Duck vs. chicken coop


8 Years
May 7, 2011
We are going to start building our duck house/coop. We got the book "building chicken coops for dummies", but was just wondering if there are any major differences between housing needs for chickens/ducks. We are planning to let them free range during the day.

I use a chicken coop for my ducks. They never learned to go up the ramp into the small chicken door so I made steps with left over pavers so they can go in the man door of the coop. I took down the roost and painted the wooden floor with deck sealer (ducks are messy). This seams to work fine. I lure them into the coop with treats at night and lock them up. They even use the nest boxes to lay their eggs! I use pine shavings on the floor. They free range during the day. I keep food and water in the coop at all times.
With alterations, I'd imagine that most coop designs would work. No roosts, nest boxes low down, and building it not too high so they can get in with steps.

The first week or two, you'll need to "train" them. Mine will go in now about an hour after the chickens, sometimes earlier. They are messy, so sealing the floor or putting a layer of something water proof down would be good.

We finally built a box frame to fit over a flat-ish plastic tub, stapled rabbit wire over the top (bending the edges over to "soften" it have not have points to snag on webbed feet) and placed the waterer on top in the middle. Has been keeping things dry. Periodically they go inside during the day to trash the place, even though they have food and water outside too.
Thanks for the tip on the deck sealer!

We actually have a pony stable that we are probably going to convert into our duck house by covering the openings on top with 1/2" hardware cloth, and adding a basic door to the front. Right now the floor is just sand, do you think we should add a wood floor? for clean up/predators? Right now, our only apparent problem is raccoons. I don't know if they can dig or not. We were wondering if we should build a shelf of some sorts that they could fly up on, as well. Thinking that might give them more room.
Love it...I heard that they are really, messy...can't wait.

Thanks for the helpful ideas and suggestions. What you did with the waterer sounds really smart. Do they ever knock it over?? How big is the tub you used?
Just my experience, I have a female mallard that was raised with my original brood of 3 hens. We have a "playhouse" style coop with the run and coop all enclosed, a ramp that goes up to the "hen house" and roost bars in the hen house for the ladies. I started going down and forcibly putting her in the hen house at night during winter and locking them all in to keep them warmer and she picked a corner out from under the messy hens that she slept in. After a few weeks she started going up on her own and I would just have to lock the door. She still goes up to lay her eggs in there, the surviving hen and duck both share a nest
despite having options. Underneath the house is open for them to walk under and the whole thing enclosed with chicken wire. We started this spring putting up OSB to close in the section under the house so that the duck will have a secure place to bed down when she doesn't want to be pooped on in the hen house
and she made a nest already and has been laying there. Since they were all raised together, they adapted well aside from all of them having an identify crisis
My poor chiduckens don't know what they are!!
1) Ducks will spend the bulk of their time outside of the coop, unlike chickens who stay inside when it's too hot, cold or raining. Ducks do not care.
2) Poop will have more moisture content to it, but as there will be less inside the coop it's not a big issue. But if your water is inside the coop or near the door, expect much moisture to be inside. Cover the floor with linoleum or porch paint.
3) No need for roosts, no need to make it tall. Mine is 2' on the sides and 3' in the absolute center.
4) Nest boxes will be on the floor, so plan the spacing for extra area for those.
5) Decide ahead of time what litter method you will be using. IE deep litter cleaned once or twice a year, or weekly/monthly cleanings as the design will be impacted by that choice.

Hmmm.. I can't think of anything else beyond that. Ducks are far hardier than chickens, hands down. Their housing basically just needs to be easy to clean and secure from predators.
So least they have each other. Funny that they share a nest.
Thank you for all of the great info! I am excited about setting up our coop.
If we are only keeping them in at night, should we still leave the water in there? Or would that only make more of a mess?

One more do you house drakes/ducks together? I will have 8 (hopefully) Muscovy brothers and sisters, but don't know how many of which...if they grow up together from hatchlings, will they all be alright together in the same house without separation?

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