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How many Khaki Campbells could live in these coops?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jmc, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    I have serious thoughts of converting to ducks instead of chickens.

    I have one chx. coop that is 5 x 4. How many Khakis could live in there?

    Would there have to be less ducks in it in the winter, since they might need to be shut in, and therefore need more space to move around, or maybe this is not an issue with ducks.

    Again, I have a 6 x 3 coop. How many could live in there do you think?

    I am contemplating and have materials ready to go for a 4 x 8 coop. May I sound stupid and ask how many might go in there?

    Here at the monastery, we would like the flock to be able to PERPETUATE ITSELF. So that means drakes, too.


    How many hens per drake.

    (This project is sounding more appealing every minute [​IMG] )

    thank you, big bros and sisses for helping an ignorant rookie !
  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Make the coops for your comfort and ease of maintenance with a coop door for you to the pens. Construct the outside pens of heavy guage small hole wire like hardware cloth ( some types of predators can reach into the wire and grab a duck by the head with their paw and kill it) that will be predator proof ( that includes wire overhead as well as about a foot underground around the perimeter). Ducks are extreamely heardy and will stay outside even in sub zero weather or even a brizzard. I would HEARTILY recomend that you place one drake to 2 to 5 hens per pen in order to keep the peace.Some ducks will lay in a nest while others will lay wherever that may be at the time. The drakes will fight each other and then two or more drakes (depends on how many one may have in the one flock) as a group will chase one hen (usually the dominant male's favorite mate) and all will try to breed her at once. Many eggs will get brocken in the pen or coop during the chase.
  3. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    I love my ducks :) We have 5 Khaki Campbells and 3 Rouens.1 Rouen is a drake and 2 Khaki Campbells are drakes :)) Rest are females. I want more in the spring :)) I hope the some females will hatch some eggs for us!

    Let me see if I can help answer all your questions from what I have learned myself from research online and books:

    Each duck needs about 10-25 square feet of outside yard space.

    Ducks will share nesting boxes. Allow 15x15 in nesting box for every 4-5 ducks. Boxes should be on the floor.

    Of course they don't require a roost like chickens.

    One drake will service up six female ducks.

    5-6 sq feet of floor space is good for ducks in there housing.

    You don't have to have a kiddy pool but they sure love it. And you will to watching them play in it :))

    I think I answered everything :)) If I can be of anymore help just ask!

    Edited for grammer [​IMG]

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  4. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    Quote:I have not experienced any of these things with my ducks. Mine seem to get along just fine. So much different than a rooster from my personal experience.
  5. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Ducks need far less protection form winter weather than chickens, mine are happy even at zero degrees--and almost never use the shelter, though they do have one in their pen. I let mine out to free range all day, with my geese, which is part of why I haven't had any fatalities, I'm sure, but they do need more running room than chickens. Khaki's are great birds and the drakes are gorgeous--I know, I have one. I understand the females will fly a few feet off the ground until they start laying eggs. I found this was true with my Muscovies ( though they fly much higher) as it was with my geese and other ducks. They all flew somewhat, though minimally until they started laying, then even the boys stopped.

    Good luck!
  6. You will have to change your name to Duckmonk, right?

    I have one Khaki, one Runner, and one Welsh Harlequin hen, plus two Runner drakes. All born this past April. The Runner started laying in August, the Khaki in mid September,and nothing from the Harlequin yet. The Khaki has laid almost every day since she started, the Runner takes a couple of days off here and there. I do give them some light after dark, until about 7:15, I am gradually decreasing this, as I don't want to stress them out.

    They almost always lay before I let them out of their duckhouse in the morning. The only exceptions to this were, first when I left the light on all night and it threw the Runner off. The other time a friend was taking care of them for a couple of days and the khaki laid out in the yard sometime during the day, my freind says Yacky went on strike because I was gone.

    Right now my three hens and two drakes sleep in a converted dog house together, about three by five feet. No problems but I realize I should be getting rid of one or both of the drakes. (I just can't get myself to part with them, I raised them since they were a day old and I will always love them). But what I hear about breeding season in the spring has me scared for the safety of my hens.

    I have heard that ducks do very well in the cold and snow, but I have also heard they do at least need some area where they can get off the snow like a bed of straw. Of course keep them in predator proof housing overnight, and depending on where you live it may be necessary to keep them in a larger but safe pen during the day too. Otherwise free ranging them lets them provide themselves with nature's best diet (which you do suppliment with layer feed, especially in the winter). You will be very happy with your duck's affect on the insect pest population in your garden. I read another thread on BYC that one way you can tell how healthy your duck's diet is by how smelly and gross their poop is (or isn't). That sounds gross but it is important information.

    Another excellent source of info is Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread. He runs Holderread Waterfowl Farm in Oregon and is well known for his expertise with ducks. etc. He is a stickler about keeping records of egg laying on his Khaki Campbells and uses these to determine which ducks and drakes to breed in order to keep the egg laying genetics strong. For this reason he may be the best source for laying hens. Runner ducks are also good layers, (although not so exceptional as Khakis) and are really easy to herd, which sometimes makes life simpler. BTW Holderread recommends two to six square foot per duck for overnight housing.

    I have been researching the food value of eggs, they are considered the best source of protein for humans next to mother's milk. And if you don't buy into the cholesterol myth, duck eggs are nutritionally superior in most regards to chicken eggs.

    What kind of monestary do you live in?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  7. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    So it sounds like NO ONE shuts their ducks in the coops in winter, like sometimes one has to do with chickens. Is this correct?

    How about this? My 6 x 3 is up on a 30" high 'deck'--makes it real convenient to work in, plus it is portable being small.

    Can a duck climb up the long, sloped ramp into the coop like a claw-footed chicken can?

    I really want ALL my coops up on decks, and I sure do hope I can do this and have it work for ducks. But if they can't climb up with webbed feet, I guess I'm outta luck on that one.

    Easier to have coop up off ground; not buried in snow, for example, and can't be a shelter for mice/rats, etc. (But that's off the topic)

    You are so helpful, all of you! So kind.
  8. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    computer flipped out and made me send two duplicate messages, so I just deleted this one.............

    'Duckmonk': very funny. Y'know--I should be embarrassed--but I actually thought maybe I should do this [​IMG]

    What kind of monastery? Not Buddhist. If you want to see the website it is just on the left here, providing you with more than you want. There are great pics as well. Even a pic of Chickenmonk himself--maybe. I never look at the site.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2008
  9. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    Quote:Do you have a picture of the coop? I know a few of our female ducks get into the nesting boxes inside the chicken coop. But I have not measured how high this is either. We have nesting boxes on the ground too.

    We don't get snow here so I don't have that to worry about :-(
  10. I looked at the website, do you deal with a lot of predators out there? Holderread describes using electric fencing along with other fences to protect his ducks, but still shuts them up at night.

    I'm sure Runner Ducks could handle your ramp, and again they are so easy to herd plus good layers. I find my Khaki a little more flighty when I try to get her to go someplace. But with serious training, probably any duck could learn to run up long ramps. You would want to start out with some temporary fencing that funnelled them to the base of the ramp, and a line of treats going up the ramp, like maybe corn or something they don't usually get.
    I've seen photos of little ramps people build for their ducks to get in and out of swimming pools. They put little cross pieces every few inches for traction. Might help with a steep ramp that gets icy.

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