Help Getting ducks soon

Marty Tom Ski

In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 27, 2008
52
2
39
Need to know what type of housing and pens are used. We will be getting 8 ducklings on 16 Apr. I want to have everything ready ahead of time. I'm good at building chicken coops but not sure what is needed for ducks.
were getting
2 Black and White Magpie
2 White Peking
2 Crested Khaki Campbell
2 Blue Swedish
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,818
551
Southern New England
I find Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks the best all-around source of information, BYC duck forum is good for filling in any gaps and for fun stories (search the index - there are many good posts on at least most of those topics). Overall, pay attention to the ducks, as their behavior will tell you so much about what they need. For example, if they are too hot, they will pant and may seem listless, too cold and they huddle together and complain, and so forth.

I also recommend just spending time with them, offering food in your hand. just offering your open hand for them to sit in, holding them if you can (in a safe warm environment). It may sound all hearts and flowers (and it is lovely fun), but a practical outcome is building some trust so that if the birds need extra care they are used to handling. It is much less stressful on them if they are accustomed to your touch for those times you need to medicate or examine them for injury.
 

Sweetfolly

Songster
10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
2,123
61
191
Kildare, Wisconsin
There are a LOT of duck housing threads floating around the duck forum, if you use the search feature, you'll be able to find a bunch of great examples...

Your ducklings will, of course, need to start out in a brooder. I use a big Rubbermaid stock tank lined with old towels that I hose down and replace with dry towels a few times a day. The ducklings in this picture had just about outgrown the brooder - they only spent the nights in there and were outside in the grass during the day:
4404154141_9d0b13a647.jpg


My duck pens are 4'x8' plywood boxes with hinged roofs - here's a view of the inside:
4402090782_53e5db1bff.jpg


Ducks don't need anything elaborate. They're just going to get it all wet and mucky anyways! You'll need good ventilation:
4401327799_5e59ca221c.jpg


And you need to make sure it's predator-proof - my German Shepherd has tried to get into this pen on his evening walk a couple of times now, with no success, and we've had raccoons try to get in - but, so far, we've had no losses to predators:
4402087966_7d44789051.jpg


A 4'x8' pen should accommodate 8 ducks perfectly - I had 10 in one of mine over the winter!
4253852727_011797be43.jpg


All my pens open to fenced-in runs (with kiddie pools to swim in!) that the ducks have access to during the day. I hope that helps you! Enjoy your ducklings!
 

KidOnTheMountain

Hatching
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
7
0
7
@ Annarie - what sq ft per duck do you allot for the ducks in the run?

I *love* the last picture if them all snuggled together! So cozy!
 

Sweetfolly

Songster
10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
2,123
61
191
Kildare, Wisconsin
Quote:
Thanks - that's one of my favorite pictures, it was 7 degrees below zero that night, but the ducks didn't seem to mind!

In the runs, my rule is a minimum of 15 square feet per duck. The big 4'x8' pen in the pictures has a 10'x15' run on it right now (the run is 1' wider than the pen on either side), so I'm at the absolute minimum on space for 10 ducks - and, with all the snow, the ground shows it!
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I'm in the process of splitting the pen in the picture into three separate breeding compartments (each one would house 2-3 ducks, a few of the ducks are being dispersed to other pens), and I'll have to widen the run by another 1' on either side before I divide it into three 4'x15' runs - which means, I'm re-doing ALL my fencing! I have another 4'x8' pen with a 15'x16' run on it that I'm dividing into two different sections, and I'm going to try to build two portable A-frame "Duck Tractors" this spring to house my Mallards and the Calls I'm (hopefully) getting in a month or so.

th.gif
I have WAY too many projects going on right now!
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KidOnTheMountain

Hatching
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
7
0
7
In the runs, my rule is a minimum of 15 square feet per duck. The big 4'x8' pen in the pictures has a 10'x15' run on it right now (the run is 1' wider than the pen on either side), so I'm at the absolute minimum on space for 10 ducks - and, with all the snow, the ground shows it!

Thanks! We are planning one with about 30 sq ft /duck but it looks sooooo small to me - I've never kept birds before, so I'm clueless. Your birds look so obviously happy and humanely kept, I'm glad to know your process. Cheers!​
 

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