Need help from frugal-minded duck keepers.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by savingdogs, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, so I've caught the poultry bug and adore my chickens so want to add ducks now.

    However I live in rainy Washington State and don't want to mix my chickens and ducks. I have to pen my animals because of predation. I do not have a pond.

    How can I set up a duck area cheap? I have plenty of space, access to water and electricity, but very little .....ahem....funds.

    I think I have a baker who would buy duck eggs from me down the road should I raise some duck eggs, so there is a financial method in my madness here.

    I do have access to a myriad of recycled building materials, pallets, dog crates, etc., from my packrat DH that will not throw anything away and my years of rescuing dogs and taking on donated cast off stuff along with the donated cast off dog. I realize I'd need to buy fencing so suggestions for cheap fencing that contains ducks is one of my main questions.

    I think I would just like a pair and keep it small scale and was thinking of using a dog crate as their "coop". Ideas on a cheap, dumpable mini-pond? Is sand a good choice for ducks? Does their enclosure need a top to keep them from flying out?

    Photos of your inexpensive or expensive but totally cool duck enclosures/houses/etc. would be awesome!

    Am I crazy to think I can keep ducks inexpensively? I have a LOT of slugs (did I mention I live in SW WA?) Ever see a banana slug? They choke my chickens. Some are as large or larger than a man's thumb. And I think I have enough of them to keep a pair of ducks busy for quite some time.
  2. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    for a few ducks, walmart sells a cheap (maybe $8-10) kiddie pools. They can be dumped whenever they get too dirty (probably daily lol).
  3. BlueLagoonRabbitry

    BlueLagoonRabbitry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2009
    Western Iowa
    I got a dog run and added a tin roof, then put in a dog crate with some straw and added a kiddie pool plus feed and water and my 3 magpies and cayuga seemed happy.
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    My flock of 5 sleeps in an extra large dog igloo inside a secure night pen.

    I got it at a garage sale for $25

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    CL is my friend for finding cheap things....
    Used cheap/free dog great for duck houses..and i always see cheap fencing on their too...
  6. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    I use a dog house inside an inclosed pen where a fresh water stream runs through. I have electric fencing around the pen and it is covered with netting. I keep a de-icer in the stream in the winter and let them free range out of the pen all day. there is no door on the dog house as the pen is secure for night. very easy and not too pricey [​IMG]
  7. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a large dog igloo! I was thinking my airline style dog crate would be bigger.

    Where do you put their food? Doesn't it get all wet? I buy Layena for my chickens but it gets all gross when wet, the chickens won't touch it when it gets wet so it has to live inside our chicken coop.

    I also close my animals inside their respective "houses" at night because of predation. That is why I was thinking a dog crate has a door.

    I also have this little that is maybe 7 x 7 that is kind of a kids playhouse. No room for a kiddie pond however unless I attached a fenced yard to it. But it would be a good nighttime enclosure, better than a dog crate.
    But it is right by the front door and I'd need the fence to not be a big eyesore. I do have alot of pallets I could use as a building material but other than that can't brainstorm any other fencing for duck recycling ideas.
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    you can buy the little doors that go on the dog igloos at petco..i think they lock too...
    the 7x7 sounds great for them at night! then just add some fencing around it..and your good to go!
  9. LAMchop

    LAMchop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    SW VA
    Here are some pictures of my almost-free set up for 12 calls, and counting. Hopefully, its temporary, but it works for now.

    The whole pen (I'm brushing off the snow so the top won't collapse!)

    You can't see it, but in the left corner they have a swimming area made from a mixing tub (splurge!). Here's a close-up.

    The 10x10 dog pen was free, as the previous owners lab-mix had chewed holes in it. I patched the holes with scraps of wire. The top is covered with chicken wire that was laying around, supported with scraps of conduit. All the bricks, rocks, etc. were leftovers from other projects. Its surrounded with 2 hot wires, but I still don't think its night-time predator safe, so everybody goes in the cute little duck house at night. My fiance' made it for me from scraps of lumber and hardware cloth and pine boards he milled himself.
    The feeder goes in the little white thing I call the Duck Pagoda (that he also built) and it stays nice and dry.

    My next plan is an aviary built from the tons of steel pipe we salvaged from a warehouse. If you're creative and have access to a lot of junk, you can do some cool things on the cheap.
  10. slaghunter

    slaghunter Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 21, 2008
    Stafford, VA
    Check on Craigs list for chain link fence or chicken wire. Lots of time you can get small pieces of chain link for free. My ducks free range all day and go into a chain link enclosure at night. I have a tarp over part of it so they can stay dry and plastic fencing over the rest to keep critters out. I also have electric fence on the top and bottom on the OUTSIDE to further deter night time pest. Most domestic ducks cannot fly. Their too fat. [​IMG] Most of them look kinda like this. [​IMG] [​IMG] They run around and flap their wings but that's about it. Ducks are great and they don't need much to be happy. I can guarantee that if you get ducks those dreaded slugs will become one of the funniest parts of your day.

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