the place?
     
  7. addarr

    addarr Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2015
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    This is a good point. Mine would either lay in their pen nice and early or go back into it to lay. But without may be an Easter egg hunt every morning [​IMG]
     
  8. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls typically lay in their hut before I let them out. Occasionally, they will wait until I let them out to go find a spot to lay. Our dogs often find those ones - eh, no biggie.
     

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