Night time housing options/other Q's

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TaraontheCoast, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. TaraontheCoast

    TaraontheCoast Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Caspar
    I've moved, and pending landlord/partner approval [​IMG] I'll hopefully be finally getting my ducks. There are two 8-10 week old Rouen hens waiting in my hometown for me to pick up, if I want them.

    We now live on a smaller lot. The grass part of our yard is approximately 600 sq. feet, and it's connected to a approx. 400 sq. foot graveled portion of the yard off of my back porch. It's in this fenced area I imagine the ducks free ranging/foraging during the day. When I'm home, they'll get to explore the "back 40", thogh I'm not totally sure about that, since our neighbors have a big pile of junk that's in this portion of the yard:
    [​IMG]

    I will likely be putting their little pond up on top of our well w/a ramp:
    [​IMG]

    I have some options for night time housing (at this time, this would be the only time they're really contained, save the backyard fence) and would like some input:
    -If they'll let me use it, my landlords left behind one of those HUGE plastic dog crates. The ones for 80+ pound dogs. Could two hens sleep comfortably in there at night? If so, should I leave the crate locked outside somewhere or inside our large garage (not used for cars, just a big empty building with wood floors)

    -I already have a dog crate I'm not using, but it's for a smaller dog. My 15 lb. Boston Terrier used to sleep in it, and it's big enough for her dog bed and a few blankets.

    -We have a woodshed in the yard, which you can partially see in the following photo. To make it predator safe, I would need to enclose the sides and front in hardware cloth, and build some kind of door? I also don't know what the best flooring option would be. Right now there are a few old pallets and then dirt under that:
    [​IMG]

    -The garage. It's a big two-car garage with little in it except a lawnmower and wood scraps. It's all wood flooring inside. It seems like a secure building, but I'd need to walk around and make sure there are no holes where predators can get in. If I didn't allow the hens water at night (which I read about in "Raising Ducks"), would this space be too big? What type of bedding would be suitable to put down? Would it be smarter to just partition off a part of the garage? Would their poop ruin the wood (it's not nice wood at all, but I don't own the home).

    -There is a pickup truck shell just sitting in the back 40. I'm not sure if I could have access to it, but would this be an easy thing to turn into a night time coop? I don't have any photos of that but can take some today.

    I should say, money is definitely of the essence right now.

    Also, if I were to get these gals, any tips on socializing? They're used to being around dogs and humans, but I want to make sure they're comfortable being handled and around people, and I'd also like to train them to follow me to the Community Garden (which is just behind my house).

    If you made it through this post, cookies to you! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  2. kylee2katie

    kylee2katie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2010
    Stuttgart, Arkansas
    below is the picture of the night housing for my 8 ducks - the crate you are considering is ample room for nighttime. I don't lock mine in any more since I have the enclosed kennel but see picture 2 for what I started out with. I just locked them in at night to protect from coons and such...my first "pen" was made from hardware cloth and tomato stakes!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    there were 4 ducks sleeping in this one.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I keep my 4 ducks in a large dog crate at night. Works fine and dandy and they are quacking away to be let out in the morning [​IMG]
     
  4. TaraontheCoast

    TaraontheCoast Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Caspar
    Thanks all! Is your dog crate outdoors or would the gals be better off inside the garage? I live on the Coast, so it's mild now but colder in the winter.
     
  5. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    First of all. Don't put the pool on top of the well. Duck love to jump out of the pool and this hight can possible cause a leg injury. Better safe then sorry.

    For housing. Use the wood shed it is ideal. Get concrete paver for the floor so predators cannot get in. Enclose a 4x8 foot area, since they are only two ducks. That gives you place to put food and water into it, and have nesting boxes too. I'm attaching some pictures of a similar situation, only newer looking. LOL We had a lean on green house, which was in bad shape. We stripped it down to its frame work and doubled its size. Part of the problem we had to face was that it had the inground sprinkler valves and pipes under it, so we could not pour concrete. We used paver instead, and that turned out good because we had to dig up some pipes later. So half of this house is now duck house and the rest storage. We have 9 ducks and the 10x10 space on one side it perfect. We've also build a small run in front of it, so we can confine them if needed. They usually free range all day.
    [​IMG]
    Inside I covered the floor with rubber runner mats, which I will replace with stall mats so their feet stay warm in winter. On top I use pine shavings, which I sweep out daily.
    [​IMG]
    I use a deep lid from a rubbermaid container, but you can use a shallow pan to keep the nightly drinking water and food in. I never have a mess on the floor since it catches it all. This is an image how the bowl setup looks like. For 2 ducks you can get the small dog waterer from walmart or petco.
    [​IMG]
    You may have also noticed that we have created a cleaning station outside, where we rinse the bowls etc.
     
  6. TaraontheCoast

    TaraontheCoast Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Caspar
    katharinad, thanks for the advice. I will keep the pond OFF of the well.

    As for pouring paver, I'm a renter, not a homeowner. I don't really envision being able to make major structural changes like that, both for the fact that it's not my home and I don't have the money for that. If I were to enclose an area off of the woodshed, it would take up a large part of my small grassy portion of my backyard, and my dogs wouldn't be thrilled about that...
     
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    No we purchased regular 12x12" concrete pavers at the hardware store. You just lay them down onto the ground. You don't need many, if you keep it small. I would go for 4x8". A friend of mine got all her pavers for free at the local transfer station. They had section for concrete and pavers to dump and she just picked the good ones. You may even find half way good wood there too. Plywood as siding is cheap too, and it can be taken off easily if you use screws to mount the walls. We used recycled windows for the duck house. The daylight will help to keep them laying longer. We did insulate our duck house, but you really don't need to. It will be safe for them. I don't know where you live, but you should have some protected area for the winter. Check out your local freecycle for free material and windows. The habitat for humanity restore is also an option for cheap material. I think you can finish this project for 100 dollars, if you look around.
     
  8. TaraontheCoast

    TaraontheCoast Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Caspar
    Ha, I'm sorry [​IMG] I obviously know nothing about construction. Getting paver stones to lay down probably wouldn't be too tough.

    What I will probably need to do, if it's ok with my landlord, is keep them in the crate at night for now and convert the woodshed as funds/time is available to do so.
     
  9. chickencrazy13

    chickencrazy13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2012
    Southern Maryland
    [​IMG]
     
  10. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Wisconsin
    We use a garden shed that is connected to our work shop, however, hubby wants them out lol to messy and we could use the garden shed for well.. a garden shed HA! SO I have ordered a 10x
    12 shed that is coming at the end of this month. I am super excited to have this huge new improvement and make it my OWN duck shed! It will have enough space to seperate breeds we just have 4 pekins, 3 sliver appleyards and 2 rouens.

    We are building 3 nest boxes/night time boxes for each breed that will have a lift off top that I can just grab eggs and clean etc. Then we are cutting 3 square holes on the side of the shed for the door and putting lockable doors on it. Then we are going to fence off an area in our property with the pond for the ducks.

    I can't explain it that well! But I plan to take pictures through the whole process! I am just so excited to make this shed into my duck shed that will hold their feed, supplies, incubator and brooder!!!

    Anyways this is the shed we ordered that we will be getting in a few weeks!!!!!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Hoping to do the same with our geese once we safe some more money again!
     

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