Housing ducks and geese in an old horse stall?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by rodandstafffarm, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. rodandstafffarm

    rodandstafffarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2011
    Good morning:

    I am a new member to the group but have been enjoying the wonderful wealth of information all over this forum for the last few months. We recently moved to our dream farm in october. We're planning on heritage chickens, ducks and geese and a handful of sheep (our sweater makers [​IMG].

    We have a large morton barn 36x60 that has a single horse stall in it. The barn was built in 1983 and is in excellent condition with electric and water. No one has had animals there for at least three years though.

    I was wondering if once my ducks and goslings are done brooding if it would be okay to house them in there as long as I included a nightlight for them? It is very well built and secure and the nice feature is that it has a dutch door in it, so when the weather got warmer, and our fencing is up they could be let out directly on the pasture.

    Just curious if anyone else had done this?


  2. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
  3. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Yep! though my "barn" probably wasn't as nice as yours. I had a two stall shelter with a door leading directly to pasture The Inner stall had a half heigth gate that could be used to direct an animal directly into that stall. The way it worked out the geese claimed the inner stall as theirs and the ducks got the outer stall after two years of fighting with the geese they all built their nests in there with one nest in each corner The ganders usually slept next to their goose's nest. I had more ducks than I had corners so I put home made nest boxes in there. The smartest thing I did was to put different sized openings to the nest boxes so the muscovies could not steal the nest from a batham duck and I could enclose the ducklings in with their mama at night.
    BTW I would not use a nightlight with watefowl, A light that you can turn on at night to check on them is fine but not a light left on all night. There two reasons
    1. they tend to be party animals and will sometimes party all night long if there is a light.(I even put in blackout curtains for those nights with a bright moon)
    2.Day length tends to rule waterfowl instinct behavor. In the wild they tend to eat more when the days first start to get longer (Late Dec.) this is to store fat for migration fuel. Day length tells them when it is time to migrate North. When they get in the north the days are even longer which throws them into mating and nesting. There is a window to get the ducklings hatched and mature enough to be ready for the fall migration, late hatchers tend to die if they aren't ready for fall migration. of course day length tells when to start migration back South. Domestication has blunted these instincts, thats how you get ducks that will lay eggs year round. Day length also tells them when to molt. The drakes have to have their nice bright colors to impress the females when mating season rolls around. Geese molt after the goslings hatch, since they are confined to the ground with raising the goslings this is the best time to shed and regrow new flight feathers even if they don't change colors like ducks. Show breeders are known to trick waterfowl into laying fertile eggs early by using a timer to control artificial lights to make the days appear to be getting longer. The older young birds look much better when the shows do roll around.
    Other than that, the only other advise I have is no water in the barn, it will be much dryer and cleaner without it and you shouldn't feed birds without water. I always fed and watered outside the barn in the evening, and there would be a rush in the morning for food and water. I hope this was of some help. ~gd
  4. rodandstafffarm

    rodandstafffarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2011
    Thanks! I had only mentioned the nightlight because I'm certain I read somewhere because they were flighty and easily disturbed by every shadow they needed a low wattage light? Don't ask me to pull up the source but I've read a ton of books on raising all this different poultry so I can't locate the source off the top of my head. If anyone else has read this and has feedback I'd love to know!

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