Duck Pen Info Needed

WhyNotDucks

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
11
0
22
Northeast Ohio
I originally posted this on the wrong "area"; I guess I was in the chicken section. Sorry to those cute chickens...

Hello, Everyone!!! I am new to this forum; I have gained a lot of helpful hints and ideas from here. I have never owned ducks before, and, for some odd reason, decided that this was the year to try. My husband has always wanted ducks, so before I get too old….

My question for all is: I live in Northeast Ohio where we can get quite a bit of snow in the winter. Our springs can sometimes be really wet. I plan on trying the deep litter method in the duck coop, but I am really curious as to what to use in their pen. I am getting 6-7 ducklings next month, having a 5' x 5' coop and a 20' x 10' pen for them that is on a slight downward slope. They will be penned when I am not home; I will have a small swim area for them as well in the pen, with a larger swim area outside the pen when they are free ranging. So considering all the various weather conditions we have here, I am not sure what might work the best for my situation. I know that it will all be trial and error, but if I could have a better head start, that would be great. Any input will be appreciated.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,635
531
Southern New England
We occasionally get chicken questions here. Happens.

Your situation sounds much like mine. I am here in southern New England.

So.

Under the swim pans I have a mix of smooth pea gravel and sand. It needs to be raked sometimes. Oak leaves help reduce odor around the wet spots, too.

I have a slight slope to the pen, and what drains off goes into a shallow channel to three raised garden beds. I can control which one(s) get the fertilized water.

The rest of the pen is compost with a thin layer of chopped straw. The chopped straw goes in, ducks poop on it, it gets turned by them and me, breaks down nicely, attracts worms they can eat, absorbs some moisture without molding. I top it up two to three times a week at most. Eventually it builds up, I rake some out to put on the garden.

 

WhyNotDucks

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
11
0
22
Northeast Ohio
Think you for the advise. I like the idea of pea gravel and sand by the swim area. May be a stupid question, and maybe I will realize it once winter arrives (and I hope not too soon since it just recently left), but how do you clean it out when you get a lot of snow? We can get literally a foot or more of snow at one time. I'm just trying to think ahead before I construct the pen. Mine is also on a slight downward slope. Is a 20' x 10' pen enough space for 6-7 ducks?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,635
531
Southern New England
Think you for the advise. I like the idea of pea gravel and sand by the swim area. May be a stupid question, and maybe I will realize it once winter arrives (and I hope not too soon since it just recently left), but how do you clean it out when you get a lot of snow? We can get literally a foot or more of snow at one time. I'm just trying to think ahead before I construct the pen. Mine is also on a slight downward slope. Is a 20' x 10' pen enough space for 6-7 ducks?
I think the space is good if you can let them get a little supervised safe run-around time. I take my ducks for walks around the yard after I scope it out, and we have a larger fenced area in the back 1800 sf where they can noodle around while I garden.

Not a stupid question about the snow. We got almost three feet overnight a couple of years ago. Wow.

I have alternate areas for them that are closer to the house, but the routine is, shovel a path to a play area, dump and refill the swim pan, put straw or shavings down to get their feet off the ice and snow, and let them hide out in the night pen mostly. That is why I like have a spacious night pen.

On my better days, I notice the forecast and put a tarp over the Day Pen so the snow does not fall in. Then I just push the snow off the tarp and do the rest of the usual routine. I have fence across the top of the Day Pen and that keeps predators out and provides a support for the tarp.

On my worse days, I lose track, and rake the snow out, or as much as I can, and then put straw or shavings over it.
 

brood mother

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 26, 2014
264
3
81
Brandon, Ms
Ok, I know this may not be the correct thread for this question but here goes. I have 4 ducklings that are 2.5 weeks old. We are trying to decide how to do their house and enclosure. We have a pod they will be able to play in, and they will be able to free range most of day when they are bigger. But for 4 ducks how much space does their coop/ house need? What about the enclosure? They will only be in it at night or when I'm gone. Do I put food and water in the house or just inside the enclosure?
I've read too many sad stories about people losing ducklings to predators that I just wanna make sure they wil
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,635
531
Southern New England
Ok, I know this may not be the correct thread for this question but here goes. I have 4 ducklings that are 2.5 weeks old. We are trying to decide how to do their house and enclosure. We have a pod they will be able to play in, and they will be able to free range most of day when they are bigger. But for 4 ducks how much space does their coop/ house need? What about the enclosure? They will only be in it at night or when I'm gone. Do I put food and water in the house or just inside the enclosure?
I've read too many sad stories about people losing ducklings to predators that I just wanna make sure they wil
I like to have enough space so that during inclement weather they won't feel too claustrophobic if they have to stay in for most of the day for days at a time. I have about 100 square feet for 13 ducks. Mine are runners, small ducks. And that seems to work out.

Food and water are best in some kind of area where the bedding won't get soaked and spilled on. I have a watering station now, their first night pen had an attached porch (half inch metal hardware cloth top, bottom and sides). The water and food were in the porch, not the house.
 

brood mother

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 26, 2014
264
3
81
Brandon, Ms
So with four, maybe a 5x5 coop would be ok. And since they don't roost it wouldn't have to be that talk, right? They nest on the floor correct? What about the pen area? I would only keep them in it at night or when they had to be in it.
 
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