Topic of the Week - Duck Housing


Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Tipperary, Ireland

Pic by @Valntyn
This week I would like to talk about a very important aspect of duck keeping: housing them! Ducks need a secure shelter to protect them from predators, the elements and provide a place for them to lay eggs. But what exactly are the minimum requirements for a duck shelter/coop? Show and tell me about your duck coops and shelters and give me your thoughts on:

- Types of housing
- How much room do they need in the coop/shelter.
- Nest boxes, how many?
- What do they need in the coop (bedding, etc)?
- What temps can they withstand in winter/summer and how do you keep them comfortable?

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Henrik Petersson

11 Years
Jan 9, 2009
Karlskrona, Sweden
We have four muscovy ducks, one drake and three hens.

They have a purpose-built coop with the sides some 6 by 9 ft, and an inner height of 6 ft, so people can stand inside without trouble. The pop door is large in order for a tall drake to walk in and out easily, 20 inches tall and a foot wide. In order to keep drafts out, a large box is hung outside the pop door, with the opening to the side, so the ducks have to make a 90° turn to enter or exit. The opening has a closable hatch. A small plank with smaller wooden steps added to it acts as a gangplank connecting the opening with the ground.

There is one large nest there, two feet by 16 inches. The opening of the nest is deliberately kept small, some eight by eight inches, to discourage the drake from entering and disturbing the hens and ducklings. The nest sits on the outside of the coop, and its roof opens up with hinges, making egg collection and cleaning very easy.

There is also a large natural log, perhaps six inches thick, put up as a roost. It's about two feet from the floor and six feet wide, stretching from one wall to the next.

The walls and the nest are insulated.

There is one ventilation opening high up on each of the shorter walls, each opening a circle of about six inches in diameter, covered by hardware cloth to keep predators out.

The walls and ceiling are painted white, and the floor is covered in tiles. The tiles in turn are covered in wood shavings. Wood shavings are also used to cover the bottom of the

One of the long walls has one large triple-glass window, stretching from roof to ceiling.

The hens only use the coop three times a year, when they lay and sit on eggs in the nest. When the ducklings are one day old, they leave the coop never to turn back. The drake never ever uses the coop. They all prefer to sleep outside, even in sub-zero temperatures. Sigh.

Mama Runner

Jun 6, 2017
Warren County Kentucky
We have just a basic cool. We use hay from our field that we chop and dry ourselves. Our ducks refuse to lay in the coop. Instead what I call holding it until we let them out. They lay their eggs under my front porch facing the garden. They have 26 acres to free range, but stay right by my side when I am outside. Otherwise they play by the back door where they know I am.

We keep 5 square feet per bird in the coop. But even with the room they have as soon as the security light goes out in the morning they want out.

We have them trained by that light. At night when it goes on they make their way to the coop.

Most of our rescues are another story. We have them in an old Tyson hen house. We took most of the roof off and made skylights. They have fresh grass and herbs growing in there. They have two snap up pools we buried for them to play in. The walls are lined with milk crates for nesting boxes. In the hen house we use a mix of shedded paper hay and wood shavings. But is is mostly grass we constantly reseed. We clean poop and icky litter up once a day. Normally when I go get eggs. Yes we spoil our ducks and turkeys rotten. But they work hard for us, so we work twice as hard for them.

Hope Hughes

Crossing the Road
Apr 1, 2017
Madison, FL
My Coop
My Coop
I have been debating whether or not to attach it to the chicken coop/run or have them totally separate. Why are your choosing to incorporate your duck housing with your chicken run?
Right now my ducks sleep in the chicken run at night(they refuse to go into any coop -_- they only went into the coop when we had pur hurrican)
They have a big inclosed dog crate that theh can go into if they want and they do sometimes. I want to give them their own space since we are adding 7 more(once they move out of our spare room lol) they free range all day with the chickens the run/coop would only be for at night.
The addition will be seprate from the run but just by hardwire cloth.
They are a great alarm system too so we try to keep them close to all tbe other birds.
Only thing i would say if your ducks free range keep their pool outside their run/coop. Have a water sourse for them in tbe coop/run but not a pool it makes it messy.
Put pool is right outside the coop so they stay pretty close to the house. They roam all around the house but you always know they wont go to far from the pool. And it makes it easier to clean the pool too.

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