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First timer building a duck house

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Smurfbrew, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Smurfbrew

    Smurfbrew Chirping

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    Hi everyone. I'm expecting my first ducks in about a month and I'm in the process of building my duck house. I'm only using salvaged material since it's available and free. My questions are many, but specifically, should I insulate the house? I live in the Midwest and it'll get really cold in the winter.

    Another question is what do you think about lining the inside with plastic? That way it would be easy to clean, but I'm concerned about it then holding in the moisture and getting moldy. Should I maybe only do the floor? I would like to get this right the first time so I'm not trying to rebuild in the middle of winter.
     

  2. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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    Hey, yes you should insulate or at the very least put a heat lamp in the coop in the winter. If you're using plastic I'd just do the floor as it'd get moist in there and you want to avoid suffocation. Keep in mind though that they could slip if the floor doesn't have much grip.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  3. Smurfbrew

    Smurfbrew Chirping

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    Thanks Gatsby. I've got a bunch of leftover insulation that I could use. I am a little worried that it might be too warm in the summer for them though.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    If you insulate you'll need to cover with something other than plastic because they will nibble and begin tearing it off the wall. and you don't want them eating the insulation either or the plastic, for the floor use cheap vinyl flooring that's what most of us use easy to clean and you'll be putting shavings on top of it also i hope so that wil linsulate the floor. Ducks have good insulation anyway with a thick layer of down under their feather and can handle very cold temps as long as they don't have a breeze blowing over them. but they need plenty of ventilation even in winter. Yopui can even use vinyl on the walls if you want to but I haven't done that and my walls in my 4 yr old duck house are not nasty at all. If you use plenty of ventilation you shouldn't have moisture in your house unless you use a heat lamp then you probably will. [​IMG] Welcome to BYC
     
  5. Smurfbrew

    Smurfbrew Chirping

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    Hi Lydia! Thanks for the great info! I was going to use plywood on the inside walls if I was going to insulate, just not sure if I had enough.

    How much ventilation is enough? I was thinking of just one opening, maybe 3 or 4 inches tall across the whole width of the house, right under the eaves.

    And the plastic I was considering is hard to describe. It came from a restaurant drop ceiling. They were custom built light panels of a thin opaque plastic that would fit nicely in the shell I've got started. if I used them for the interior walls, then I would have plenty of plywood for the exterior ones.

    These are the problems when you have no budget and are trying just to use what you've got!
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    You'd have to post pics of the plastic your talking about, I was thinking of the thick rolled plastic sheeting so what your talking about might work, just make sure the floor isn't slick or you can end up with leg issues.

    I understand completely about using what you have we have done it many times here. when i say ventilation I say windows they can be bought at places like Habitat resale for as little as 3.00 and under with your ventilation around the top like your talking about that would work. But they need more than just what your talking about for good air flow. You can even cut windows and use the cut out wood to make shutters that can close during in climate weather, But the more windows the better health of your flock, You can go to my profile and see pics of my houses and also type in duck houses in the search and see what others have done. My windows stay open at the top all winter long. it gets cold here sometime down into single digits. Ask around to friends and family no telling what you might get donated to help out.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

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    Mine are not insulated and i am brutally cold in winter(not THE coldest place) but cold nonetheless. Key is good bedding, good venting and good food! you should have more than what your describing, ducks create a lot of moisture.. you'd be surprised.

    What size building? how many ducks?? i have no experience with plastic.. i put rubber horse stall mats down in the main barn, the coops are simply wood floors.
     

  8. Definitely do not insulate. They are very cold hardy with a thick layer of fat. Ensure proper air flow and build their lock up space to suit the amount of ducks you will be keeping. We had great success with ducks having the option to go into a 4x4 ' on their free will. Kept each other warm with good ventilation.
     
  9. Oh, I'm in Ontario too. About 6-8 runner ducks would sit in the 4x4' space bow.
     
  10. Smurfbrew

    Smurfbrew Chirping

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    Lydia, I will try to get some pics of the plastic, but it may be too slick to use after all. Cut out windows sound like a good idea, shutters would be cute.

    Quackers, thanks for chiming in! I will have only 3 ducks in a house that I'm making out of pallets. So the dimensions are whatever a pallet is, 4 feet by 4 feet? I've got some odd pieces of plywood as well for the walls. I haven't quite figured out the roof yet, I think we've got some leftover shingles from when we re-roofed the garage. I don't expect it to be pretty, but I want the ducks to be safe and warm.

    I have seen some folks suggest hardware cloth for the bottom of their runs. Do you guys have any experience with this? We do have a popular compost pile that attracts critters, so I don't want them to be able to get my girls. I do have a roll of chicken wire that I was going to make the run out of. And the house will be sitting on bricks so no one should be able dig underneath.
     

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