Duck coop and pen ideas

OrganicJen

In the Brooder
Dec 29, 2020
8
6
16
Hi there, I have well over 100 acres on my vacation ranch and am moving there full time soon, so I have been constructing housing for my chickens, guineas, geese and ducks. Space is not a limitation obviously, but it's a wild area and full of predators so safely is paramount for my birds. The chickens and guineas were easy as I am building coop and runs for them over concrete to keep digging predators out and covering all openings with 1/4 inch welded wire. The ducks are giving me a headache though so I thought I'd ask for ideas.

The ducks will get supervised free range time and their swimming pools will stay outside of their enclosures. For times when they can't be out of enclosures because I can't supervise, I was thinking of building a large run on dirt with a concrete trench around it and 1/4 inch welded wire on all sides and top (weasels climb), and although I feel with a concrete trench and sealed with 1/4 inch wire it should be safe for daytime, I'm fearful of leaving the ducks in it at night. The jack rabbits dig holes quickly which then let in weasels etc. So for night I was thinking of constructing a smaller sleeping coop on concrete since that's the only way to keep diggers out for sure, but I dont think the concrete is a good flooring for the ducks. Does anyone have ideas for what works well on top of the concrete to keep it dry and soft for them with their wet poops and such? I hate to not let them sleep in the outside enclosure on soft dirt but there is such high predator pressure including ermine (weasels), cayotes, skunks, badgers, rodents, bear, mountain lions, dogs, cats, etc. The only truly safe structure there is something on concrete so I feel that's where they need to be at night at least. Any ideas on how to make the concrete work? Thanks so much!!!
 

OrganicJen

In the Brooder
Dec 29, 2020
8
6
16
Thanks! The chickens and guineas do get straw, would the ducks need something like rubber horse stall liners under the straw or is just a layer of straw over concrete enough for ducks?
 

CoriM

Crowing
Jun 6, 2019
1,151
2,213
278
I'm not sure what climate you live in, and it sounds like you plan to house more ducks than I do (started with 6 but have 5 now)
IMG_0527.JPG
, but we used half inch wire (could have gone 1/4 inch and that would have kept out the occasional skinny mouse) and dug out at least a foot down and out from concrete blocks that we used as foundation for the structure. We put a metal roof on the run and that's invaluable as in the pacific nw it rains a lot in the winter and it would be awful - it's hard enough to keep things dry with the way wetness comes up from just being on bare dirt. The attached sleeping area is plywood covered with tiles that are easy to clean. We attached thin sheets of plastic to the walls that I take out once a week and clean, since walls get covered with poop with ducks! If I planned to have more ducks I would definitely want more space.
 

Ratchnick

Crowing
Oct 13, 2019
2,217
2,501
278
Anchorage Alaska
Paint your concrete with sealer, i use rubr-coat. Just use multiple thin coats, as one thick coat will crack. You can also paint it up the walls to waterproof them. Alternately truck bed liner will work as well. If i lived in a high predator area i would be sure to have a good breeding plan to replace lost birds. Also selecting birds that are at least 3 years old (have survived on your property for 3 years) can help pass on good instincts.

https://blackjackcoatings.com/products/black-jack-rubr-coat-57
 

OrganicJen

In the Brooder
Dec 29, 2020
8
6
16
I'm not sure what climate you live in, and it sounds like you plan to house more ducks than I do (started with 6 but have 5 now) View attachment 2468134 , but we used half inch wire (could have gone 1/4 inch and that would have kept out the occasional skinny mouse) and dug out at least a foot down and out from concrete blocks that we used as foundation for the structure. We put a metal roof on the run and that's invaluable as in the pacific nw it rains a lot in the winter and it would be awful - it's hard enough to keep things dry with the way wetness comes up from just being on bare dirt. The attached sleeping area is plywood covered with tiles that are easy to clean. We attached thin sheets of plastic to the walls that I take out once a week and clean, since walls get covered with poop with ducks! If I planned to have more ducks I would definitely want more space.
That's a fantastic duck house, I love your ideas!!
 

OrganicJen

In the Brooder
Dec 29, 2020
8
6
16
Paint your concrete with sealer, i use rubr-coat. Just use multiple thin coats, as one thick coat will crack. You can also paint it up the walls to waterproof them. Alternately truck bed liner will work as well. If i lived in a high predator area i would be sure to have a good breeding plan to replace lost birds. Also selecting birds that are at least 3 years old (have survived on your property for 3 years) can help pass on good instincts.

https://blackjackcoatings.com/products/black-jack-rubr-coat-57
Those are great ideas thank you!
 

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