Square Footage per Duck?

Chick_a_dee

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
1,892
16
171
Peterborough, ON
I have Buff Orpington Ducks, so not terribly large, and I'm in the process of designing a new moveable duck house for them. I have 4 ducks and a drake in total, and I was thinking of a 3x5ft duck house for them. Right now I have 3 in a 4x6ft duck house and its way too much space. They rarely spend the day in their duck house, and mostly free range from morning until night. They will only ever be locked up at night, and in the summer months I may be able to leave the door open for them in a secure pen.

Is 3 sq. ft. per duck okay?
 

Chick_a_dee

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
1,892
16
171
Peterborough, ON
Anyoneee? lol I'm about to go and start putting together a base
big_smile.png
 

reaver

In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 30, 2009
63
4
41
San Diego
If they free range most of the day and just get cooped up at night, then I think that should be fine. I know with chickens you want at least 2 square feet per bird if they are turned outside to range most of the time, and that you should have 10 square feet per bird if they are cooped up most of the time. I would think tha space requirements with ducks would be similar.
 

cayuga26

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
39
1
22
Ontario Canada
if they are locked up at night only that should be ok (winter might be different though if you have to lock them up then). If you plan on putting any feeders or waterers in there I would also increase the size as that wont give them much space (6 square feet is a lot better if they need to be confined longer than overnight, we give our Cayuga's aproximatly 8 square feet per bird during the winter months and they are similar in size to your birds as they are both medium weights)

Hope that helps
 

Chick_a_dee

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
1,892
16
171
Peterborough, ON
Thanks guys..

I have the 3 ducks right now, adding a duck and a drake in the summertime and they're in a coop just a bit bigger than what I was thinking with an outside mounted nestbox that is quite tiny. They all prefer to sleep in a pile in the nestbox. They rarely venture out into the rest of the coop building and its super sparse in there now lol. Its just too big to be used as a moveable coop. I plan on slapping wheels on this new building, and they do range all day long and get locked up at night. In the summer months they may be able to stay out at night in a secure run, I can roll the building into it.

I think there was maybe 1 day out of the entire winter they didn't want to come out, I opened the door anyway though!

They get water outside only, and I take feed away at night (its in a tupperware container, I stick a lid on it and it comes out at night). So 3ft per bird should be fine? We're not sure if we'll keep the drake we ordered, but only time will tell!
 

Chick_a_dee

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
1,892
16
171
Peterborough, ON
Okay, so I've changed my mind and I think I'm going to do a 4ft x 4ft structure because it'll take less wood (I have 12ft rough cut 2x4 lumber). It'll be on 1ft legs with big wheels on it for moving around. My ducks are well used to using a ramp now and only occasionally fall off LOL when they want to jump into the pool next to the building they're living in right now.

That'll be about 3.2 sq. ft. per duck..

My ducks free range all day long and they get even longer in the summer to free range. They don't have food or water in their house. And they always just pile up and sleep in one corner of the duck house.
 

cayuga26

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
39
1
22
Ontario Canada
not sure why you are planning on making it 1 foot off the ground, ducks and geese are terrible to train to use ramps (unless the ramp is realy wide) I have 2 foot by 2 foot doors on my duck barns to allow the ducks lots of room so when I hurd them in at night they will actualy go in the building. Just a thaught, if the coop is mobile just make it level with the ground and with no bottem (as long as the bottem touches the ground in all places) if the pen moves daily (or every couple of days) predators wont likely dig under it (wont have the time to figure it out). Then in the winter just park it over a gravel area (or cement pad) and put in deep bedding and your set! (if you are going to use the deep bedding method you will need an extera foot of hight to allow the bedding to accumulate but a 3 foot shelter should be fine)

also be aware that if you make a very small building it may limit you if you decide to add more ducks or change to a different speceis or breed (wich people often do), but that is a reasonable size for sure.
 
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J3172

Songster
9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
582
6
131
Michigan
I have six runner ducks in a cage that's 24"x 36" and since they don't like the snow they have stayed in that all winter and seem to do fine.
 

Chick_a_dee

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
1,892
16
171
Peterborough, ON
Umm... Well my 3 ducks are great with their ramp. Their current house they live in is almost 2ft off the ground and they use a little ramp that is probably 8inches wide with ribs on it. It took them a couple weeks to really figure it out, but now they know how to use it super great. Their new ramp will be much wider than the one they have right now, probably about a foot wide or maybe wider.

idunno.gif
mine do great with their ramp. They even all run up it at night when I call beddies...

I don't intend on switching breeds or buying more, I'll have a drake but I'm not terribly concerned about hatching eggs right now. I need to be able to move the building around, and if its too big I won't be able to move it. There's no way I'm making it without a bottom, our ground isn't level at all and there is no way that it'd be touching the ground in all places anywhere since we're on a hill. I also don't see the point of locking my ducks up at night if they're on the bare ground... That's not exactly predator proof...It's not a pen, its a house.

I'm willing to go as big as 4x6 since it'll make the best use of my supplies, and I use pine pellets for bedding with the ducks which lasts 3 times as long as any other bedding material I've used with them.
 
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