HELP! Need advice on building a BIG duck pen ASAP

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cegepford, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. cegepford

    cegepford New Egg

    May 9, 2015
    Hey yall. So I have two mallard girls that I need to get into a big pen asap. One is very bumble foot prone and needs to get on dirt instead of wire flooring. She is having her 2nd bumble foot surgery as we speak. What do y'all's pen look like? How much did it cost to DIY? Materials?
    Any help is appreciated. I need to build them something asap that is PREDATOR PROOF. I plan on getting a few more ducks soon so the bigger, the better. I want my girls to have plenty of room and be the spoiled, money guzzling ducks that they are. :)
    Thank yall in advance :)
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Our first and current Day Pen.




    Advantages - low profile is tall enough for ducks, but a little less noticeable. Also less material needed to build.

    Disadvantages - one needs to duck walk to get around inside the pen. 2"x3" woven wire with chicken wire doesn't keep all rodents out.

    I used sistered 2x4's for posts.

    I need to turn in now, will make myself a note to follow up tomorrow.

    Something I will do differently for Day Pen II - make it taller so that I can get more people willing to help take care of the ducks (folks don't like to have to squat down to get in to empty and refill the swim pans). Also, the outside, top and bottom will be covered in coated metal half inch hardware cloth instead of 2"x3" woven wire and chicken wire.

    This is 160 square feet for eleven ducks.

    I did not sink posts into the ground (New England). I made a frame flat against the ground with 2 1"x6" boards, flat sides down. Between these I sandwiched coated chain link fencing across the bottom to keep predators from digging under and up into the pen. I screwed the vertical posts into the 1"x6"s.
  3. EAWCinci

    EAWCinci Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2015
    Loveland, Ohio
    I just used a 10 x 10 dog cage for my two female mallards. I wanted something I could stand in, for when I clean it. I have tarp on the top and chicken wire on all sides and the top for extra protection. We live in south Ohio where it can get cold, so we use tarp on 3 sides and half way down the other side for the winter. Inside we have a dog house where they can get out of the wind, and we keep a lot of straw in there. (In this picture we used wood shavings, now we use straw) We use a heated water bowl. This picture is before we added the tarp on the sides. In the cold weather, we moved the pool to the tarp protected corner and fill the it with straw, and the dog house is beside it. They only use the cage at night or when it's really cold, or if I'm away and can't watch them.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I saw the other day that another member is currently building a duck palace - her name is NorthFLChick - if you go to her profile, you should see some photos of what her (well hubby actually [​IMG]) is doing. If it gives you inspiration, then drop her a message - she's a great person and will be sure to respond!

    All the best
  5. cegepford

    cegepford New Egg

    May 9, 2015
  6. cegepford

    cegepford New Egg

    May 9, 2015
    Oops. Idk how to tag her[​IMG] thanks everyone who has replied so far!
  7. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    a pic of your set up now would help to see what you have to work with

    I'm redoing my duck/chicken pen now. We cut a bunch of wood today for my proof of concept and have the plan going forward. I'll get the rest of the wood and a new saw blade later this week so we can finish cutting the rest of the wood so it is ready to just start installing.

    I already have 4x4 posts in place, but for this project, we are going to extend them which is what all the new wood is for.
    I'm using 2x4 welded wire fencing that is 5' tall and then adding an additional 2' of lattice on top so I have a 7' fence.
    I will then dig out a bit around the pen and lay down some folded field fencing (which was around the area we are going to use) to prevent anybody from digging under.

    We do have hawks, so I think I will be stringing line across the top to keep them out if they decide they'd like an easy meal.

    The welded wire fencing is ~$1/foot
    If you have green t-posts, you can use that, but we are using wood this time (their current pen uses t-posts). Current pen also has several layers of e-fencing around it. The new one should be enough that we no longer need that.

    Their new pen will be about 25x25 which is a little bit bigger than what they have now, but it will be nicer looking than their pen now which was the reason for this project.
  8. smithmal

    smithmal Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2015
    Maryland; Carroll County

    You can see the coop and duck yard that I built here. Cost of the coop platform was $100. Cost of the coop was about $300. Cost of the yard was about $500 (as I put done 7 tons of sand and completely enclosed the yard with hardware cloth).

    So far this design is working great for me. Because the coop was built to allow me access to it from outside of the duck yard, I'm able to collect eggs and change out the coop bedding without stressing the ducks at all. The ducks seem happy with the arrangement as I've seen no reduction in egg production in comparison of the summer vs winter months (I average 3 eggs per day from my 4 Silver Appleyards and 2 eggs per day from my two White Layers).

    The watering and feeding systems I use allows me to only spend 5 minutes of labor in the morning (mainly from collecting eggs) and 5 minutes at night (changing out water). I change out the bedding every two weeks and muck out the top layer of the sand near the water pails once a month.

    Whatever build design you choose, think about overall maintenance of the coop and yard because over the long haul, this is where all your time and labor will be spent.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  9. cymbaline

    cymbaline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2012
    central WV
    For my pen, I set 4x4s into the ground 4 feet apart, leaving about 6.5 feet sticking out so I can walk in easily, used 2x6s for "ceiling joists" and stapled 4ft-wide 1/2" hardware cloth all over the sides and top so there are no gaps/openings for anything to weasel in, and at the bottom I dug down and buried the hardware cloth fanning about a foot out from the pen a few inches underground, so that anything trying to dig under will hit it. They have houses/shelters from the weather, if they're interested, but otherwise they are never locked up in a coop, just in the pen. They have 288 sq ft to roam as they please 24/7 (along with free-range time in the yard when I'm present). That setup has worked well for me for about 3.5 years now. Not sure on cost, but I'd say about $450 in hardware cloth (of which I still have probably a 3/4 roll left) and maybe $250-$300 in lumber. You don't have to start that large though - I started with a 12 x 16 and expanded last summer.
  10. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    Fastest pen asap = pre-paneled dog kennel form TSC. Use dirt or straw as bedding inside the kennel. We put one together in just a couple of hours and we had to put the panels together first.

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