Preparing for ducks and duck enclosure advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Chicken Chickita, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got a lovely flock of chickens and would like to branch out to ducks. I'm considering Runner Ducks or Muscovies. I don't know as much about ducks as chickens and am hoping for advice.

    I just moved to a home with a large pond. Lots of wild ducks and geese stop by everyday. I want to start raising my own ducks.

    First, can anyone provide advice on duck enclosures? I've heard that if I let them out onto the pond that they are likely to get snatched up by a hawk. IS that true?

    If I build them a little place to live and let them out during the day, will they come back at night the way my chickens do?

    BYC has excellent pictures of chicken coops. Can anyone point me towards a good resource for duck enclosures/coops?

    I've heard that hatching duck eggs is harder than hatching chicken eggs. Is that true?

    Thank you so much!! Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any advice? Perhpas how to find good advice on building them a coop?
     
  3. aprille218

    aprille218 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks are great! Most ducks will come back to the coop at night if trained to do so.
    If you decide to free range Muscovies would probably do better. They're bigger and fly better than runners and so are less likely to be eaten.
    If you keep them in an enclosure keep it as big as you can. Ducks use up alot of ground, digging little holes and killing grass. I have 14 call ducks in a huge (15x57ft) chain link dog kennel with a flight top netting on it because they fly well. The house they have access to is an old play house that is 6X8ft. They will do fine with a smaller house though. Depending on how many you have a dog house can be fine. Keep the food and water out of the house because ducks are messy.
    Aprille
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I only have Muscovy so my experience is limited to that breed. Mine have a small barn and they free range during the day. By dusk they crowd around the barn or are already in it... we close them in at night for safety.

    We have no ponds so I cannot comment on that... Our duck barn, we just winged it.. using as much recycled and cheap materials that we could get our hands on, it has antique windows/door and is sided with old barn boards. We have the whole thing on a large wooden skid that way it's elevated off the ground, the floor is wood and we laid down rubber stall mats then we bed with shavings and straw... it has hydro run to it as well, this gives us light and a heated water source.

    Here pardon the feed sack windowpane lol that has been replaced with glass now. This is a old pic from the construction period.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  5. zion11

    zion11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's a good list of photos/ideas for a duck enclosure, for various flock sizes :) Ducks are right down the middle row there.

    http://www.henhouses.co.uk/
     
  6. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a trio of Khaki Campbells recently after a number of years keeping chickens. I did do some research before I bought them so I would feel a little confident that their welfare needs would be met.

    I have a 1/4 acre (town) garden with an ornamental pond with a dozen goldfish. I also have wild mallards who visit my pond/garden during the Spring. My trio absolutely love to be let out to free range first thing in the morning, making a bee-line for the pond splashing, washing, mating, generally having a ball! It lasts all of 20 minutes. I still have a dozen goldfish in my pond. Oh, and the wild mallards and my ducks are now "friends" [​IMG]

    Hawks aren't a common occurance in my area, but that is not to say they are not around. I just haven't had that worry - urban foxes are my primary concern!

    I only free range my birds when I am around and supervising because I know urban foxes are wiley old buggers and I don't trust having my birds out when I'm not around.

    For housing, they have the same as my chickens ... but, they have a greater "run" enclosure per bird ratio.

    I've also heard that hatching duck eggs is harder than chooks. But, that is because some breeds get bored of sitting on their own eggs. So, I intend to hatch my duck eggs under a broody hen. No experience to draw upon (yet!) but I'm hoping this Spring will give me the experience I'm looking for [​IMG]
     
  7. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all of your advice!! It sounds like they will need something similar to my chickens and I can let them out onto the pond when I'm home, which is the same time I let the chickens free range. I have wild mallards that visit too. Its nice to know that perhaps they can be "friends." Also, I hadn't thought of letting one of my broody hens hatch duck eggs. That's a great idea. I have several dozen silkies that go broody constantly. :) Thanks so much!
     
  8. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh Silkies are great brooders and fabulous "Mums" too; very attentive, very protective and very stubborn in their dedication to their eggs and chicks [​IMG] Last Spring I hatched half a dozen fertilized chicken eggs under a broody silkie and she was amazing in her instincts!

    Sadly, I don't have any silkies this year, but I think my Orpington is likely to go broody and she will be my preferred choice for hatching the duck eggs (fingers crossed I get both my wishes [​IMG] )
     
  9. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck! Oh, and the polish in your profile pic is adorable!!
     
  10. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is so kind of you to say so, CC! The Poland in my pic, Po, sadly is no more [​IMG] but she was such an adorable and unique character, she gave us many, many happy memories - she would even sit on my shoulder like a Pirate's "Parrot" [​IMG]

    She's my avatar simply because ... she deserves the attention [​IMG] She was definately a "one of a kind" type of gal [​IMG]

    Just thinking: your Poland and mine were most probably related ... at some dark distant time [​IMG]
     

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