Duck Housing in Converted Greenhouse

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by N F C, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    33,502
    8,595
    616
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    I'm getting my very first 10 ducklings in April (yay!) and we're going to rehab a former greenhouse for their quarters. I'm looking for feedback on how to set this up.

    We have a 14' wide x 30' long frame to work with, it's 8' tall on one side and 5' tall on the other. There are people-size doors on either end and water bibs are outside each door. Here's a sketch to give a better idea of what we're working with:
    [​IMG]
    We want to build some sort of duck house inside of this 14'x30' structure for them at night. We have 2 kiddie pools for splashing in (to start with, probably switch those out later). From raising chickens, we know how to enclose the top and sides of the greenhouse frame. They will have a large yard/garden area coming off the door on the left and a smaller yard area coming out the door on the right of the sketch.

    What I'm not sure of is how to do the actual house part of this...I want it easy to clean and roomy enough to accommodate all 10 ducks. Other than that, I'm stumped.

    Any suggestions, ideas, pointers? See any problems with setting things up like this? I need some guidance please!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,971
    3,572
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Since it's a structure within a structure you could use any of the various types of fencing to form a pen, welded wire, snow fencing, fence panels like picket or dog eared panels, it depends on how open you want it and how sturdy you want it, and what kind of look you want.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,418
    5,153
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Maybe if you spend some time here you'll see exactly what you want. They don't need fancy but you can make fancy, but they need good ventilation and protection. I'd also recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks in this book it gives you how much space you'll need per duck and lots of other great advise. I am excited for you!!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/newsearch?search=Duck+houses
     
  4. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    33,502
    8,595
    616
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    I actually ordered that book off Amazon a few days ago and it should be here next week. We're not going for fancy, just want to make it fit the number of ducks we're getting and be easy to clean so it will be a good place for them.

    Looking forward to the book, we'll figure it out from that. Thanks Miss Lydia!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    33,502
    8,595
    616
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    Thanks OHLD!

    We've done almost all our building projects out of recycled materials so I'm sure some of that will show up in the duck house too. I'd like it to be sturdy enough we don't have to re-do it anytime soon and since the converted greenhouse will be wire, I think the house should be more contained because it can get cold here in the winter with an occasional freeze (apparently not going to happen this winter, but this one is a fluke).

    I guess the Storey book will help us out as far as dimensions go, that was a concern of mine. We'll have it figured out before the babies get here.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,962
    1,927
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I designed and my neighbor built a very nice duck house - my big drawback with it is that some of my Runners just couldn't take the cold (it is unheated), so I moved them into a section of my walkout basement for night time and long cold spells.

    But if it were in a greenhouse !!!!!

    Here is a photo

    [​IMG]

    Main living area is 4' high, 4' wide, 8' long. Dutch door makes for easy access for people (one can open the top door and keep the ducks easily inside. There is a sliding door on the right side into the Veranda, a porch covered top bottom and sides with half inch metal hardware cloth.

    There is a drop ceiling with 3 sliding polycarbonate panels to control ventilation and keep more warm air in, in winter. The roof is polycarbonate.

    The shelter is double-walled, filled with a mix of vermiculite and perlite. Those have decent R value for insulation and do not mold.

    The floor is vinyl sheet flooring, that goes several inches up the sides, and is attached at the edge with 1"x3" furring strips to keep poop and dust from getting under the edge of the sheeting. The flooring makes the rarely needed mop-out a snap.

    I used a foot and a half of shavings as a base for the bedding, and topped it with a little straw - the bedding was spot-picked daily, and stirred lightly. A bucket of peat moss was stirred into the shavings to prevent ammonia formation.

    Oh, and it easily accommodated eleven Runner ducks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  7. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    33,502
    8,595
    616
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    I like the drop ceiling to help with ventilation and the vinyl sheeting on the floor. And the peat moss to help with ammonia is a new idea to me.

    Thanks Amiga!
     
  8. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

    28,875
    11,841
    631
    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Also keep in mind that ducks are much (MUCH) messier with their water than chicks are. Something raised with wire under the waterers that allows for cleaning out the pan underneath helps keep the bedding from soaking up so much. This is if you plan to have their drinking water inside too. They will have the water from the pool all over too! Just thoughts...

    I'm excited for you to have ducks too! :)
     
  9. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    33,502
    8,595
    616
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    Once they are grown, I was thinking of keeping the feed and drinking water directly across from where their house will be located inside the greenhouse. Will they be alright without water actually inside their house? They wouldn't be spending much time in their house, it's just for sleeping in. I want to use an auto-door to open the house up for them so they don't have to wait for me (although I'm always outside early).

    While brooding them, I saw a good idea from some other posts about using milk jugs for waterers and sit them on top of wire racks that were on top of a pan (just like you said!) so was counting on doing that.

    Thanks for the tips WV, I'm pretty excited (ok, a lot excited) about getting them too!
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,962
    1,927
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    The veranda has a sand and sawdust bottom over half inch metal hardware cloth - that is where the water and food went at night. Because even here, summer nights can be really hot - so I had large enough waterers the Runners could even get into if they needed to.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by