Hi all. I am a new member with new ducks. We have nine black swedish that are now about a week and a half old. That means I need to get my butt in gear and finish their enclosure. I have built a 16' x 16' (by 6' high) pen, fenced all around, including the top. The fencing is welded wire (I guess it is about 2" x 4" mesh), but I have overlaid it with 1/2" hardware cloth the bottom four feet. In one corner, I have framed out an 8' x 8' (5' high inside) shelter with a dirt floor. So far, so good, but I have questions about some of the final details. We are on the coast of WA, about a half mile from the ocean. So, the climate is pretty mild - at least from a temperature perspective - we don't get below freezing for much of the year on average. Everything I have read indicates that the ducks will probably want to be outside most of the time in our weather. So, I was thinking about finishing out the shelter as a three sided structure with a wind-break in front of the open side. I could close it up like a chicken coop, but I think we've done a good enough job securing the pen that locking them into the shelter at night won't be necessary. Having an open side would make maintenance a snap. Does that seem like a reasonable plan, or am I overestimating the security of a wire fence or the cold tolerance of the ducks? The other matter is ground cover - both in the pen and in the shelter. I figured on leaving a dirt floor in the shelter and putting straw on the ground. The rest of the pen is grass, but will quickly become mud with ducks tromping around. We have a lot of river rock I could use to cover it, but I don't know how the ducks would like that. Is rock a suitable substrate for ducks? Thanks!