Door Size for Ducks

N F C

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Does anyone use an automatic door for their duck house? I won a solar powered auto-door in a contest and received it yesterday but I don't know if it's going to be the right size for ducks. The door opening is 10.5" wide and 12.5" tall. Will that work or is it too small for ducks? I was hoping to use the auto-door for them to come & go as they wish into their run (I'd let them out into the garden/yard during the day).

The duck breeds I'm getting are: Welsh Harlequin, Khaki Campbell, Indian Runners, Pekin, Blue Swedish, Cayuga, Buff and a hybrid. I can easily find the weight on these but I don't know how tall they are going to be full grown.
 

smithmal

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I think that is too small... my door opening is 24" x 24" for my Silver Appleyards (heavyweight breed). Runners get pretty tall I believe. My door could probably shrink down by 4" on either side though.

During the winter I get approximately 8 hours of light. How many times could the door be opened and closed with the power your solar panel generates and saves over the course of a winter's day?

Solar power with a motion detector is tricky with animals in general. I hung up a solar powered light near the door so I can easily see what I'm doing when I change our the water and the feed when I get home at night and noticed by the time I got there, the light was dead as the ducks would continually trigger it during the twilight hours. For this reason I now turn it off & right after I use it, let it charge up all day and then turn it on once I arrive at the coop.

I'd be concerned that your ducks would use up all the power for the door and not be able to get in when necessary at twilight. Also, a couple cloudy days and your automatic door system may also run into issues as it probably takes a good amount of juice to raise a door.

smithmal
 

N F C

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I think that is too small... my door opening is 24" x 24" for my Silver Appleyards (heavyweight breed). Runners get pretty tall I believe. My door could probably shrink down by 4" on either side though.

During the winter I get approximately 8 hours of light. How many times could the door be opened and closed with the power your solar panel generates and saves over the course of a winter's day?

Solar power with a motion detector is tricky with animals in general. I hung up a solar powered light near the door so I can easily see what I'm doing when I change our the water and the feed when I get home at night and noticed by the time I got there, the light was dead as the ducks would continually trigger it during the twilight hours. For this reason I now turn it off & right after I use it, let it charge up all day and then turn it on once I arrive at the coop.

I'd be concerned that your ducks would use up all the power for the door and not be able to get in when necessary at twilight. Also, a couple cloudy days and your automatic door system may also run into issues as it probably takes a good amount of juice to raise a door.

smithmal

I'm home most all day and the door has a manual override so I'm not too concerned about the solar part of it as I am about the size of the opening. It looks pretty small, might have to use it for the chickens instead.

Thanks for your input @smithmal !
 

Tevyes Dad

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Mine is 13 x 10.5

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They have to duck, but that is their name right?

Edit: Ours is a great convenience, but NEVER trust it. Ours failed to open just once and we didn't check on it and the ducks didn't get out until middle of the day when we noticed it hadn't opened. It was July and our house wasn't set up for them to use in the heat (they are mostly outside) and we lost our Pekin girl. That being said, it never failed before or since then and we now check EVERY morning even if we sleep in. The ducks put themselves in about 90% of the time and they let themselves out 100% of the time.
 
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N F C

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Thanks @Tevyes Dad . I'm sorry you lost your Pekin. I'll be sure to check the door every day. If we do end up using it for the ducks, their house is smack in between our house and the chicken coop so it will be easy to poke our head in their on the way to the coop.
 

Tevyes Dad

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Thanks @Tevyes Dad . I'm sorry you lost your Pekin. I'll be sure to check the door every day. If we do end up using it for the ducks, their house is smack in between our house and the chicken coop so it will be easy to poke our head in their on the way to the coop.
Snow, our Pekin, fit in and out fine and she weighed 11 lbs so I don't think there will be any problem with the size. They usually rush the door so it gets crowded, but if it was twice the size, I think that would still be true. We only have the ducks so in the summer when they get up around 5:00, it is nice that we can check our cameras from our cell phones at 5:10, see they got out and sleep until 7:00. It would be much harder if we got up and got dressed, let the ducks out, then tried to go back to sleep.
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Also in the winter, they get out after we have gone to work. Again, we can check them on the phone and should they not get out, we can call the neighbor (hasn't happened yet.)
 

N F C

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Hi @Tevyes Dad , I think we're going to try the auto-door for the ducks. Since I'm getting them as little ducklings and it will be warm enough by April to brood them in their greenhouse home (with a light), they'll get used to using it...not like trying to get adults used to a new exit. I'm retired so I'm home and since I'm out getting the chickens out of the coop around 5:30-6am, I can check on the ducks at the same time. Plus, the duck house inside of the greenhouse home will have a human size door.

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I'm so excited about having ducks for the first time! A bit nervous too because it is new. I appreciate you experienced members giving me a hand, thank you!
 

Tevyes Dad

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I think you will be pleased. Ducks' biggest plus and minus is the same. They LOVE water! This can not possibly be overstated. I think chickens and ducks are the same rushing for a hand full of meal worms, but the delight a duck expresses with water is a wonderful thing. Of course, the most work you will have with ducks is keeping their water clean enough to drink / swim in and keeping everything else within 20 ft of their water from being wet / mud / a mess. And ducklings grow faster than anything but kudzu... Take lots of pictures because they will be noticeably bigger every day then poof! you have ducks. I will be waiting on the forum for pictures
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N F C

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Funny, I'd heard that ducklings grow fast but it wasn't until I subscribed to the Indian Runner breed focus thread and watched someone's videos (name of misbehaving maybe?). That's when I really understood how fast they grow and change. It also made me realize I didn't take enough pictures of my chickens when they were little.

There will be lots of photos of these babies!
 

3bird

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I just came across this thread, as we are building our duckhouse for our seven silver appleyards. They are just over 4 weeks old, and they are huge! Based on this thread and other research, I think we're aiming for a 20x20 door with a ramp. Any additional feedback would be appreciated.

Oh, and here are our ducklings going for their first swim a couple weeks ago:


:woot
 

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