The cheap duckling holding pen - description and pictures


10 Years
Dec 16, 2009
near Frederick, MD
I built a really cheap, quick and inexpensive pen to hold my soon to arrive ducklings until they are large enough to push outside. It requires:

(5) 10' 1/2" PVC pipe
(3) 8' 2x4 stud boards
large handful (maybe 120 or so) cheapy cable ties
25' chicken wire
(3) 8' 1x4 boards
few decking screws
(2) 3/4" PVC T that reduces to 1/2"
(2) 1/2" PVC 90

I created a frame of the 2x4s by leaving the two longer boards at 8' and cutting (2) 3' pieces out of the last board. I then used a spade bit and drilled holes with a bit large enough to loosely fit the 1/2" pvc. Those were drilled on the long sides (8' sides) starting at 1" and occuring every 2 feet. I then trimmed the 10' PVC pcs to 8' and bent them over into a half hoop. It creates a dome just like a hothouse or greenhouse framing would. I then tightly attached chicken wire starting OUTSIDE the frame. I used the 1x4 boards to sandwich the wire in and tacked it down with screws. I then tightly stretched the wire over the frames, using the cable ties to secure it. The ends were also covered with chicken wire and attached with cable ties. The door is made from scrap PVC using the fittings to create a rectangle. The larger 3/4" T fit over a verticle pvc pipe to form the hinges.

I can use cardboard attached loosely to the outside edges to prevent drafts. The heat lamp is attached to the verticle pole in back and secured to the top (so it can't slide down). The whole thing is sitting on a cheap 6x9 sheet of linoleum to keep the mess contained.

The whole project took maybe 2-3 hours to make. And aside from running a drill bit into my finger, was super easy.

The nice things are 1- its modular, so it can be taken apart very simply. 2- its light, so it can be dragged/carried anywhere 3- it will serve as a great place to keep 1-4 ducks if there's a need to quarantine or it can be used as a mobile tractor (think chicken tractor) to give them some fresh grass while I am not present to watch over them in the yard.

Here are some very poor pictures (sorry, taken in near dark on my cell phone, but you'll get the idea):




11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
Central Arkansas
Great job!! After using pvc and zip ties for pens I can't imagine using anything else. The pens are easy to move and keep the ducklings alot "cleaner". I have used mine for chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys. Again, great job!!


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
The PVC is pretty easily bent then? I was attacked by a crazy piece of PVC last year and ended up with a gash and fat black eye, lol...kind of scared to use the stuff now sicne that piece obviously wasnt very flexible.


10 Years
Dec 16, 2009
near Frederick, MD
If its not cold, it bends easily and is actually very hard to break. If its been in the sun, that can make it more brittle though.

Oh, and the total cost for this project was around $30 (20 on the chicken wire!)


13 Years
Jun 11, 2008
Poplar Grove, IL

So simple. I wish my mind would work this clearly!

Bleenie, when I used this concept for a chicken tractor last summer I used gray PVC conduit (from the plumbing department). It is supposed to stand up to the sun better and it is still cheap.

WadeMD, I hope you don't mind if I copy your design. Thanks for posting.


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England


This is a big help for me. My ducklings are here! I will be needing a more spacious indoor space until the weather and the ducks' size and maturity match up enough to get them outside into their own shelter. It is looking like spring will be late arriving this year.

I have been making fence panels out of two by fours, so I have six of the frames built, with a few already covered with hardware cloth. I can use one of the uncovered ones temporarily to support some upright pieces and stretch the poultry fencing I already have across that for a basement shelter for them, once they outgrow the brooder. I have a sheet of vinyl flooring that can either go under the frame or be tacked onto the frame.

Thanks 1,000,000!


10 Years
Dec 16, 2009
near Frederick, MD
No problem! I hope more people find it useful.

Amiga - Lets see pics of the new ducklins!

Mine are due March 10. But, with the weather as cold as its been here too, I might need a second of these as they will probably outgrow it in a month (there are 10 of them) before they can be put outside permanently.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom