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Several Duck Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mergansinator, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Mergansinator

    Mergansinator New Egg

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    Aug 15, 2011
    I'm hoping to get some ducks to keep as pets/egg layers and I have a few questions.

    1. I'm planning on making the ducks an outside house that is around 2'x2'x4' or 4'x4'x4' with a small run attached. How would I ventilate the house besides the door to the run?

    2. How many ducks should I start out with or how many could I fit in the smallest house size listed above?

    3. I plan on having either a dirt or plywood floor. Would this work as long as I keep the food and water in the run outside the house?

    4. I live in Wisconsin, so there's very cold winters. How would I keep the water warm/not frozen if it stays outside?

    5. Which breed would be best to start out with? I like the look of the Golden Layer ducks and the Cayuga ducks.

    6. Even though this doesn't have to do with ducks, would guinea fowls be a good fit for the housing I described? I like how they can be used for laying and also are good 'watchdogs.'

    7. Is it possible to house guinea fowls and ducks together? I wouldn't mind using the guinea fowls to 'watch over' my ducks during the day.

    8. What do I need to have inside of the ducks house? Could I have seperate little boxes with 3 sides covered? I would fill these with some bedding.

    9. Would shredded newspaper be an acceptable form of bedding?

    10. Even though many ducks don't deficate inside their home, how would I clean the feces out if I have a dirt or plywood floor in the house?

    11. Which online site would you recommend ordering from/do you order online at all?

    Thanks for looking at my very long list of questions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  2. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think we're all waiting for you to use the search button and do some reading....lol. One thing I think I could have done to make things easier for me would have been to get a book first. Don't get me wrong I love this site, but a book (and there are lots on the topic) would be a great place to start. And you'll have lots of time to plan think change replan rethink and ask more questions later. LOL.
     
  3. Mergansinator

    Mergansinator New Egg

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    I've looked online for all of this stuff, but I can't find the answers to these questions. Some questions I already have an opinion on, but I would like an opinion from someone with experience.
    A book would help.

    Basically the questions I need answered most are questions 2, 10, and 11.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. For number of ducks it depends on breed/size but for 2X2X4 I'd say 2.
    In my experience, ducks poop anywhere and everywhere. I honestly have never heard of them not pooping where they live. You could hose down plywood but unless you make sure its sealed and has the proper underlayment you will warp/rot the wood. Dirt you can rake/shovel add to.
    I like Metzer Farms. Thats where I ordered my runners.
    Do get a book. It will help you with alot of things. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is good. You will find alot of differing opinions on almost everything. Use the search bar on BYC and you will find many different threads.
     
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Oregon
    I probably wouldn't keep even a single duck in a pen 2X2X4. Perhaps 2 ducks in a 4X4 (footprint) coop as long as there was a generous size run attached that they could use.

    You are building a pen too small for you to get into, so maybe a sand floor and you can reach a rake in to rake it out. Ducks poop wherever they happen to be standing at the time so don't count on them not pooping inside their house.

    I have hardware cloth covered windows in my coop for light and ventilation, For a coop that small, you could have a small vent at the roof line and then maybe a couple of small windows that could be shuttered and unshuttered, depending upon the air temperatures.

    I wouldn't add Guineas to a pen that small. If you push your birds too close together, crowding causes problems that they normally wouldn't have.

    There is no bad breed of duck. They are all wonderful, so you can't make a wrong choice. If you want eggs, there are a few breeds that lay more eggs. Runner ducks are small and they are heavy layers, as well as being comical. Welsh Harleguins are small, beautiful, and lay heavily.

    The Golden hybrids would be a good choice for eggs. Cayugas, perhaps 100-150 eggs a year, which is below what the others would lay, but perhaps that would be enough for your needs? They are lovely.
     
  6. cat1994

    cat1994 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Southeast MO
    1. I'm planning on making the ducks an outside house that is around 2'x2'x4' or 4'x4'x4' with a small run attached. How would I ventilate the house besides the door to the run? You could make lil windows and cover them in wire to let some air in

    2. How many ducks should I start out with or how many could I fit in the smallest house size listed above?
    If you are planning on getting a big breed of duck I would say two with the small size of the house you are planning to build now, if you got a bantam duck breed maybe 3 ducks would be ok

    3. I plan on having either a dirt or plywood floor. Would this work as long as I keep the food and water in the run outside the house? I would use wood but that is just me none of my buildings have dirt floors I just like it better that way

    4. I live in Wisconsin, so there's very cold winters. How would I keep the water warm/not frozen if it stays outside?
    You could go out like three times a day and give them fresh warm water or you could buy one that is heated that you have to plug in.

    5. Which breed would be best to start out with? I like the look of the Golden Layer ducks and the Cayuga ducks.
    Then get the ones you want it is really up to you I have never had Golden Layer or Cayuga so I can't really say much, they are both hefty breeds if I’m thinking of the right ducks so you may only be able to fit two in your small house.

    6. Even though this doesn't have to do with ducks, would guinea fowls be a good fit for the housing I described? I like how they can be used for laying and also are good 'watchdogs.' Well guinea usually like to free rang and do best when not in close confinement, plus if you keep them penned up all the time they can’t really get all the ticks and bugs that they love to eat, but I’m sure two guineas would do ok in that kind of setup

    7. Is it possible to house guinea fowls and ducks together? I wouldn't mind using the guinea fowls to 'watch over' my ducks during the day. I wouldn’t the ducks may pick on the guineas or vise versa plus ducks are so messy they get their water gross really fast and your guineas will defiantly not appreceate that and since the house you are planning to build may be small you would really only be able to have one of each and that would be no fun for the both of them

    8. What do I need to have inside of the ducks house? Could I have separate little boxes with 3 sides covered? I would fill these with some bedding. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work.

    9. Would shredded newspaper be an acceptable form of bedding? I wouldn't use them when the ducks get them wet they will shred them even more and may eat some.

    10. Even though many ducks don't defecate inside their home, how would I clean the feces out if I have a dirt or plywood floor in the house? I have never seen a duck that didn’t poop every where it went inside or out if you use wood you could spray it out but plywood will wrap so you may want to treat it but you will probably have to replace it eventually if you do go with dirt then you can use sand and take away messy stuff and add new sand.

    11. Which online site would you recommend ordering from/do you order online at all?
    I do not order online but I here efowl has a lot of ducks I don’t know anything about their prices or service.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Oregon
    Go and find yourself a cardboard box where the base is 2 ft X 2 ft. Picture it with 2 adult ducks inside. Can they spread their wings? They need to exercise their wings.

    If they have a very secure run attached so that they don't have to go inside, except maybe to use it as a nest to sleep in, then the coop can be small. But how many hours in a day will they be locked inside there? Will they be closed inside at night?

    My ducks are up and wanting out at the very first crack of dawn. They don't actually get out until I am up and about, but they have enough room in a very secure run to move around and they have food and water that they use while they are waiting for me.

    By the way, mine don't want to be inside their coop. They stay outside in their night run. How long every day will yours be closed into the coop? The amount of time that they are inside makes a huge difference in how much floor space they need.
     
  8. Mergansinator

    Mergansinator New Egg

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    Aug 15, 2011
    I appreciate the feedback.

    The coop would just be for a night-time shelter. Would the smaller size be good for just sleeping? Otherwise I'm thinking I'll just stick with the bigger size.

    Most stories I've read online have people saying that their ducks don't poo inside, but that's only when their food is kept inside.

    I'm thinking that now I'll just nail pieces of treated wood together for the floor of the coop.

    As of now I'm thinking of getting Khaki Campbell ducks or some runners. Which would be both a good forager and egg layer as well as being well-tempered (a somewhat decent pet). I understand that khakis are good egg layers and so are runners, but I've also heard that runners can be skiddish.

    If shredded newspaper won't work for bedding, where could I get straw? Also, I have a large field in the back of my house (which has ticks, thus the reason I wouldn't mind guineas) which has long grasses growing in it. Could I cut these grasses and use them as bedding?
     
  9. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you're looking for a good book, get Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread. I've had ducks off and on since I was a kid and I still refer to this book when I have a question.

    I don't think the set-up you described is going work very well. If you're thinking really small scale, what I did might work for you. I don't know, though, because I live in Western WA where the weather is fairly mild. Even here, I usually end up bringing my ducks in the garage on really cold nights in the winter.

    When I'm not home and at night, my 2 ducks stay in a chain link dog kennel that is 8' x 10'. I have the bottom portion and the top covered with chicken wire to keep out predators. For shelter, I used the top half of a giant size dog house (one of the molded plastic ones). In the summer, I put a tarp up on one side to give them shade from the afternoon sun. I move the kennel around the yard every day so I never have to clean their pen and they eat my dandelions and fertilize the yard. Obviously this set-up only works for a very small number of ducks, though.
     
  10. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ducks poop everywhere and it's messy. They don't care if it's inside or out.
     

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