Duckbunker Winterization Ideas?


8 Years
Aug 3, 2012
South Central Pennsylvania
This is my current duckbunker as I call it. Lets just say its built pretty solid. The only questions I have are ventilation, water placement and feed placement for the winter. The outside is Smartside composite panels on 2x4's with 16 inches on center. Roof is osb board 7/16" with felt paper and rolled tar paper over it. I think its fairly well suitable to keep them warm enough in the winter.

I was looking to build a raised area enclosed with 1/4" wire cloth on 2x4 or similar frame onto the outside of the front to put a heated water dish in and their food so the water wouldn't freeze. The only way to do this is using an extension cord to supply the water heater. I know extension cords are a big no no so any other ideas? Feed would also go in as far form the water as possible so they don't make a mess.

Next is the ventilation. You can see in the photo at the top there is wire cloth over the roof ends for ventilation. Should I close this off in the winter or what to do with it? This will be their first winter outside for all of them so want to make sure they are well taken care of. Our winters here can be from the teens to a little below zero sometimes with snow ranging from a dusting to a few feet.

Looking forward to your questions and comments.


Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
Nice setup!

Do you find the 1/4 inch wire cloth (I call it hardware cloth) to have a lighter gauge than the 1/2 inch? I use the latter.

Our duck house looks like this

And the area under the roof is covered with half inch hardware cloth

Since this photo was taken, a few things have changed. As their first winter closed in, I placed an indoor-outdoor thermometer in the house to monitor the indoor temperatures. I also installed a drop ceiling. I placed 2x4s a couple inches from the top of the wall as a shelf, then got three plexiglass panels 30" wide and 42" long (if I recall correctly). Those three panels sit on top of the 2x4s and I can open them any amount or close them completely. They let the light in. It kept the house about ten degrees warmer inside than outside with the ten ducks in the house and the doors closed.

What I discovered was that my runners - well, about half of them anyway - are not as cold hardy as the book says. The long and short of it is I moved them into a pen in the walkout basement and egg production and overall health and body condition started improving within four days.

I opted for this as I did not come up with what I felt would be a safe way to heat the duck house. It was actually less trouble to move them. They can still spend nights in the outdoor house in the milder weather, but since I now have upgraded the basement pen, it's so convenient to just keep them there.

I am not suggesting you could do what I did, just wanted to give full disclosure. I am happy with the drop ceiling, it holds in heat on the coldest of nights, but I can adjust the openings and therefore the ventilation quite well.

If I were really brilliant, I would come up with some kind of wall of water black container that would sit on the south side of the house collecting solar heat all day and release it to the house at night.
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Going Quackers

10 Years
May 24, 2011
On, Canada
1/4 in is usually a finer gauge i have some on my big hens window i am changing it out when i get 10mins, it's been there for a long while but it's definitely weaker it'll go to 1/2 in stronger gauge. Now perhaps you can get 1/4in stronger but i have yet to find any.

I do run extension cords BUT a few caveats, heavy duty outdoor cords(so $$$) and they are hooked to a GFI breaker so if a problem occurs they shut down, don't overload either. Mine simply run thermostatically controlled buckets and bowls.

Sorry i wouldn't close that venting off for winter, if it's above the ducks so it doesn't cause a draft it will aid in allowing the bad air out. The entire top of my duck barn is vented as are my smaller ones, they never close, period and i know winter.
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