New duck guy, need help with house/coop

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wm585022, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. wm585022

    wm585022 New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Hello,
    My mother in law wants to raise about 10 ducks. She has put me on the task of building them a home. I have done research and I understand that ducks don't roost and the main purpose of a duck house is to keep them safe from predators. Right now, I am planning a simple 6x8 garden tool shed, made of wood. I figure that if I fill the inside with about 6'' of straw, position the shed right for circulation it should all be taken care of. Is there anything else I am missing? Do the ducks need any special perches, nest boxes or shelves inside the pen? Any info or suggestions help! Thank you!
     
  2. duckins

    duckins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To better understand are y'all raising them from ducklings? What is their purpose pleasure, meat, eggs. How many drakes to hens this is important I do not keep my drakes with my hens. How long will they be in their house. No perches or nesting boxes is needed but they need predator proof home/run with good ventilation. Here's my set up / experience i have 2 dog houses inside their 10x20 run the run is chain link wrapped 4feet high in chickwire top also covered in chick wire railroad crossties around bottom to keep digging pest out tarp on top and on sides which i raise daily weather depending. ducks you will find would rather be outside on the ground that's why I lock them in run at dusk that way they have option of going in their houses I'll send pic sounds complicated but its not and everyone's set up is different this just works nicely for us goodluck with ducks and house plans.[​IMG]
     
  3. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The great thing about ducks is that they are very simple to raise. You can try to put nest boxes on the ground but mine usually just lay their eggs in the straw/hay I provide. No they do not need roosts or shelves. The coop for a duck is, as you said, to have something to shut them in at night to protect from predators but also to give them a place to go during extreme weather - and much of the time the weather is not extreme enough, as I find my ducks often out in temperatures below freezing sitting peacefully in the snow! You will find that ducks only use their coop about 5% of the time in the daytime.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Metal half inch hardware cloth is a good thing, as it can keep smaller predators out. Arranging duck infrastructure to also accommodate the human who will be doing room service is a nice idea, too.

    Think about water. If you are in a place with hot summers, even a few hot weeks, it will be better for the ducks to have water at night. And water in the house can be smelly, messy and a health hazard unless you have a proper watering station. There are many good variations on the theme. In their winter home, my ducks have this:


    [​IMG]



    In their summer home, there is an attached veranda - a porch covered top bottom and sides with half inch metal hardware cloth, and an earthen (ground topped with sand topped with sawdust) so the water sinks into the ground. I fluff the sawdust daily.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    What breed is she looking at? Muscovy for instance(the breed i own) do Roost, so i have a large shelf for mine to use. As for housing, it serves a few purpose.. predator protection, yes, hopefully eggs will be laid in this building although there are no guarantees, i still have the odd duck in warmer times who makes an area outside to lay. As well this home will be used for bad weather times, while ducks are pretty weather tolerant there are times when it is advisable to not leave them out.

    Duck MUST have water deep enough to dunk their heads, and they must, never have food without water... this is a totally NON negotiable issue.Ducks should also have some method to bathe, like chickens to dust baths this is their method to keep feather health in top form and is something they enjoy, nothing elaborate kiddy pools are perfectly fine.

    There is a sticky at the top of the forum with plenty of duck info. I also recommend Storey's guide to ducks, it's available in an e-book format too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  6. wm585022

    wm585022 New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Thank you for the info all. We are not sure about which breed of ducks yet, but they will be raised primarily for meat. We will not be raising them from chicks, we will be receiving them at a young age but too old for heat lamp and special feed. They will be raised for 1 year and then consumed for food. We are going to start with 6 and slowly go up to 10-12. I suppose I will build the shed, and if we decide on roosting ducks when that time comes it will be easy to put up a beam/shelf for them to roost. So from reading the replies my vision now is to have the garden shed with good ventilation, and safe from predators, with about 6'' of straw on the inside of the house with a tub of water big enough to dunk their heads in with a bigger pond outside. Thank you all for the advice, and please keep it coming!
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Since New England is having a cold snap right now (below 0F at night, teens daytime) I would say more than six inches of bedding might be needed from time to time at your place. Even in the southeast, folks are saying it's been rather cold. I like a foot to a foot and a half of bedding when it's that cold. If you are getting meat birds, they will be chunkier than the little slender layers or bantams, so cold is less of a concern, but they are small living things and there are limits. As I have written before, there is a difference between surviving and thriving.

    Similarly, some kind of shade cloth for warm days is good to have. I have a shade cloth for the sunny side of the summer house for days it is above 70F. (Per Storey's Guide recommendation)

    Some people have water platforms, some have wire mesh in a spot in the floor of the house, I use a porch or very large container to catch splash, just more ideas about the water. Some have heated water buckets and those help just a tad to keep the shelter warm.

    Rodents are attracted to duck pens for the spilled feed and poop, so if you can design a way to keep them out or easily be able to dispose of them, that is something to think about.
     

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