Pen Size clarification


8 Years
Mar 18, 2015
South-Western NC
Hi folks,

We have 11 Black Swedish ducklings that are going on 2 weeks old. When they finally move outside to the yard, the pen I build for them will be where they will stay for 90% of the time. We may be able to free range them with supervision once we are sure on the types of predators we have around here and after we get a good potion of our property fenced in.

Going with the 10 square feet per duck guidelines, for 11 ducks would I be correct that a pen size of 120 square feet is suitable for them? So, ignoring height dimensions, a pen that is 10ft x 12ft is suitable?

Many thanks for the calculation assistance.
If going by 10 sq ft per duck it would be 110 sq ft. However I think that isn't enough room if they are not going to be allowed to range at all. Also how big will the coop be? 10 sq ft is the bare minimum you should have if you are going to keep them in a run. Can you make it bigger? They really thrive with the most space you can offer. Other things you will need to consider about the run is that they will muck it up pretty bad so you will need something other than dirt for the bottom. I've heard of people using sand or pea gravel. Also how are you going to handle the swimming water situation? Just things to keep in mind because it is a chore to have to redo things when they don't work. I know this from experience.
Thanks for the reply.

Yep, I thought with it being 110sq ft that if I went with 120 instead then I would be ok as a result of what I read in this thread. Post #9

The place where I want to have the pen will have to be remeasured to see if I can fit a larger pen in that spot. The spot chosen has good drainage for the rainy days/months and there is a pecan tree there for shade. I'll be using ½" x ½" welded wire hardware cloth to protect them.

Yes, I plan to use pea gravel on the bottom with a depth of at least 2 inches to begin with and a final depth of 4 inches. Each day I will hose (spray) the gravel off to clean it.

Their sleeping area, feeding area and swimming/play area are going to be raised off the ground. They are also going to be at different locations within the pen itself.
Just wanted to make sure I was getting my math right - just wasn't looking right to me at the time of posting; must be my old brain cells acting up

So you plan to put 11 ducks, that will be full size eventually, in 120sq ft for the majority of their time?
I think that is perfectly fine as ducklings as a grow out pen, but as those babies get bigger, not so much.

My pen is 500 sq ft and I have 5 ducks and a chicken. They got this pen only because we had a baby fox learning how to hunt starting to take birds, so the girls got locked up. Once baby fox couldn't get free food and moved on, ducks have been back to free ranging and are only penned up if we are gone for the entire day (dawn to dusk). I know lots of people do it, but I couldn't imagine keeping them in that pen all the time.

I think you will find 120 sq ft is very tight for 11 grown ducks.
I have to agree that 120 sq ft is pretty small for 11 ducks if they will be in there most of the time. I have to keep my ducks in their pen unless I am out with them (so most of the day, but I do take them out foraging several times a day) due to the danger of predators. Their pen is 430 sq ft for 3 ducks. A bit more spacious than necessary, but the more space the better (plus I have some eggs about to hatch in my incubator, so planning for a few extra ducks in there in the future). They will demolish small areas quickly and they will become nasty, muddy cesspools. Any way to increase their pen size?
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