New Duck Owner with questions...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lunyre, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. lunyre

    lunyre Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2014
    I'm totally new to keeping ducks. I ordered some white pekins (not the meat birds, just the standard breed), and have so far had a blast raising them. theyre a few days old now, and i have no complaints. Ive kept other poultry like chicken in the past, but Im not sure where else to go to ask about keeping ducks.

    Im working up a design for an enclosure in my [very large] backyard.. and I plan on raising quite a few ducks back there when the spring and summer months hit. I am just sort of looking for opinions. I was thinking of employing some wooden stands and pvc/metal piping for a gated off and fenced in area (roof included), with a coop inside to keep them in at night. This is pretty standard for chicken so I figured the same would be OK for ducks. any thoughts or suggestions? :)

    also if anyone was wondering I got these lovelies from McMurray Hatchery, I absolutely LOVE their customer service and how quick the birds arrive! No complaints there.
     
  2. goats rule 101

    goats rule 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :welcome

    Congratulations on the new ducks! Just make sure predators cannot get in and the run has a top over it. I lost one of my drakes to a predator and my mallard flew away when I didn't have a cover over the top. Anything really works for a coop as long as they have enough room and can get out of the weather. It needs to be warm in the winter and have some shade so they can stay cool in the summer. Swimming pools are also a big hit and if you have a big yard you could maybe even try and build them a pond. Something that Is easy to clean is nice as ducks are super messy as you probably already know. I have a shed that I turned into a chicken/duck/goat house that works really well. There's three different sections inside for each animal and two seperate runs on the outside (the goats and chickens share). In the winter I keep my ducks in their coop but in the summer they have access outside. When I'm home I also let the ducks and chickens free range. This works well for me so far but I've only had the ducks for about a year. Hope this helped! Good luck with your ducks! :)
     
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  3. lunyre

    lunyre Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah that was my idea. I was gonna build a coop with room for wiring incase i needed to add a heater or lamp for warmth in the winter months, and for a water heater to keep the pool from freezing over... I am also gonna run a hose under the pool with a valve so that its easy to empty and refill. Luckily ive had experience with constructing this sort of stuff since ive kept horses before.
    Im also assuming keeping a flock of ducks is the same as with chickens, with the laying and brooding and everything? also I was considering also getting chickens again at some point and ive read that ducks and chickens CAN be kept together, but I think it would just be safer to give them their own coop and run, and just let them free range together when im around yeah? Better safe than sorry.
     
  4. goats rule 101

    goats rule 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a good plan. I have three male ducks and only two hens so the main reason I don't keep the ducks and chickens together is I don't want my hens getting hurt. I think they could all be kept together easily especially if they're all girls but I'm no expert there. I've never had girl ducks but caring for my ducks and chickens is very similar but I'm not sure about the ducks laying and mating and all that. The ducks are just waaaay and I mean WAY messier then the chickens or even goats for that matter. :p
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I have found my ducks aren't keen on nest boxes, but they like to build their own nests in corners. I have put in some 2'x2' thick plywood panels at right angles to the pen wall and the ducks lay in the corners. Kind of neat.

    I use a watering station made from the bottom of a large plastic dog crate. Love it, love it.

    [​IMG]
    Sawdust pellets in the bottom absorb splash.
     
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  6. goats rule 101

    goats rule 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2013
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    :goodpost:
     
  7. lunyre

    lunyre Out Of The Brooder

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    I finalised my design for the enclosure, and its more of an aviary than a run.. but this is very similar to what i had built for my chickens in the past. The cost should be around 350-400 dollars to build.. give or take, and i have willing helpful hands to assist in the construction :) I think a flock would be happy in a setup like this. (the food and watering system isnt included as thats very difficult to model in a 3d system)

    any input or thoughts would be greatly appreciated![​IMG]
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Looks good, I did not see ventilation for the house, the ramp needs to be not very steep - what you have there looks good. Is there an access panel for cleaning the house and reaching injured or ill ducks?

    I am impressed with the layout. For what it's worth, to prevent predators from digging under, I sandwiched coated chain link between 2 1"x6" boards along the perimeter of the Day Pen. Have you thought of how to thwart digging?

    I have fence across the top of the Day Pen, also.

    You might want a second gate (if there is one, I apologize - not seeing it).

    Looks nice and sturdy.

    Is the roof going to have an angle for rain runoff?

    I use solar rope lights around the edges of the ducks' porch - it provides just enough light to be able to see movement so that I could (when the ducks were in that shelter at night) just look out our window and see them moving around, and see any predators that were casing the joint.

    The bottom two or three feet around the pen, several of us have double fencing, some use half inch metal hardware cloth - keeps predators from reaching through the fence to nab ducks that sleep against the fence.

    Those are my initial, random thoughts.
     

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