Keeping ducks in their pen

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jryxx, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Jryxx

    Jryxx Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    34
    Jun 7, 2013
    Central Ohio
    Hi, I have a 1/4 acre yard and don't want to take up too much space by building a pen AND run, but this would mean that while I'm gone for the day at work, my ducks will have to stay in their enclosed pen (most likely just a dog house) will that be okay for two ducks to stay in there all night AND 8-10 hours of the day?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,929
    5,660
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I don't think keeping them inside a dog house 8-10 hrs a day would be much of a life. Plus the mess would not be very good either.
     
  3. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,456
    298
    236
    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    I agree with Miss Lydia. A life confined to a dog house would not be fair to the ducks or good for their health.
    First things first, they are messy with water. So if you left them in a dog house all night and all day, you would HAVE to have water in there for them. Which means you would have to clean the dog house out daily as they tend to empty all water and splash and make a mess.
    Also, how many ducks do you have? Because they need enough space to be able to lay down, stretch their legs and wings, and walk around comfortably. If you have a small dog house with more than 2-3 ducks in it, its going to be too crammed even just for them to spend the night in, let alone all day too.
    And to be fair, ducks are meant to be outside. Even if they are penned and not necessarily out on grass, at least they have access to fresh air and sun. Cooped in a dog house will limit their sun which could, in turn, limit their egg laying or stop production all together.

    My suggestion would be to build them a pen and let them out during the day. Give them food and water before you leave and again before you turn them in for the night. Then they won't be so cooped and crammed as leaving them in a dog house all night and for 8-10 hours during the day is pretty much their whole life. Even 1-2 hours out to free range is unfair to them.

    In all honesty, if you can't do that and have to keep them in the dog house all night and day, then you probably should take another look at being a duck owner. If you can't give them a good life, and devote enough of your own time to ensuring they are properly cared for, then maybe having ducks is not such a good idea at this point in time in your life.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,456
    298
    236
    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    And I see now that you say you have 2 ducks. That should be ok for night housing in a dog house, but its still unfair to them to have to spend all day inside as well.
     
  5. Jryxx

    Jryxx Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    34
    Jun 7, 2013
    Central Ohio
    Alright I'll settle for building them a large pen. What should I use for the roof so hawks can't get to them? I want it open but with some kind of mesh so hawks can't get them. And what should I use for the sides/ walls? Same thing I use for the roof?
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,929
    5,660
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  7. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,456
    298
    236
    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    If they can get into their shelter while in the pen, then you don't need to worry about mesh over the top. They aren't flying breeds so won't fly out. And as far as hawks are concerned, they keep watch for predators and will run into their shelter if they see a hawk in the area.
    I free range mine most of the year and have TONS of hawks that fly around. The ducks will either stay close to my house/barn, or if in the pasture they keep watch and will all run back to the barn and coop if a hawk flies overhead. I've never lost one to a hawk.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by