My Welsh Harlequin Project

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AddictedToQuack, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Hello fellow duckers...!

    I am getting some W.H ducks this spring for aquatic insect control (mosquito larvae), terrestrial insect control in the garden, fertilizer, eggs and comic relief. The kids are getting excited. I would ultimately like to get 3 hens and a drake. I must appologise for all of the questions but I'm a noob here.

    My plan for housing is to make a 4'x4'x4' house as depicted in the attached picture (not my design but likley from someone on here). I like the dimensions as it makes for little waste on the contruction side of things. Would this be too big for 4 ducks and therefore not warm enough in the winter months? We occasionally dip down to -30C but would likely average -10C over the winter months. How many welshies could I appropriately house in this? What is the space/duck requirement for inside the house? Would I have to insulate?

    [​IMG]



    I would like to place this house in a 12'x12' enclosed run. I want to make the run out corn crib fencing (2"x4"), metal or cedar posts (is there any benefit to one over the other?) and a mesh netting over top (to stop aerial assults). Does this sound alright? Again, what would be the space/duck requirements in the run? I can get the fencing in 4 or 5 foot heights. Other than easier access to the run, is there any benefit to using the 5' over the 4' fencing.

    Unfortuneatley I have to order this breed straight run. How many would you order to ensure you end up with the nubmer I am looking for in the end? I would select the best birds for my project and eat the others after they are full grown. Should I be alright if I order 6? 50/50 chance? 7 just in case?

    Also, how large would the door on the house have to be to allow the ducks to go in and out? I would like to make it on the larger size to accomadate a pekin or two should I choose to get a few meat ducks. Short term project.

    I'm sure I will have other questions to post here soon.

    Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

    Chris.
     
  2. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 8 ducks in this 6x4 plastic Shed room for a couple more probably as they tend to sleep in a heap at the back
    You need for them to have enough room to flap their wings inside etc. without clobbering each other
    Good ventilation is crucial though hence the mesh in the window and vents front and rear.

    [​IMG]

    It has a full size door with a full width access ramp (old Pallet) which suits me and the ducks
    They often all pile in and out at once so make your door as big as possible.
    I have them trained so now at night time they all go to bed without me telling them to.
    They tend to go in and out several times running to the pond and back with each Duck leading the charge till they settle then I close the door.
    If you use Straw as bedding then in wet weather you could be changing it twice a week so again it is far easier to do with a big door way.

    a 12'x12' run could get very muddy very quickly have you considered something portable?
    I move my shed regularly at the moment to preserve the grass
    It takes them a day or two to work out where it has gone which is comical to watch!
    soon though it will be in a permanent location in a run separate from my field so they can eat there food in peace and then free range through a pop hole in the fence

    because these:

    [​IMG]

    and these pinch it!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    I think I got everything. [​IMG] Look for posts by Going Quackers. She is up in your neck of the woods.
     
  4. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Ohio
    Ducks only use their coop in extreme weather, which is only about 5% of the time, maybe a little more in winter, so size isn't too much of a factor, as long as they are not suffocating one another or sleeping in heaps. Mine would even stay out at night if I let them but I shut them in because of the raccoons around here.
     
  5. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for all of the information so far. I plan to put the house on the outside of the run so not to take up space. The location I am considering is fairly high and dry with grass. Will the ducks strip the grass bare and turn the run to a dirt/mud pit? If so, how much bigger would I have to make the run to maintain the grass? I do plan on letting them range in the yard when I am home and on weekends. This should help with the grass situation in the run. Likely they would spend most of their free time on the pond or near the pond edge. I don't mind if they muck up the shoreline. It is left natural with a 4' buffer strip.

    Chris
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    The bigger area, the better. The first bit of water, splashed out of a waterer or rain/snow they will have a BALL making a muddy mess out of it. [​IMG] It's what they do. LOL Many people opt for a ground cover in their runs, mulch, gravel (smooth not rough) etc.

    One thing to keep in mind is that ducks have rather watery poop which makes it easy to rinse off but adds to muddy conditions.

    My "run" is about 40'x50' it is used by 5 ducks, about 20 chickens and until a few weeks ago, a few geese. They always have access to another acre or more depending on where I let the go. They stay in the run on bad weather days or when the hawk does a fly by they come in. Waterers are kept to the edges. The entire area was green 6 months ago. Now, about 1/3 of it is just clay soil and has been for about 2-3 months. Messy creatures ;)

    I do think that most duck breeds spend less time on a pond than people think they will. With the exception of the wilder breeds (mallards, wood ducks etc). I would build passed on the thinking that they will spend all of their time in the run. It is SO much easier to build for the extreme than try to fix the situation later. Believe me, I know.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

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