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Preparing for Ducks - Metal shed for outdoor housing?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PeskyRaven, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. PeskyRaven

    PeskyRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all, just joined! Love the advice and community here.

    I have been researching like crazy in prep for my four Cayuga ducklings which should be arriving next Tuesday. I have their brooder all ready and rearing to go. Duckling prep, check! Duck prep? Ehhhh..

    Now I'm planning for their future outdoor housing. For their shelter/nesting/weather needs I'm debating between building something from scratch or simply buying a small shed that's large enough to walk in and rake up and clean.

    The shed I was debating on is a 8x6x6 steel shed that I can modify to have more ventilation

    I live in Northern California. Summer highest highs can be 100-110, Winter can see dips as low as 30 with an average of 45 at night.

    Would metal be frowned upon? I usually see wooden/plastic type outdoor housing. I don't want them to be too cold or too hot.


    Just looking to tick these things off my list to narrow down the "right" option :)


    Thanks so much

    Katie
     
  2. User353335

    User353335 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I looked at using an "arrow" brand metal shed, but after actually looking at them, they just looked a bit too flimsy for my liking. I was afraid of rodent problems, and snow weight problems (you probably won't hafta worry about this). There were also a lot of things that I had learned would make my life easier that the arrow shed didn't include.

    With that in mind, you're ducks would probably be perfectly happy in a metal shed, I just opted for something more custom designed. I would make sure that any duck house you settle on is totally predator proof -and- has enough ventilation. As you've already identified, you'd need to probably add significant ventilation to one of those.

    PS: Welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. PeskyRaven

    PeskyRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much! I plan to have the housing inside of a pred-proof "run" with covered and buried hardware cloth.

    I get what you mean about the flimsy part. Just seems like theres something "off" about it. Thank you kindly for giving me more to think about =)
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. User353335

    User353335 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you've done your research! I'm sure you'll have happy ducks. PS: Cayuga ducks are fantastic. Good selection!
     
  5. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    If you make your run truly predator proof, (hardware cloth starting 1 foot under ground to 6' high with at least 2 strands of electric wire around it and adequate aerial protection from hawks/eagles/owls - which it sounds like you are doing) they only need basic shelter in the temps you are talking about. Sun shades and wind brakes so they can stay comfortable. (For example, put a picnic table in the run that they can lay under for shade and you can use when you visit them. Be creative. With only 4 ducks, an open dog house big enough for a large dog would probably do if they absolutely need an enclosure. A lot of houses in warmer climates are mostly frames that hold hardware cloth to protect the ducks from predators. If you look in the Coop/House section, several people have made mobile runs that are very secure and inside them they have a lot of freedom. I am not saying NOT to get them a house, as a house could provide shade, wind break, etc. I am just saying that if the house is not a major part of their security, you have a lot of freedom to design a safe and comfortable habitat for them.

    Cayugas are from upstate New York. They will laugh at 30 degrees. My Cayuga stays out in the weather at -10F. At -20F she starts thinking about going in her house during the day...if it is also windy or overcast. In fact at 25 degrees they will beg you to break the ice on their kiddie pools so they can swim (brrrrrrr!), but anything above 80F starts to get uncomfortable and since they are black ducks, they will absorb energy from the sun like crazy so they are going to require shade, lots of ventilation and water. So your biggest concerns will be ventilation and security.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft Previously RavynFallen Premium Member

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    Tevyes Dad gave great suggestions and pointers... all I can add is that even with tons of ventilation those metal sheds get really super hot in summer... just something to think about... good luck and you will enjoy having ducks... :)
     
    2 people like this.
  7. PeskyRaven

    PeskyRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2015
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    Wow thank you guys so much for your feedback. It actually made me take a big step back and start over on my thinking.

    I completely forgot to take in the Cayuga's natural background when it comes to cold. I was worried about cold, when I should be focused on when it gets hot.

    I ditched the metal shed idea and instead will be building an elongated treated wooden box with a sloped roof with roofing tiles, overhang on three sides where I'll have wired ventilation "windows" up near the top.

    For their enclosure I'm going with a treated wooden frame, 16ft across 12 feet wide, covered completely with hardware cloth (dug into the ground a foot and covered with brick). I'll have a large tarp that I can put on and off over the "roof" of the enclosure when it's needed.

    The only thing I'm debating now is if I want their "wooden house" to have a floor and be slightly raised off the ground, or simply no flooring with a lot of bedding/straw inside.

    Without all the help provided here I wouldn't have a clue on what to do. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out with your experiences :)
     
  8. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft Previously RavynFallen Premium Member

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    If it's in an elevated spot, no flooring is a viable option... but if you are prone to having flash thunderstorms, I'd at least put down a pallet floor... you can just drop a couple pallets down and cover them with plywood for a quick and easy floor... if the ground inside gets wet, they WILL help it spread around, lol... nothing like a muck puddle for ducks to go crazy over... just another thought, cuz it'd be a pain to clean out and get it dry again.... dry and no drafts is most important for them... :)
     
  9. User353335

    User353335 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt the ducks will care too much, but you might have an easier time cleaning out if there was a floor. :)
     

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