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How much space needed for a set of 4 ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Adaway Farm, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Adaway Farm

    Adaway Farm Hatching

    Jun 16, 2016
    I'm getting ready to get some ducks, was thinking 3 hens and 1 drake.
    My plan was a 5 x 5 coop, with a pool area and the yard fenced in being 16 x 16 ft.
    Is 16 x 16 ft ok or should I think bigger for space?

  2. Trifolium

    Trifolium In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    I would experiment with it. If it's a small area, then the poop would start piling up, get compressed by those duck feet, and soon it forms a layer where water does not drain. From there, it goes downhill. Remedy to that problem is to add bedding material.

    I personally use Wood Shavings, some have used straw but I personally find straw to mat down too easily and requires more labor from me. With wood shavings, I will just add more to the top when needed to control the smell and moisture (keeping it dry). I generally let it decompose on it's own and keep adding so my mulch layer is probably 12+ inches.. Maybe once or twice a year I will shovel that pile out with a manure fork for composting.

    If this area is not covered and gets rain, then it's more problematic because once it rains, your bedding won't be that good.. I'm in Los Angeles and we are in a drought so we don't get rain so shavings tend to stay pretty dry for us.

    For your water area, make sure you make a wire platform for your waterer to sit on. We use welded wire (we use 2"x1") attached to a pressure treated wood frame where the duck won't fall in but the feces and water will fall through. If you have a waterer on the ground, they will just splash out of it, then they will start digging and drilling mud holes and then stick their bill back into the water. Then your waterer becomes mud...
  3. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chirping

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    I started with 4 ducks last year. I'm up to 6 ducks now, no males.

    I used portable poultry fencing for contained foraging and free time in the yard for free foraging.

    Their secure pen is dog kennel and provided about 100 square feet floor space. I had 2 dog houses in it, a 70 gallon pond with ramp, two feed pans and two water pans a grit station and an oyster shell station.

    I never had good luck with actual waterers. Either I made a mess trying to fill them (bottom fill waterer) or I couldn't find perfectly level place to put them (top fill waterer) and they emptied faster than they should. My ducks didn't make a mess in them and don't usually make a mess in their water pans. I change the water pans daily and use that water on plants/trees in my yard.

    They had plenty of room to do ducky stuff including hunting bugs and worms and amphibians.

    I started using packed ground because we used fill dirt to fill in an area for them. I added river rocks around the water areas in anticipation of problems, put down a layer of coir and a deep layer of straw before winter. I also added in about 2 lbs of composting red wigglers. I turned straw about once a week when it wasnt frozen solid in winter. I'm in the process of switching over to corn cob pellets because theyre really soft and absorb a ridiculous amount of water.

    I use either chopped super dry straw in nest boxes or shavings.. whichever is cheaper at my local TSC. My ducks don't have a preference. They're happy to nest in either.

    We're fencing in about another 180 ft fully covered circular area for them because I need to give my new practically adult ducks some space away from the grumpy broodies and a place to forage that doesnt require a person to be there.
  4. Quackalackin

    Quackalackin In the Brooder

    May 3, 2016
    What do people use for bedding in uncovered areas of the run? I live in Oregon, so these areas would face heavy rain exposure.

    Thankfully, we're going into summer and it'll be dry (maybe... Someday...) for awhile and that'll give me time to figure out the permanent setup. My birds currently sleep in my barn where I'm attempting the deep litter method with leftover straw and hay from our other animals. I tried drying out grass clippings, but then the rain came back :p I'm working on the permanent outdoor run for them. I'm upgrading an 8x24 foot dog run to use as their "safe area" and modifying wooden dog houses as make shift coops. My plan though is to have the entire run open for their use at night and have the entire area be predator safe. I'll cover part of this area for shelter, and this is mostly under large trees anyway, but I still have to anticipate wet grounds from rain. What to use? It seems that straw and shavings just aren't sufficient when it's rainy. But my grass isn't holding up to these ducks!

    Or would it probably just be better to invest in covering the entire run?

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