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Duck enclosure and other questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MandyJ, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. MandyJ

    MandyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2015
    Ledbetter, Texas
    We are going to make a new pen for our 2 pekin ducks. Right now they are in a 10 x 10 chain link enclosure. My husband wants to pour a concrete floor for the pen or use a wood platform for the floor. Do ducks have any problem walking on concrete? We are trying to make it easier to clean out their pen. They are free roaming ducks during the day, they are only in their pen at night to keep the animals away from them. Any suggestions?

    Also, these 2 pekin ducks (both female) are about 7 months old. They have been laying one egg each every day since they were about 5 months old. Will they continue to lay through the winter? Do they use the number of daylight hours to determine whether to lay or not?

    These are my first ducks, it has been a learning curve to be sure. I will probably increase the flock this next spring but only want females. I don't want to deal with the drakes mating and killing the females. I see that some of the livestock mail-order companies sell sexed ducks. Are they reliable? What is a good company to work with? I am very concerned about the poor ducklings in the mail! If there is anyone in Central Texas that sells sexed Pekin ducklings please contact me. I would much prefer to drive and get them than put them in the mail. That sounds cruel!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Round Rock, TX
    You can drive to Ideal in Cameron. I have gotten ducks shipped from Metzer in CA to Round Rock without issues but it is a gamble and the weather and post office play a big role.

    I would not use cement for their floor since hard flooring usually leads to bumble foot. What do you use now? horse stall mats from TSC work well and are easy to wash off. What kind of house do they have? Also is it enclosed on the top?
     
  3. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    needlessjunk gives great advice. Cameron is only about 60 miles north of you and picking them up would makes since because a shipment would have to go either to San Antonio or Houston before it routed back to you. Ideal has a 25 dollar minimum which may not apply to picked up shipments. Females are going for 5.40 each so even with the minimum that would be 5 ducks. If you order they will include "packing peanuts" (male chicks) for added warmth. Picking them up you can avoid that. Also, shipped ducklings MAY include crested ducklings. By picking them up you may be able to avoid crested ducklings as well. Give them a call and be detailed in your requirements.

    As for flooring, concrete would be too hard even with straw or shavings which they would knock aside. My ducks are on concrete for security but it is covered with 1 inch thick rubber mats like horse stall mats and then shavings. I have no trouble cleaning it. I just rake all the shavings out and haul them to the burn pile then drag the mats out (mine are in a barn) and spray them clean with just water...no chemical cleaners.

    Ordering sexed ducks is a good idea if you don't want to deal with the males and would maintain peace within your flock.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  4. MandyJ

    MandyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now they are in a 10 x 10 chain link dog enclosure. It has poultry netting around the bottom and plywood (about 3 ft high) over that. Yes, there are 2 roofs on their pen. One over the top and then one tented inside. How easy are the mats to wash off? Right now the floor is just dirt (with rocks). It stays wet for a long time when I wash out their pen.

    We are thinking of enlarging our flock. Thanks for the info on Ideal. Cameron is about 80 miles from us.

    Thanks everyone for their advise. It is always welcome!
     
  5. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four hens inside a large dog kennel. The kennel has a 70 gallon pond, ramp to the pond, a dogloo and a large wooden dog house inside as structures. I also have a large dabbling pan, a feed pan and several hanging goat mineral feeders for free choice oyster shell, grit, herbs, lentils, etc.

    I have river rock down on t op of fill dirt. I mixed in one big box of red wriggler compost worms with one compressed straw bale. I turn their bedding over when it starts looking compacted ( at least once a week but sometimes as often as every other day if we get a lot of wet weather). I add new straw when it doesn't seem fluffy enough to me. I'm used to bedding down stalls for broodmares and horses. Ducks probably don't need that much straw but it makes me feel better so i do it.

    I keep clean straw in the dogloo and the other dog house. They're using the big doc house as the nesting box and take sunning naps in the dogloo. When that straw needs to be changed i just add it to the bedding in the pen and put clean bedding inside the dog houses./

    Because I have an over abundance of oak leaf litter I put in 2-3 garden totes of leaf litter a week. It seems to keep the bedding fluffy. Plus they really like going through the leaf litter.

    The compost worms help keep the smell down. Even on the coldest days of the year if i dig down deep enough they're still active underneath eating duck poo and food mess. My girls actively hunt for the worms, too but they don't seem to have made a dent in their population.

    I chose straw because i desperately need it for garden and landscaping projects. If i didn't need it for garden projects I probably would have used organic/untreated mulch.

    I've read posts on this forum that advise against keeping ducks on concrete. I'm sure the experienced poultry keepers can provide excellent advice about it. I'm still a total noob and figuring out things.
     
  6. MandyJ

    MandyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice. Our dirt is so bad I don't think earthworms would live here. I also use straw in the resting areas of their pen. They have one corner of the enclosure that the ladies use as a community nest. I always put extra hay there. I don't have a closed off area like a dog house, I wonder if they would benefit from it?

    Sounds like your little girls have a palace! Mine only stay in it overnight, they are free roaming during the day. I so enjoy watching them!

    Again...Thanks!
     
  7. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My worms are sandwiched between strongly compacted fill dirt, river rocks and ducky straw. We used fill dirt to make the duck area from a natural depression in the yard. I think the ducks make so much mess and organic ,material that the worms found enough to eat and enough cover to live. The worms I put in there were already in some coconut coir medium.

    When i dig down in the dirty straw and go down to the fill dirt layer I can see that the worms are making castings there and starting to work into that soil.


    ACtually I forgot that i put down a coconut coir layer in the watering area inside the pen. It helped with water mess because the coir is very absorbent.
     
  8. MandyJ

    MandyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ledbetter, Texas
    [​IMG]
    These are my two ladies!
     
  9. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I added the second dog house to provide a bigger wind break. They never use it to get out of the wet/snowy weather. I didn't have it in place this past summer so i don't know if they'll use it for shade.

    I think most ducks appreciate a way to get out of wind/hot/bad weather conditions.

    They don't use it for my intended purpose. They turned it into the community nest box. But at least i have peace of mind knowing they do have an additional shelter they can use when they want to.

    Your girls are adorable :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  10. MandyJ

    MandyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are a hoot! Love them to death! I'll have to look for something to use for a little house.
     

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