If you have chicken on your farm, it would be a great idea to add ducks. Just like chickens, ducks are easy to rear and feed. You can never go wrong with these feathered friends. Ducks are good for eggs, meat, companion and also beauty. The significant factors that you should consider when building a duck coop include; availability of water facility, safety from predators, feeds and health management. Other factors to keep in mind include:
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Location of the Duck Coop
Make sure that the duck coop is at a closer distance to where you live since it will help keep the predators away. You can easily check on them and will also ensures fast response in case of any attack from raccoons. It’s also important to note where the wind is blowing to so that you can build your duck house where there is no much wind. If you need manure, build your duck house near your compost pile as it will be easy to gather it.
Create a Mini-Pond
Ducks love swimming or do I say cleanliness. Not unless you want your ducks to be unhappy then you can deny them the privilege of having this small pond. While setting up this pond consider the area, do not set up the pond close to their feeds because they will mess it up with water; ducks are extremely messy.
You can use old feeding troughs as the little pond. Using the trough makes it easier for you when you want to shift the pond or drain the water when the place becomes too muddy.
Note that it is also necessary to change the water regularly to avoid the muddy look on the feathers of your ducks. I don’t know if there are any health effects of not setting up a pond for your ducks apart from cleanliness.
However having no pond will make your ducks bath with soil which is not pleasant.
Create Enough Space
Create enough space for your ducks because they need a wider space compared to chicken. For ducks you need 4 square foot per duck while as for a chicken coop you will need 3 feet square for every bird.
Make sure that their entrances and exits are also big enough for at least two ducks to enter at the same time. This is because they can be pushy and you don’t want to find them stuck on the door of their coop.
A duck coop with adequate space will also make it easier for you to clean the duck house. Make sure it is big enough for you to get in. You can also have a mini store inside it for the storage of feeds.
Let you ducks have sufficient air to breath. You don’t want to go wrong with this step. If you have had chicken, you know the importance of good ventilation in a coop. If you don’t build your duck house with enough ventilation they will have health issues.
Ducks put off moisture when they breathe which is reason why you need to give them plenty of ventilation. This moist breath can cause molds in their bedding which could cause frostbite on their legs during the cold seasons
Expand the Entrances and the Exits
As we discussed earlier on, ducks are slightly larger than chicken. You don’t want your ducks stuck on the door way when getting in or out of their coop. This sounds ugly right? The doorway should be big enough so that 2 or more ducks can go in and out at the same time.
A broad door is very important for your ducks and for you too. You will also need to use it when getting in and out of the coop so put this into consideration.
Nests and Bedding
Ducks don’t need as much bedding as chicken. You will not have to create chicken nests since ducks don’t really care much about the nests.
They prefer making their own nests using any material they can find. However, if you wish to make them a nest, make sure it is on the ground and should be approximately 14 square inches. Whichever the case, you can just leave them to make what pleases them.
It is important to choose the right material for the bedding which can absorb moisture. Make sure you change the bedding regularly to avoid fungus and molds which can cause of respiratory infections.
Safety from Predators
When planning to build a duck coop, always keep in mind that predators might or will come after your birds. Build a coop that is secure enough to protect your ducks.
A raccoon should be your concern as far as predators are concerned. Raccoons are little clever and can open a coop.
For starters, make sure that you have a solid floor, which could either be wood or cement since it will help keep off the critters that might come up from underground.
Make sure that the windows have shutters to close during the night. This will keep of the predators from scaring the ducks.
Ducks legs are very delicate and can easily be pricked by nails or broken glasses. Avoid clutter around your duck house. Apart from the delicate feet, a duck is like a pig. They will eat anything they find on their way.
Keeping clutter away from the duck house ensures that they don’t ingest the wrong things. After building the coop, clean the surrounding environment and keep it clean always.
Now that you have ideas on how come up with duck coop do not forget to add multi latches on your duck house. On the windows of the duck house use a hardware cloth and also shutters.
Use shavings or straws for the bedding and don’t forget cleanliness is key. We discussed about draining the water from the small ponds, you can use the water for your plants in your kitchen garden. The water can be pretty good for your plants because the ducks poop in it.
With all that said, you need to get started. You can have your duck house as fancy as you want or as simple as you can. Good luck!