Duck Housing Requirements


10 Years
Jun 20, 2009
I've recently acquired ten pullets, who are happily settling in to their 5 x 8 coop, and 5 x 8 enclosed run, and I guess I caught the "bird bug" because a friend offered me a chance to get some ducks and I jumped on it- they arrive July 1. Two baby boys and three baby girls of an assortment of breeds.

I'll be building them their own coop/run/pool, but I was wondering what kind of size/height/material/etc requirements duck habitations have versus chickens. I know several people who have chickens and ducks that live together, and I would love for all of my birds to be able to play together. I was thinking separate coop/runs that can be attached or separated so they can all play together in one big extended double coop/run combo, or I can have them separate if need be or at night for instance.

Another big question was that of the pond/free ranging. I intend on giving them a pond in their enclosure so they will always have access, but not too far from where they live is a small natural pond (think roughly the size of your average in ground swimming pool, maybe a bit bigger depending on the time of year and rain fall). I would love it if they were able to go swim in their too, but it is far too big and in the woods a few feet to reasonably fence it in. The chickens, when they're bigger, are going to be allowed to free range around the property when someone is home... I've heard a lot about ducks free ranging more safely than chickens because they can fly. Thoughts?

Thanks a ton!


11 Years
May 14, 2008
NE Wisconsin
It's best if ducks and chickens are kept separately. Ducks are extremely messy, and really should be kept separate from other birds.

You can house them in a regular coop. However, because they don't roost, you can build them something that looks like a large doghouse - something that's 4 or 5 feet tall. As ducks like to lay eggs in different areas all the time, they don't need nesting boxes. I just throw a pile of hay in the corner.

Free ranging is fine, but you should put them in the coop at night. Keep in mind that not every duck can fly - only Mallards and Muscovies.

Good luck!


Positively Ducky
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
I have one of these for 6 ducks inside of a covered pen. I left off the bottom of the igloo and I use deep litter all over the pen floor (pine shavings).

The pen is not that big because my ducks free range in the back yard with a 6' tall fence around it during the day. There is room for the igloo, their feed container, a water bucket, and some roaming room. My Indian Runner always lays her eggs in the back of the igloo.

For swimming there is a 500 gallon pond in my yard and they play in that all the time. For a suburban lot, 6 ducks is my max. I still have lawn, the ducks are happy, and the mess is manageable.

I am in the process of giving their pen a security upgrade. The person I split an order of ducks with just lost his welsh harlequin girls to some sort of predator. Even though I am in suburbia, we have skunks, foxes, hawks and stray dogs to contend with. I recently found a squirrel in my duck's pen stealing their there is that issue too

The night pen needs to be predator proof unless you want your ducks to be tasty snacks.

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