Do I need a duck run?

AubreesDucks

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2020
13
2
21
Hello all! Newbie here. I've already gotten some great help here but need a little more advice with duck houses and runs. I have three 2-month old ducks, and their current set up is too small for them. Kicking myself for not doing the proper research before jumping in.

My question is, do backyard-free-range ducks really need a pen? Awesome husband says he'll build something for the ducks and asked me to figure out what I wanted. The ducks spend the day wandering the backyard and seem very happy that way. They're in the (tiny) coop at night and locked up in their (slightly less tiny) pen with food and water when I need to leave for a significant amount of time.

Since they love being outside, should we just build a bigger coop/house? Should we build a house with attached run anyway?

Things I'm considering:
- cleaning and maintenance
- getting more ducks someday (probably 6 ducks MAX at a time)
- winters in eastern WA are pretty chilly/snowy
- simplest possible build/doesn't have to be pretty
- SPACE: max available space is 12' x 6' x 6' for house and attached run

THANK YOU for any advice! Loving these ducks and having fun learning more about them!
 

AubreesDucks

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2020
13
2
21
Great thoughts. I do like the peace of mind that comes with having them tucked away.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Jul 13, 2015
660
1,232
281
Carnation, Wa
Depends on your predator situation. Mine is awful and the ducks get eaten. I have a secure coop but need a run unless I am providing armed supervision. I would build the run
I agree with the above 100%.

We have a run/aviary (it is quite large) and have never had a predator attack. We are also in Washington have predators galore. Our next door neighbors have tried having ducks twice. They let their ducks free range and locked them up at night. Within a couple months all their ducks were eaten by predators.

I feel that if you don't build them a run it will just be a matter of time before they are taken by predators.
 

LT71689

Chirping
Jul 5, 2020
230
340
83
Canada
Better to have and not need than need and not have?

You can build a run that stays open to them while they're out and about in the yard if you want to keep letting them roam, it doesnt have to detract from their yard space any, but I'm sure once you have it you'll find it comes in handy for a lot of the reasons listed previously. They should definitely have a big enough coop (at least 4sqft per bird, but bigger is always better if you can swing it).
 

AubreesDucks

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2020
13
2
21
You guys all have me convinced. Doing the run. I inherited my MIL's 6 chickens this last weekend and thought about joining the two coops/houses with a big shared run, but I'm a little nervous about all the birds getting along!

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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