Duck Pen Construction

bradbmbj

Hatching
6 Years
May 2, 2013
3
0
7
Hello, I am new to this and had a question. I did try my best to search but just could not find what I needed. I am planning to build a pen 24x35. I would like to do this without any post in the center of the pen, but of course 2x4's do not come 24' long. My question is, is it structurally sound to do a staggered 2x4 beam to accomplish this. What I'm thinking is using an 8' butted to a 16' then doing the same thing in reverse screwed together.( I hope that makes sense). Anyway the weight of the roof will only be welded wire and fiberglass roofing sheets covering only half as I would like for the ducks to have sunlight as well. I was thinking of doing these 6' apart. Also I did consider this using 2x6's, but I am trying to cut down on weight and cost. Any other ideas? Also any one with pictures please post. Thank you all.
 

HollyDuckFarmer

Songster
7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
2,683
176
208
LP Michigan
Hi there! I'm not an Engineer by any means, but I'm going to tell you about my pen, and hopefully this will help you! My pen has no roof, so that eliminates the need for a center support. However, no roof means that my ducks need *something* to provide shade. I've found that recycled trampoline tarps do a fabulous job. Ok, my pen's frame is 2x4' construction, and the total outside measures 12x24'. I built onto a side of my barn, so my pen has only 3 sides. In the middle of the 24' side is a swing door that DH built for me. We built modular rectangles that measured 6x8', wrapped with 3 layers chicken wire and hardware cloth, then set the panels into a trench and back filled up to and around it. 2-- 6' wide panels = the 12' sides. On my 24' side, I used 3 panels plus the door. These panels I screwed together with long screws, but I suppose I could have used bolts as well. Do you get any snow at all? I do, that is why I've opted to go open roof. Something to consider. Hope this helps. :)
 

bradbmbj

Hatching
6 Years
May 2, 2013
3
0
7
Thanks for your details. I am in Louisiana so snow is rare, but raccoons and predatory birds are not, so I feel roof wire is essential. I was considering 12x24 or even 20x30. But I have enough extra material cheap off of craigslist which is why I wanted to go this big. Of course I could do something like 16x45, but I think that will give it a narrow commercial type feel rather than the natural habitat open space I am looking to achieve. Anyway, can I ask how many ducks you have in your pen, and is it hard to keep clean? That is another reason why I am attempting a pen this size.
 

HollyDuckFarmer

Songster
7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
2,683
176
208
LP Michigan
Yes it is hard to keep clean! LOL I have ducks! Flooring will be your major sticking point when it comes to cleaning, especially if you house your ducks in the pen full time. My ducks are only penned at night and when I'm away, but right now I have 11 adults. I think in general, the reccommended area is 2.5-3 square feet per bird... But I really think Bigger is Better. Sometimes I think there isn't enough room in my pen for my 11, but I know that the math works. At one time I calculated that my absolute upper limit would be 28 ducks, but I don't ever see myself topping 20 in the current set up. Plus I have a pallet stand for the waterer, the summer house, and a dog igloo house, all that takes away from available floor space, if that makes sense. I think I probly could have benefitted from a center post stuck in 'crete, if you go much bigger I think you will likely want one, just for structure and strength, and especially with a roof. I have been fortunate no predators, but I know others nearby have not, so it is wise to plan to prevent predator attacks.
 

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