1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Prefered Flooring for the Duck House

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Chickhick, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Chickhick

    Chickhick Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    1
    131
    Apr 17, 2010
    North Alabama
    I have a barn with different flooring areas and I want to know which area would be best for the ducks. One room has concrete flooring and the other is dirt. Currently I have hay and pine shavings for bedding in both areas. I usually keep the chickens in the concrete one. (I currently have guineas in the other, but they aren't long for this world and I want to try ducks to take their place.) Each of these rooms is 8 feet by 12 feet.

    (I also have quail in another smaller dirt-floored room, also with hay/pine shaving bedding.)

    Should I put the ducks in the concrete room or the dirt one? I usually only replace the chicken's bedding once a year, just adding more layers throughout the year. If possible I'd like to do that with the ducks, too. (I know ducks are messier, so I'm not sure if this is possible.)

    I have a large fenced pasture where they can enjoy the outdoors during the day once they are old enough.

    One of the reasons the chickens usually are set up in the concrete-floored one is that it has a split door that I can keep the top half open and the bottom half closed. During the day when the chickens are free-ranging in the pasture they can get in to lay eggs and eat, but the other barnyard animals can't get in. So all things being equal I'd rather keep the chickens in that one, but if it would be way better for the ducks to be in there then I can change the arrangement.

    What do y'all think?
     
  2. Chickhick

    Chickhick Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    1
    131
    Apr 17, 2010
    North Alabama
    Forgot to say that I'm planning on probably getting Silver Appleyards.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,960
    1,921
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    The first thoughts I have aren't so much about concrete versus soil, but about how you will manage their water, and whether something could dig under the side of the barn and get into the duck room.

    I have found that adding pine shaving bedding and fluffing it up daily worked well in the duck house. Since I now keep the ducks at night in the walkout basement, I don't let the shavings pile up as deeply (several inches instead of a foot and a half). Underneath the bedding in the duckhouse I placed vinyl flooring, and the basement has a composite tile flooring. Both are easy to clean.

    Seems to me the soil floor would be fine, as long as nothing could dig in, and you keep the water under control. In the basement I use the bottom half of a large plastic dog crate, with sawdust pellets in it. A straight-sided stew pot is the water bucket.
     
  4. Chickhick

    Chickhick Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    1
    131
    Apr 17, 2010
    North Alabama
    Thanks for the reply.

    The pasture has a strand of barbed wire at ground level and several strands at the top. Something could dig into the dirt-floor area of the barn if some thing got in the pasture, but I've had chickens for a couple of years and have never had a problem before. Do ducks draw predator more than chickens? The barn is protected by wire from owls and the like.

    I was also going to ask about the water. Do they have to have water inside the barn at night? (I mean obviously after they are old enough to spend their days out in the pasture.) I know they have to have water while they eat. Can they eat the same thing as the chickens, because if I feed the ducks during the day when the ducks can go out to get water, then the chickens will go in to eat the duck food, too.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,960
    1,921
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Many of us feed ducks poultry layer or poultry maintenance food with no problems.

    I don't keep chickens, but my feeling is that ducks seem to be really attractive to predators. They are easier to pick off at night, from what I have read.

    They don't roost, and mine lean right up against the fence to nap. That's why I have double fence on the lower two feet of the day pen. It would be difficult for anything the size of a raccoon to reach in. And of course at night they are inside a sturdy structure.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by