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Questions about Duck Shelter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sab, May 19, 2011.

  1. sab

    sab Songster

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    The scenario is - I have 3 chickens and 1 pekin duck. The duck was raised with the chickens and thinks she is one. The 4 of them travel all over the yard together. I'm getting ready to build a coop. Right now they are in chicken tractors. Last year all 4 of them were together in 1 but now the duck is too big and she's in a separate tractor but always beside the chickens.

    Here are the questions. I will have an additional 5 chickens soon. The coop will be 12X10. I was thinking.... should I put a drain in it for a winter 'bath' tub for Duck-Duck? Has anyone done that? I was going to use sand in the coop for floor litter. Should I separate out the duck altogether because of the sand or will the sand not bother the duck? I had in mind to put a floor drain in one section and during the winter it would be easy to have a small rubber tub sitting over it that I could just tilt it and drain it out to the ground. But will that cause water rot under the coop. I don't think it will be more than 5 inches off the ground. Just trying to think the best design to put a duck in with the chickens.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    If you have a solid floor in the coop it should be made out of treated lumber. Pine shavings or straw make better bedding than sand and floor would stay dry much longer.

    Putting a drain in floor does not sound like a good idea. The wood around it will remain wet and rot. Water under the building will make the barn cold and damp.

    I have not had much luck keeping the ducks with chickens. The ducks are too messy and make everything wet and dirty. I finally started housing them in separate buildings and barn lots.

    You may have to get your duck a duckie companion or two.. good luck on your decisions.
  3. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Songster

    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    The floor drain is a great idea, but I would not allow the water to go directly below the coop. Instead attach a hose/flexible pipe (like from an above ground pool) from the bottom and direct the hose away from the coop- like perhaps toward a compost pile? This will keep the coop area neat (or as neat as a coop can be) while still making things easier for you to clean the duck pool! *Just remember to but a wire grate over the hole so weasels can't get into the coop*
    Sand is fine for ducks. I would put down a linoleum floor OR paint the coop floor with 2 coats of outdoor DECK/POOL AREA paint. This is HIGHLY water resistant and will help give your coop floor a longer life.

    Good luck!!!
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  4. sab

    sab Songster

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    Thanks for the comments. Yes, I am planning a linoleum floor. I know the duck is messy. She likes being with her chickens. In the pecking order, SHE is the head chicken. They follow her quack. It's too funny to watch them. So somehow, I need to have her duck area separate but together from and with the chickens. This is where I get stumped. I don't want Duck-Duck fouling the chickens water and food. I want the Duck space to be hoseable - if there is such a word. I think the drain pipe out and away solves any wet wood issues. I think we are even putting linoleum up the walls a ways. At least that would be good on the duck side. They are very much a bonded flock. The new birds will have more issues than these 4. I wonder if no litter (sand or shavings) isn't a better idea and just plan on hosing the poop out. Then again, I'm stepping in it and likely won't hose it every day. Don't want to mix 2 different litters. I'm reading the sand is great for Chickens. On this post - I get 2 different opinions for the duck.

    Duck-Duck is likely the only duck we will have and I plan to enjoy her while we have her. She's a hoot and a poop. That bird is messy! But she keeps her chickens in check and even watches the hawks for them. I want this coop venture to work for her too. It's certainly going to be large enough to house them all. There ought to be a very satisfactory way for Duck Duck to have her inside pool in the winter and not swamp the chickens and rot the building.....
  5. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Songster

    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    I would make sure to have something on the floor so the ducks don't slide and end up with straddle leg and so you don't slip and fall on the slippery wet floor.
  6. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    So much energy to accommodate a single duck. Clearly, what you need most is MORE ducks. [​IMG]
  7. tbitt

    tbitt Songster

    Apr 28, 2011
    Quote:Ha ha...funny. That is what I was thinking also!

  8. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Songster

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    Why not a deep litter system? The chickens will continually turn it over and eventually it will break down into nice stuff for your garden. Rake it out once a year after mounting. It would be important to have a waterproof floor (the pool paint is a great idea, plus it's non-slip), plus I'd have a roof over the whole thing.

    Have one corner of the coop with a strong mesh floor covered by smooth stones. Sit a tub or trough on this for the duck and have a drainage pipe in the bottom draining well away from the coop. Doesn't need to be a big tub, just something the duck can get head and shoulders into. Have a bigger pool outside the coop for swimming. Underneath where the tub goes dig out the ground and fill it with ag pipe or drainage pipe or something porous to allow splashed out water to drain away rather than sitting on the surface. Plant water loving plants around the edge of this area. Or, underneath the tub, just put a wider flatter tray with a drain pipe to collect water and direct it away.

    Sand would work fine but the duck will put it in the water. You could have a hose-out floor but you must have extremely good drainage around your pen or you will eventually end up with a poopy slurry around the pen every time you hose it out. That's the downside of a hose-out system.

    For the chicken's water, have a water container hanging off the wall accessible via a thick perch. The duck won't want to go up onto the perch but the chickens will. You might have to experiment with height.
  9. julie75

    julie75 Songster

    All of mine live together in the same coop with no problems. The ducks are on the floor and the chickens roost. Just make sure you have something under the roost to catch the poop so your ducks don't get bombed. Luckily I have a slanted concrete slab for the floor which makes hosing it down a whole lot easier, IMO. And I do this everyday. Ducks like to make a mess but they like to have a clean area to mess up. My ducks sleep under the roost in a covered area. This is the only place I put bedding. I line their bedding area with something that I can just fold up and remove, add hay and I'm good to go. I currently have 16 ducks sharing this space, so you can imagine the mess I have everyday. One duck should be a piece of cake. They don't have to have access to food and water inside the coop unless they are going to spend alot of time in there.

    Adding a drain is a good idea for a raised coop, but just remember you need a recessed area around the drain so that the water will flow back to the drain. Hook PVC pipe to your drain and you can run the water wherever you want it. Or you can hook your pvc pipe into a sewage pipe and it will be distributed just like the waste from your septic tank.

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