duck pens


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 16, 2011
Auburn, Wa
I have my ducks free ranging around the yard when I am at home but when I am not and at nightime they are in their pen. The "pen" is a chainlink dog kennel aprox 10 feet by 10 feet. I have the top covered with fiberglass roof panels. There is a hutch in there as well that they can climb in or climb under. This spring I would like to make some improvements to their pen. I would like ideas of what to do on the ground. Right now it is just dirt. I sprinkle wood shavings, pine branches and hay around. Of course under their small pond is just ground and gets very muddy. Any ideas of what to put on the ground? To be able to keep it cleaner so it is not just a muddy mess of dirt, food and poo.

How do you keep your pens clean?
The duck yard (used to be the dog yard - potty area that was fenced if I didn't want them to have the entire back 4-5 acres) is pea gravel. Works well. Just hose down poop daily from when they are in there. They don't really spend all that much time in that area now though. But their pool, food and water are in there.
I have only had ducks for a couple of months so am very new to the world of quackers, but after doing a lot of reading and taking advice I have made a pen with a base of gravel (crushed granite I think it is) topped by a few inches of coarse sand. All this is contained by treated pine railway sleepers (railroad ties) that are 20cm high, so the whole gravel/sand base is 20cm deep. This is much deeper than is necessary but I wanted it to drain really well. Their pool and waterer are up one end of the pen (furthest from the sleeping area) and in opposite corners, and in between these I have cement pavers. This area sees a lot of poop action and i clean it by removing the worst with a plastic paint scraper then hosing with a jet attachment on the hose. With the sand I use a kitty litter scooper which is great though I find it works the very best in the covered area of their pen where the sand stays dry. I then rake over the sand. The rain helps to wash the sand clean too. I do this every morning (because the pen is outside my bedroom). It doesn't take long (the pen is about 12 feet by 8 feet so not too different to yours).

If I was making the pen again I would go for the same model - the combination of a surface you can hose in the high traffic area and a soft surface with good drainage (the sand) elsewhere works for me. Plus the sand is kind to their feet. It has stayed looking good so far, and is not at all stinky. They do put a bit of sand in their pond and waterer but this is not a bit deal and doesn't dirty the water (they do that just fine with poop alone
Thanks for all the great ideas. This will help me plan for spring. I just want something less muddy and somewhat easy to clean.

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