What you would add to the ultimate duck pen....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by nettie, May 14, 2010.

  1. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Hi everyone,

    As some of you may know, I am planning a rather extravagant indoor duck pen for my six spoiled brats, to replace the pen they currently live in. Currently, they have a duck pen with and extension I built onto it. I was only planning on having four ducks, but I ended up adopting two who really needed a new home, so we need more room.

    They are getting an entire 3rd bedroom all to themselves. I already have put a design together-
    (see here- https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=297056 )

    But I want to make sure I plan for anything and everything that may come on handy. Since I'm on the 3rd contractor who probably won't built it for me, I thought I'd use my time to perfect the design and add anything little things here and there.... Since I have more time to save for this venture (and we're planning on it costing a small fortune, luckily we've set aside money, and might be able to set side a little more)

    So what I want to know is, if you could build the ultimate duck pen, what would you add?

    To keep smells down? (for example, I am using that baking soda paint that helps keep smells down)
    to make it easy to clean?
    To make lots of space for the ducks?
    To make it fun and a happy place for ducks?
    To help make the "waterer" issue easier?
    What would make for the best flooring?
    Anything crazy you would add? Anything fancy or expensive you would try if you could?
    Any neat farm gadgets out there? (i.s. like heated mats)
    If you kept ducks indoors, what would be your "musts" for a pen?

    Oh, and how would you decorate it? I plan on painting it, and I am crafty, so I thought I'd do something fun.... (I'm also thinking of somehting fun and cute like painting the nest box door to look like a garage, adding a flower box with fake flowers under the window, etc

    I am contemplating changing the design by a lot, making it a little smaller, but giving me more storage for their junk (bedding, feed, harnesses, dirty laundry, treats, ect) I'm also thinking about removing the second floor in the back of the pen so it's more open, but i'd lose floor space then... So it's still speculative right now...

    I'd just like to know what you guys think, and any concerns or ideas to make improvements.... Since I have the time to think it over, I might as well. Every pen I've built thus far, I came up with a list of things I'd change about it the next time I built one... I'm just trying to think of the "Shoulda's, Woulda's, and Coulda's" before hand....
  2. callducklover20

    callducklover20 Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Bonner Springs, KS
    Wow I want to be one of your ducks lol-Ok now I have some great ideas for mine, they are all going to be so happy. I get a farm supply catalog from the company Gemplers-besides poly coating the floor like you guys are doing I wonder if some of those great rubber farm mats would work good-oh so many thoughts [​IMG]
  3. classroomducks

    classroomducks Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Fort Worth, Tx
    nettie, you put anyone who says ducks shouldnt live inside to shame...they have no arguments when it comes to your ducks...i bow down to your awesomeness.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners 8 Years

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Yeah, nettie!

    One thing I am figuring out how to incorporate into our runners' outdoor area (which I will need to redesign due to new information about our area's daytime predators. sheesh) is a drilling area, where they can make mudholes or at least feel like they are making mudholes in a sanctioned area. No details yet, but that kind of activity seems really satisfying to them.

    In their indoor brooder (which they occupied till they were almost twelve weeks old - long story), I found hanging a small rope, firmly tied at the ends to avoid fraying and swallowing fibers, from the edge of the brooder seemed to satisfy a few of the ducks who really like pulling at things above their heads to get their jollies.

    My ducks like anything green, so perhaps painting green vines (I think green polka dots would be the same to them) on interior walls could add interest.

    Shoot for the moon? Okay. A water feature. Feng shui kind of idea, with water falling down a chain into a small pot with a recirculating pump, in an area where they could poke at it and splash to their hearts' content.

    Some kind of sandy surface, where they could wear down their nails a bit.

    A climbing wall. My ducks like to scale the plastic poultry fence to demonstrate their physical prowess. Something not too tall, slightly angled, that they could then proudly jump off of to impress their flockmates. Ta daaa!

    Have you seen the living walls people have? They are vertical indoor gardens. Wow! What a nice feature for ducks, too. Even half a wall, with the soil covered by screening (not the wire stuff, but I think there is a soft material - fiberglass? gosh, I have some in the garage but tossed the label) to keep the ducks from digging the soil out of the containers. The mesh could have small openings where the plants can grow through. Nylon mesh might work.

    Combining the water feature and plants idea - watercress would be really neat for their abode.

    Thanks for inviting us to dream a bit!
  5. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I have tried to think of a way to give them access to swimming water all day, but indoors is just not possible with our current house. We'll plan for a concrete floor with a built in pond in a sunroom when we move, but for now they have to stick to swimming in the tub daily. They get a nice long bath, always no less than an hour, sometimes longer, until they quack to be drained.

    I do wonder about interesting farm supplies... I should order a TSC catalog or something and just go through it. I know nothing of farming or keeping animals as livestock, so that stuff is completely foreign to me. I like the mats and want to incorporate them into the design!
  6. Happyflower

    Happyflower Songster

    Jun 3, 2009
    What would I add?

    A very good looking farm hand to help clean out the place! [​IMG]
  7. chickboss

    chickboss Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    [​IMG] OH, I'd hire 10!! LOL.

    For me the ultimate duck house would be 10 acres fully inclosed in a 12ft tall electrical fence with lasers attached that detected diving hawks and sent a signal to a water hose that could be calibrated instantly to blast them mid dive. LOL. Oh, and self training dogs. Ohhh, maybe I would have to get some more "hired help" to train them!! Have fun building, you have lucky ducks!! [​IMG]

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