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Need some help with quacker coop design

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cosbackyard, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Songster

    Feb 20, 2013
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've got three ducklings coming in a couple of weeks and I'd like to get started on their coop and run. This time around I'll be adding a single chicken to the mix. The idea is to keep them all together, though we'll see how that works out with the mallard once he gets older...

    I've been struggling with some details on how to build a coop for all of them. It's only four birds, but I want them to have room for when I can't free-range them.

    What I'm thinking is a 3'x6' coop (around 40" tall.) I'd like to elevate it off the ground enough for them to hang out under it. Past ducks have been able to navigate short ramps (or just fly in) - do you think it'll work if the ramp leads up to a door about 20" up?

    I only have a total footprint of about 6'x8' to work with. So after the coop is in I'll only have 6'x5' for a run. And I have to get a small pool in there, too. Do you think that's adequate? They'll probably get out for a bit nearly every day, but I can't guarantee that.

    Finally, I'm thinking of deep pile for run cover. I'm no expert on this method, but as I gather you dig down a bit and then fill in with leaves and clippings. Will this work for ducks? Is there another route I should go for both chickens and ducks at once?


  2. Carcajou

    Carcajou Songster

    Jul 3, 2012
    Delhi, New York
    [​IMG]. I would suggest reading the duck forum "stickies", lots of good info there to answer your questions. A 3x6 coop will be plenty big enough for four adult ducks (unless they are a large breed) if used for nighttime and inclement weather housing. 20" may be a little too high for most ducks as they usually can't negotiate as steep a ramp as chickens. You might consider an awning for shade if there are no trees around. A 6x5 run should work for your run. Sand, peat moss, shavings and leaves all work for bedding. Again, check out the "stickies".

    Ducks can survive without a pool and having it inside your run would keep it continually messy. If you had a kiddie pool in the area where you plan to free range them that might work best. They could swim on the days they are allowed to free range.

    Here is the link to Duck housing and runs: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=320654&p=1

    Good luck!
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada

    So you have a drake(male duck?) i'd be cautious with that chicken addition, some drakes will attempt mating with a chicken and that can result in death(worse case)

    Yes, people do keep them together but this is something you must take into consideration, if this becomes an issue separate housing will be needed.

    After that the link provided by the other poster, should help you. It's tricky with ramps, i have a heavy weight breed though and found that concept failed, that said i have seem some of the lighter breed manage them ok, but do consider duck feet are nothing like chicken so the ramp skills fall a bit short lol

    If your able to free range, i'd probably leave the pool for outside the run, it will cause the most damage to the area, you can give them a small pan/rubber tub that would suffice in there..

    here to give an idea, this is a 6.5mth old Muscovy duck, she was more than happy with that... they do get pools but as you can see were buried in snow, so the pools are closed lol


    I don't really pen my ducks, they have 1/3 Acre fenced surrounding their mini barn, and then are let loose on the farm when the weather is decent.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  4. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Songster

    Feb 20, 2013
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thanks for the replies.
    It would definitely make life easier to keep the pool outside of the run. Especially since it looks like I'll be putting the coop near ground level.

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