We need & value your input!!!! Please help us! I know lots of people have posted about coops & runs in the past. We need to construct a large coop & run. We currently have 22 ducks....8 Pekin, 11 Khakis & 3 runners. We may add to our flock. They currently reside in 3 separate coops at night. We had one more Runner but a hawk ate it. We dispatched one opossum & 1 raccoon. We have a dog who leaves his scent all over the place, barks loud & chases critters. I think his smell scares off some potential predators. Potential predators in our area include at least all of the following: opossums, raccoons, fox, coyote, skunks, possible lost domestic dogs, owls, blue heron & hawks. We get all 4 seasons. It is hot & humid in summer & cold in winter with snow & freezing rain. It rarely snows more than 2-4 inches at a time, but we do get the occasional "snow days" with at least 6 inches of snow per night a few days in a row. We often get a lot of rain in the spring and early summer. Sometimes we get heavy thunder storms in spring or summer with a large amount of water in a short period of time. There will be a lot of leaves falling on the pen and run in the fall. We bought a lot of rehabbed wood at auction. We have a LOT of 2 x 12s and 2 x 16s. We also got some wood doors at auction & thought we might use them if we really want to add a hillbilly element to our coop. We plan to purchase other supplies. We would like to build a large coop with divided sections & a spacious covered run. The flocks are somewhat integrated but often stay self-segregated. We raised the Pekin from day old ducklings & rescued the others. We also have too many Khaki drakes. We would like an attached covered run. We need to take into consideration roofing materials, insulation, weatherproofing, electric, ventilation, duck safety, ease of cleaning & drainage (under the water sources in the coop & near the buckets & "pond" in the pen). We might add to our flock or need to separate ducks from drakes, so we would like to have spare separate sections of coop. We want them to be able to spread their wings & not feel too confined. We want the sections to open easily into the run so we can let the ducks out before leaving for work in the morning. Perhaps you can give pointers on types of buckets, "ponds", waterers/heated waterers or heaters to keep the water from freezing in winter. We may need heat lamps on very cold days or nights. We will collect eggs in the morning & have to be to work early & are NOT morning people. So far we have considered using wood, roofing materials, some type of insulation & hardware wire for the coop. I have looked into a large drainable poly waterer/tank to be their "pond" inside of the run. I have read about people putting down a layer of gravel or pea gravel & then sand on top for drainage in a run. Do you guys then also put straw or wood shavings on top to that? How do you guys prevent frost bite? We have hard clay soil that turns to slick, sticky mud when wet. We want to build the coop off of the ground to allow for drainage & help deter predators. The run would most likely surround the coop. I have also read about the "deep litter" method. Do most of you rely on that method, especially in winter, or do you use some other strategy??? I currently use hay & have used Stall Dry and Sweet PDZ to soak up some moisture & ammonia. I have read many ideas but confess I feel overwhelmed. We have the following books: Hobby Farms Ducks, How to Build Animal Housing, Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks & Keeping Ducks and Geese. Please provide suggestions & recommendations on building materials, tools needed, design layouts, predator safety, slope of run to allow proper drainage???, construction techniques, pitfalls to avoid, mistakes you would avoid if you could do it all over, minimum space per duck, etc. We also are fans of Craigslist & thought perhaps we might get some functional windows for near the top of the coop. We are not rich but we are not dead broke either. We do not mind getting items second hand. We would like to keep expenses reasonable but build a structure that will be functional for years to come. Please help us DESIGN our COOP & RUN! Please help us BEFORE we start to build and make mistakes! We value your input. Please let us know about other factors we need to take into consideration that we might not even know about!