Pen Floor

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LemonDoodles, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. LemonDoodles

    LemonDoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    Huntsville, AL
    I have two 12 week old Pekins in a pen of 5' x 10'. They have worn the original grass in there to nothing now it's gross and muddy, as I'm sure you all know. I tried a piece of sod to see how that would do.... not so good. What has everyone found to be good flooring (for the outside ground)? I've heard sand, pine needles, pea gravel, hay, straw. I used to have really high end artificial grass and that would work great but I hate to cut them off from bug and worm digging. I would think that organic covers would be harder to maintain and am almost leaning toward trying sand. Any thoughts?

    Holly, Muddy and a boy named Olive ( ')<
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  2. jbrown_14105

    jbrown_14105 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    Well I don't know..... ducks, water, mud, Sun, dry, poop, water, get the picture.
    One person wrote on another list that when they built the duck house they concreted the floor and put in a drain in the center to make for easily cleaning.
    I am thinking very seriously of doing the same thing for the new duck house...even the apron out front!
    Jim Brown
    Lockport NY
  3. BallardDuck

    BallardDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Ballard in Seattle
    I am just in the process of constructing mine. I'm about a week behind and I REALLY want the girls out of the basement! They are adorable, but really bad roommates!
    I am planning on sand and gravel. After poring over this site, and a few others, I think that makes the most sense. We get alot of wet weather in Seattle and it gets plenty muddy on it's own, so I can just imagine that in combo with ducks! I've put in a couple french drains under the run and then will cover it with the sand and gravel...sounds like it'll work!
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    What works for us:

    8'x4' house - linoleum on floor and up the wall several inches; topped with about a foot of pine shavings, which get stirred daily; topped with a few inches of straw that get refreshed every day or two and removed about weekly

    attached to

    8'x4' hardware cloth "veranda"; floor is 1/2 inch hardware cloth under sand/soil mix topped with 2 - 3 inches of sawdust which is fluffed and refreshed a couple of times a week. This is where the night time food and water are

    attached to

    a 16' x 10' day pen, bottom is coated chain link topped with a little soil and sawdust, topped with "mature" duck straw which gets turned every few days as it composts. This is topped off once or twice a week with a little fresh straw. Once a month or so in warm weather, the most composted material is removed from a section to go to the compost pile or garden

    One section of the day pen is for the swim pan, 2'x3'x8", on top of pea gravel, on a 1% slope. Gets drained once or twice a day onto a sloped pea gravel section that drains into a small channel to the grape arbor.


    worms come up through the composting duck straw - something to forage - free protein and amusement
    worms and ducks turn straw into gorgeous compost
    smell is earthy, not poopy
    not much waste - materials end up in the garden one way or another
    healthy environment for ducks - very little bumblefoot ever - no abraded feet
    no pipe to get clogged with straw & fibers

    I tried just sand in the veranda. Phew. No carbon to balance the nitrogen. Did not work for me. The soil is well drained, and the water would soak into the soil, but the stuff left behind stank - it was heavy nitrogen, and mostly anaerobic.
  5. foxchasr

    foxchasr Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2009
    My 2 pekin ducks are housed with my 7 hens and 1 roo in our 8 x 8 chicken coop. We have a concrete floor with a drain in the center and shavings under the roost pole with straw in the nesting boxes. In the right corner, we have an x pen for the ducks so they don't have free roam in the coop with a large dog crate liner pan on their floor with straw bedding with a bucket of water in the corner for them. Every other day, I pick up the pan and dump it in the mulch pile. We let them out of the coop around 8:30 am and they go in around 8:45 pm so the coop is generally clean. That's what we do!
  6. LemonDoodles

    LemonDoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    Huntsville, AL
    So many good ideas! I will ruminate. I am so glad I found this website. [​IMG]
  7. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    There is no perfect solution, IMO - but the two that do seem to work best from all reports are deep litter (turned over daily) or something like gravel/sand that drains well. I have sand and gravel as a base and it is good but I do need to rake it over daily with a heavy-duty rake that is actually more of a hoe. That keeps it aerated and non-smelly. Without the hoe-ing it does get a bit yucky. But it drains well and when it rains it gets a wash and looks nice and clean. The main disadvantage of sand is that the ducks dump it in their pond [​IMG] Some people find that a surface that they can hose off is good but you need somewhere for the water to go otherwise you end up with a horrible area just outside your pen instead of in it. Plus, hose-able surfaces (like concrete) can be tough on ducks' feet.
  8. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I cover the bottom of my run with hay.I add more hay 2 times a week.Eventually I would like to get sand but for now I have no problems with the hay...
  9. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Pea gravel works well for us, I hose it off in the heat of the afternoon and spray the ducks too and add some cool water to their pool. The poo just sinks to the bottom and does it's thing down there with whatever bugs come in, and I don't have to step in it. Ducks are super clean unless I let them out into one of their other mud pits.

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