height and floor of duck coop

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duck_shepherdess, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. duck_shepherdess

    duck_shepherdess Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 7, 2010
    I'm building a coop for indian runner ducks and I need some advice. The coop is very tall (7 ft at the tallest) but the idea is to have a shelf above the duck area to hold supplies and bedding. (Sealed tight to prevent dust issues below.)

    My main question is this: how tall should the duck area be?

    I dont want the shelf to be any higher than it has to be so that I don't have to lift too high or use a step. On the other hand I don't want the runners to be claustrophobic in there.
    Also,
    I'm planning on putting in a hardware cloth floor, supported by stronger wire underneath. I'm wondering if I can still use the deep litter method with straw bedding if the floor is mesh, or do I need to put in a stall mat or something. The idea was to have good drainage but I like the deep litter method and I want to give that a try first.

    Thanks,
    Gillian
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Hi Gillian,

    Sounds like you've got excellent plans & those are wonderful questions.

    The ducks don't need any more height than a couple inches above their heads--and even that is not strictly necessary as long as they have outdoor access too. However, I wish my duck house were a walk-in, because it makes my own cleaning & egg-collecting chores simpler. So I would plan for height according to your own comfort, and the ducks will be fine.

    You can use deep litter bedding, but I'm not sure you need that *and* wire mesh. What I would do, personally, is provide a wire mesh area with *no* bedding around the water area (Dave Holderread of Storey's Guide fame calls this a "water porch" and uses them in his pens), plus another, more sheltered, area that is bedded in deep litter directly on the floor or ground. This will reduce your clean-up because the water (and a great deal of poo) will fall through to the ground (probably layered in straw for absorbency and so you can transfer it to gardens or trees later), while the ducks will still have a warm, comfortably bedded area for resting in.

    That having been said, my pens are NOT set up that way, but only because I didn't know any better when I got started, and I haven't had time or energy to make the changes. Mine are just bedded in deep litter throughout, but I'd like them to be half & half, with the water porch on a raised wire platform.

    Good luck--you're going to have fun!
     
  3. duck_shepherdess

    duck_shepherdess Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 7, 2010
    [​IMG] The coop is designed with one half of a gable roof (like so: \\) and the tallest side has no center support. DH is skeptical of the duck idea, but once he's 100% on board, I can double the size of the coop by putting on the other half of the roof /\\ and it should be tall enough to walk in and I'll put solid flooring in. I've been lurking here for a while before drawing up the plans. Your posts, and wifezilla's have been very helpful (and your blogs) so I'm pleased to hear that this seems like a reasonable plan to you.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Wow, you just made my day. [​IMG] I've just decided to start posting regular how-tos to my blog, things we're doing regularly--like how to freeze eggs for storage, and how to build a simple duck shelter in an afternoon, etc. Now I'm REALLY motivated to do that. Thanks. [​IMG]

    Yup, sounds like a good plan. Don't worry, your dh will be won over when he tastes the superior quality of duck eggs! Oh, and I wish I had a storage loft in my duck house--my friend has one in hers and it is SO nice. I wouldn't worry too much about dust, either--hers has a net for storing hay, and the ducks don't seem to mind a bit--just make sure there's adequate ventilation and that they can get outdoors when they need to.
     

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