How would you transform this area into a safe and functional duck run/coop?


In the Brooder
May 3, 2016
I have a flock of 10 ducks that I've been keeping in my barn at night. After consideration, I think this is the best place for a permanent, overnight duck house. It's along my arena near my barn and house and has general daytime protection by being in the center of my other farm animals and dogs. I like the gravel for drainage, however the slope is very gradual and runs slightly in the direction of my arena. What ideas do you guys have of turning it into a safe duck area?

It's built to be a back in for a trailer. Maybe 18x6 feet. Built into the slope of my driveway to be flat with cement walls towards the back. The above ground chain link is about 4-5ft high, and if standing within in it'd be tall enough to stand in when the roof is built. My general plan is to build a sloped roof coming out from the arena, securing the existing Chainlink, and closing off the open side.

Questions I have
How should I best predator proof this area? Should I still add hardware cloth to the above ground areas?
How should I protect the edge against the arena from water runoff and digging predators? We're dealing with a skunk that likes to bury in there!
I'll have dog houses in this area for shelter, can I have the run just be the open Chainlink? It seems the in ground feature of this gives adequate wind protection and insulation
Does this seem like it has decent potential for my ducks?

My ducks free range during the day, so this is just a secure night time space to be locked in. I'm in NW Oregon and don't get super cold winters, but if the weather got too cold or extreme they would be brought into the barn. I want it to be generally protected from the elements, but doesn't need to protect from the worst. My biggest concern is predators which might include skunks, raccoons, coyotes, rodents, owls, or Hawks on a regular night, and a cougar or bobcat in a rare event. My cats haven't proved to be a concern. I wouldn't doubt some of my dogs would chase a duck if they got out of their yard, I'm not concerned about them making an effort to attempt getting into a closed off run.

Any ideas or advice appreciated!




Jul 20, 2015
New England USA
Probably the easiest would be:

Hardware cloth ( smallest holes) to cover the top of the enclosure. Place a tarp or shade cloth over a portion of it so they have relief from the sun/heat.

Hardware cloth up the sides of the chain link. It needs to be taller than your tallest duck when he/she has their neck fully stretched up.

Some sort of gate/door to enclosure the front. Might be easier to get a dog kennel section with a door than erecting a livestock or cattle gate. Cover the front with hardware cloth. Any open gap around the gate post/ kennel door needs to be covered with hardware cloth or plywood or plexi glass to keep predators away and curious ducks from poking a head through an opening.

In blowing snow/ rain, windchill or uncomfortable wind conditions you can place tarps or clear plastic on those sideso fthe enclosure to block the wind. In my limited experience as long as they can keep out of the direct wind they're fine even in snow and winter weather. I made sure to keep a dry area outside for them to use. This usually meant fresh straw mornings & evenings after snowy/icy events. We had an unseasonably mild winter last year and no extended snow events.

I'm not an expert at all. This is a nice area to fix up for them. You mainly want to keep predators from climbing over and flying over into their area And you want to keep predators from reaching through the sides to grab or bite them.
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