I'm a newbie to backyard poultry; my 4 chickens are approaching 3 months old. But of course I'm already thinking ahead to spring, and my daughter wants ducks! (And I think the entire family is more or less behind her on that.) I'm thinking Welsh Harlequins, but I've already changed my mind on breeds several times, and may again before spring. So, having built a chicken coop, and being in the middle of completing an enclosed run, I'm wondering what I need for ducks. I know they don't need roosts, etc. and I've heard that it's best to just give them a secure house for sleep and keep food and water access for daytimes. But what are their needs in terms of ventilation, square footage, ceiling clearance, insulation, and other niceties? We have a natural body of water (we live on a creek, but it's way in the back of the yard, swampy bank) and a semi-artificial one we are working on (we've dug a large hole that fills with water most of the year, but still dries up in late summer, so we might line it). I was thinking I'd make the duck house on wheels so I could located it further back in the yard during the good weather, and keep it closer to the house when the weather is cold, so I don't have to trek through the snow to feed them. How far will they go to reach a swimming hole? And if they go all the way to the creek, will they ever come back? Will they destroy the pond my husband worked so hard to dig or become part of the ecosystem setting up camp there (how the frogs and waterbugs got the memo on the new pond within hours is a mystery to me)? I really, really do not want to build another enclosed run. I'd rather not have ducks if there is no way to fencelessly live in balance with the predators I know we have (foxes, racoons, hawks). If you have any thoughts on the right size of a flock to deter invasion and be self-sustaining, I'd appreciate that, as well as any ways I can build or locate their house to give them protection during the day (I think I have all the info I need to make it night secure, as it would be the same as for the chickens). TIA!