Housing/pen questions.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by happydog, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    My runner babies are getting big. Right now they're in a pen out in the pasture during the day but at night they go back into their rubbermaid box which they're seriously outgrowing. I need to get them a house built but have some questions.

    1. How big does it need to be for 10 runners?

    2. Should it have a floor? They're so incredibly messy I thought it'd be a lot simpler to just have a dirt floor. But what about snakes? The house will be in a run with electric fence on the outside. How bad do I need to worry about predators compared to chickens?

    3. I'm guessing they need to be locked in at night like my chickens and let out during the day. Do I have to keep food and water in the house or can I leave it outside and just give them a nipple waterer inside?

    4. I was going to put one of those tough black rubber bowls in for them to swim in. Is 15 gallons big enough? Or should I just go ahead and get one of those pond things from Lowes?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. JosieR

    JosieR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    Quote:I don't remember the square footage per bird but mine has a floor. I read if you want to go with dirt to put hardware cloth under it so nothing can dig under. We have the hardest clay soil here so I couldn't have done that. Mine do get let out to free range all day and the floor and walls are this material that can be hosed out (I forget what it's called but can look it up later fo ryou).

    Mine don't have food at night. They get fed in the evening only since they forage all day. It's been very hot so I have kept water outside the house, in the run at night but once it cools down at night again, they won't have that. It depends on their age. I think once they're 6 weeks they don't need water at night. I forget how old they have to be before they don't need to have access to food all the time.

    My ducks just swim in a kiddie pool but when they started it wasn't pool season yet so I let them swim in a pan that you mix cement in which I bought at Lowe's.

    I got Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks which was suggested by many people on here. It helped a lot and gave me the specifics of how much space, food and water, etc. I look back at it often.

    Have fun!! I have 2 runners and I LOVE them!! [​IMG]
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
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    1. How big does it need to be for 10 runners?

    I have my eleven runners in a 4' x 8' house with attached 4' x 8' pen for nighttime, with a 10' x 14' yard for daytime, plus occasional trips into the gardens for foraging.

    2. Should it have a floor? They're so incredibly messy I thought it'd be a lot simpler to just have a dirt floor. But what about snakes? The house will be in a run with electric fence on the outside. How bad do I need to worry about predators compared to chickens?

    We have a floor, which I covered with vinyl sheet flooring, going up the walls (with a furring strip attached at the edge) about 10 inches. It is easy to clean and doesn't absorb anything. The pen floor has hardware cloth under sand, to prevent anything from digging up and in. I also use two strands of electric fence. You need to worry about predators at least as much, if not more - ducks roost on the ground, and mine tend to rest against the fence. Many, many things like to eat ducks.

    3. I'm guessing they need to be locked in at night like my chickens and let out during the day. Do I have to keep food and water in the house or can I leave it outside and just give them a nipple waterer inside?

    I have food and water in the attached pen until after dark, when I remove the food but leave the water. If you have trained them already to a nipple waterer that might work, I just use very large stainless steel mixing bowls, because those can sit on a warmer in the winter and not melt. During warm spells they need to be able to cool off, so just a trickle of water might not do it for them.

    4. I was going to put one of those tough black rubber bowls in for them to swim in. Is 15 gallons big enough? Or should I just go ahead and get one of those pond things from Lowes?

    I use two concrete mixing pans (about 2' x 3') for swim water. I have often read they only really NEED water enough to wash their heads, but with the heat here, I like them to be able to get all the way into water to cool off. Also in the summer, have their water in the shade. Black containers heat up the water very quickly (voice of experience, here).
     
  4. Dingo

    Dingo Chillin' With My Peeps

    mine were on dirt their entire lives and the only thing that ever tried to dig under was them. I didn't have an apron or wire bottom, but they were locked in at night and food was never left out, they got "meals" instead of free choice.
     

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