I ordered my first 10 ducks...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by homesteadinmama, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chirping

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    2 pekin, 2 swedish, 2 buff, 2 cayuga, 2 runners.[​IMG]

    Lots of questions:
    I don't have a house for them. Would a 4Wx8Lx2H be okay? How much ventilation do they need, same as chickens?
    Also I have a stream right next us. Suggestions on placing the house on the bank of the stream or further away? Or should I just have a kiddie pool for them?
    Fencing? We do not have alot of predators, a few hawks, owl at night but I also have chickens and they free range just close them up at night. Would that be okay for ducks?
    We are in NH so it gets cold, snow, ice. Any other sugestions on building them a nice pad? Thanks!
     
  2. Eroc1_1

    Eroc1_1 Songster

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    Quote:That space might be a little tight since you have a few 'bigger' breeds. But, if you are using it strickly for night time security it should be good. You definitely want to lock them up at night! Ducks may need a tad more ventilation that chickens. I have a couple pics and a description of the house we built for some of our ducks on m BYC page titled 'duck-house'. PLace the house away from the stream for now....they will find it when they get older. Get them a kiddie pool until you let them free range which should be at around 6-8 weeks. A 2-3ft fence would be sufficient.
     
  3. I just want to disagree a tiny bit.... most of the previous post sounds right to me, but don't give them a kiddie pool until they are at least a month old, and the only when you can supervise them and dry them off afterwards. They will drown, or get cold and die if they have that much water as babies. In winter, I keep a covered area, and throw straw down underneath, so they have somewhere dry to lay down. not in the snow or frozen poo. ventilation is good, since they do poop a lot, and it is very wet. Have fun!!!
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

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    I think you will want to go 3 feet high. 2 feet high will be kind of short for them, unless that is just the walls and your roof will peak instead of be flat.
     
  5. Eroc1_1

    Eroc1_1 Songster

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    chickensducks&agoose :

    I just want to disagree a tiny bit.... most of the previous post sounds right to me, but don't give them a kiddie pool until they are at least a month old, and the only when you can supervise them and dry them off afterwards. They will drown, or get cold and die if they have that much water as babies. In winter, I keep a covered area, and throw straw down underneath, so they have somewhere dry to lay down. not in the snow or frozen poo. ventilation is good, since they do poop a lot, and it is very wet. Have fun!!!

    Well, maybe I wasn't clear enough. Yes, don't them them swim in a kiddie until they are 4weeks old. Until then, warm water/supervised baths no longer than 10-15 minutes. And to agree with TLWR, the sides should be about 30"-36" high....at the min...​
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    I have a 4'x8'x4' house. That gives them room to stand up with the 1.5' of bedding I keep in the house for insulation.

    Kiddie pool - yes! The stream will attract predators (based on experience) you may not realize you have until they catch on that there are ducks.

    Use half inch hardware cloth over every opening - ventilation is very important and so is keeping the raccoons and weasels out. Ducks can get very wet, and bring in water on their feathers so you need to be able to have their house air out to avoid mold and slimies.

    How about shade? They can overheat if not protected from too much heat. I'm in New England, also. Their house and day pen are under a sugar maple. I use a concrete mixing pan for them to bathe in.
     
  7. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chirping

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    Quote:Great thanks! I have raised the roof, how do you keep the bedding in that is really deep? What kind of bedding do you use.

    Do you close up the ventilation in the winter, or just the north facing side?

    What is a concrete mixing pan?
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    We have two doors to the duck house. One that they use, which is a sliding door into their porch. The other is a person-sized Dutch door. I can open the top half for maintenance, and the bottom half only gets opened when I need to haul all the bedding out.

    [​IMG]

    For chilly weather (below 40) I have made an adjustable drop ceiling from three sections of plexiglass. I screwed a 2x4 along the wall about four inches from the top of the wall on the two longer (8') walls. I reinforced each of three plexiglass panels (approximately 32"x18") and set them on the 2x4's. When it's warm, I lift the center plexiglass panel and slide it on top of one of the others for more air. When it's chilly, I pull it so that there is no gap.

    Just a note: my runners really are not as hardy as the book says they are, so in the coldest parts of winter they sleep in the walkout basement, which is about 40F during that time of year. They are clearly more healthy that way.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    I use pine shavings mostly, with a few inches of straw on top. The shavings get fluffed a few times a week, the straw gets added to or replaced as needed (a few times a week). I add a handful of peat moss to each three gallons (more or less) of shavings to keep the pH slightly elevated and avoid ammonia formation. That, and the fluffing seem to keep it nice in there - I have spent time in there myself, making sure it's comfortable and healthy.

    A concrete mixing pan is a heavy duty rectangular plastic bucket. Mine is 2'x3'x8" and is easy to fill, dump, and clean. The only thing I would change is to have a lighter colored one for summer.

    I keep one in the day pen and another in the forest garden, which is an area we forage in regularly.
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

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    With the runners you want minumum 32". Not sure where you got them but depending on their quality, they may stand almost fully upright at times. Mine do and one of my males barely makes it through their 3' tall duck door.
    Good Luck.
     

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