Coop for runner ducks

Xerocles

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First, I'm a newby at EVERYTHING. Moved into a small country place 11 months ago. Started with chickens (6 EEs) in March. Wonderful experience, no problems. Rabbits came onboard about a month ago. Good progress, expecting 1st litter in a week. In the planning and infrastructure phase of goats in the spring. Also beginning work on a new garden plot, using Ruth Stout deep litter method. So, I was told that for this system, I would need Runner Ducks to control slugs, bugs, and mice. Now, last week if someone had mentioned Runner Ducks to me, I would have envisioned a fowl trained to go get coffee and donuts. So I am at ground zero. Well, I got that I need to enclose the plot (600 sq ft) with low fencing to contain them (maybe augmented with electric for predator protection). And that I need a nighttime coop to protect them.
Here's where the questions start.
How big?
Im thinking 2 or 3 ducks will be enough? No desire to "raise" them, so females only. Since runners are supposed to be good layers, and ducks "usually??" lay early mornings, I want a coop large enough to not only protect them at night, but spacious enough for them to be in until eggs have been laid (which would generally be what time?) So. What size coop do I need?
Now.... I realize there are dozens of other things I need to address (and I have no problem asking more questions) I have been on BYH long enough to know you guys (as wonderful as you are) will inundate me with more (litterally) information than I can process. So, inasmuch as possible, can we limit advice to the coop issue? :)
 

WildBird

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Welcome to animal life!

Just a thought, in case you don't get enough replies here you could try posting a thread on BYC (BackYardChickens) because they are more into the coops and poultry stuff.

Good luck!
 

Beekissed

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First, I'm a newby at EVERYTHING. Moved into a small country place 11 months ago. Started with chickens (6 EEs) in March. Wonderful experience, no problems. Rabbits came onboard about a month ago. Good progress, expecting 1st litter in a week. In the planning and infrastructure phase of goats in the spring. Also beginning work on a new garden plot, using Ruth Stout deep litter method. So, I was told that for this system, I would need Runner Ducks to control slugs, bugs, and mice. Now, last week if someone had mentioned Runner Ducks to me, I would have envisioned a fowl trained to go get coffee and donuts. So I am at ground zero. Well, I got that I need to enclose the plot (600 sq ft) with low fencing to contain them (maybe augmented with electric for predator protection). And that I need a nighttime coop to protect them.
Here's where the questions start.
How big?
Im thinking 2 or 3 ducks will be enough? No desire to "raise" them, so females only. Since runners are supposed to be good layers, and ducks "usually??" lay early mornings, I want a coop large enough to not only protect them at night, but spacious enough for them to be in until eggs have been laid (which would generally be what time?) So. What size coop do I need?
Now.... I realize there are dozens of other things I need to address (and I have no problem asking more questions) I have been on BYH long enough to know you guys (as wonderful as you are) will inundate me with more (litterally) information than I can process. So, inasmuch as possible, can we limit advice to the coop issue? :)
A few runner ducks don't need much shelter and if you have predator protection around the garden, you don't really need to lock them into a coop as well. If they stay in the garden, they will lay in the garden....they don't necessarily lay in the morning, no more than chickens do, so it wouldn't be feasible to keep them locked up until they lay.

If you want double insurance against preds, then a basic wooden box style coop is your best bet but make sure it has plenty of ventilation. This guy has made a really cute one....you could break down some pallets and make a similar one for very little money if you are handy. You could get by with one 2/3 the size of his for only 3 ducks and still have plenty of room for them to move around in there.


The duck house I made for my IR ducks in the garden has an open bottom as I don't have to worry about preds. That way, I can move it to fresh bedding just by sliding it along with a rope....as I use the hay mulch, that's as easy as it gets to clean out the duck house. I leave my duck house open, so they don't really poop in there....they are quite active in the garden at night. Mostly they like to poop in their water...I've yet to actually SEE one of them poop on the land just yet and I watch them a lot. LOVE the IR ducks.
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Ok...first thing though...ducks do not only eat slugs and ticks,..they eat your garden...yep..all or most of it! So, plan on spending a ton on fencing! Really any ducks will do. I don’t have runners, khaki campbells are good layers but all ducks take several months. Back to the coop. It depends how many ducks. Have good flooring. Because the poop will get through and wreck plywood in a year. You need excellent ventilation..their poop is toxic. Keep them in until later in the morning...like 8ish. They don’t need nesting boxes, ducks lay on the ground. So, you could use an old shed. Stay away from pre-fab..they are junk and too much money. The same rules apply with chickens really...or at least I use them..square footage per bird. We use chain link fence around our pen and have never had a predator issue..but maybe in your area? Use straw for bedding for at least the first layer, it holds the moisture and will keep the floors safer. Then you could top layer with some hay, then straw. Some will tell you hay is bad, I’ve never had a problem. Ducks like privacy where they lay..we built sleeping boxes on the floor for them to lay in. They love the little enclosures. I also have my rabbits above them in my barn...there are poop trays under the rabbits. For water in the winter I use under the bed boxes With a wooden tray over part of it. Ducks need to dunk their heads..but they don’t need to swim and wreck the coop. I can tell you much much more when you’re ready...I have 6 grow out pens, two sick pens and a big outdoor pen...plus..I can help you with goats when you’re ready! Boy,you are really diving right in! Good for you!!
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B&B Happy goats

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First, I'm a newby at EVERYTHING. Moved into a small country place 11 months ago. Started with chickens (6 EEs) in March. Wonderful experience, no problems. Rabbits came onboard about a month ago. Good progress, expecting 1st litter in a week. In the planning and infrastructure phase of goats in the spring. Also beginning work on a new garden plot, using Ruth Stout deep litter method. So, I was told that for this system, I would need Runner Ducks to control slugs, bugs, and mice. Now, last week if someone had mentioned Runner Ducks to me, I would have envisioned a fowl trained to go get coffee and donuts. So I am at ground zero. Well, I got that I need to enclose the plot (600 sq ft) with low fencing to contain them (maybe augmented with electric for predator protection). And that I need a nighttime coop to protect them.
Here's where the questions start.
How big?
Im thinking 2 or 3 ducks will be enough? No desire to "raise" them, so females only. Since runners are supposed to be good layers, and ducks "usually??" lay early mornings, I want a coop large enough to not only protect them at night, but spacious enough for them to be in until eggs have been laid (which would generally be what time?) So. What size coop do I need?
Now.... I realize there are dozens of other things I need to address (and I have no problem asking more questions) I have been on BYH long enough to know you guys (as wonderful as you are) will inundate me with more (litterally) information than I can process. So, inasmuch as possible, can we limit advice to the coop issue? :)
Short and simple .... we use with our KC ducks (3) ...bought a small red barn looking heavy plastic dog house, put hay in it for laying eggs....we take the eggs out when we do our chores. Our KC ducks eat ticks, slugs, flying bugs and snails along with cracked corn we throw out for the chickens and eat with the goats.
Found it on Amazon for under $40 , top comes off, strong enough for the goats to stand on.
 

Baymule

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When you get your ducklings, make your own feeder. I used 1 gallon plastic milk jugs. I cut 2 holes on opposite sides just big enough for little ducky heads to go through, down low enough for them to reach, but high enough to hold feed in the bottom. Same thing for water. It keeps the mess down if they can't get in the water and splash it everywhere. You can get a small plastic child's pool for their playing water, outside. That will be instant poop water for putting on the garden. Cheers!
 

Beekissed

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Ok...first thing though...ducks do not only eat slugs and ticks,..they eat your garden...yep..all or most of it!
Tthey don't eat your garden if you take precautions when seedlings are little and keep them fenced off those until they are big enough to withstand trampling. Keep tender greens fenced off with a low fence at all times, but all other garden items do very well once past the seedling phase.

It does matter what kind of duck.....heavy breeds, just like any other heavier animal, do more damage with their wt as they trample vegetation. That's why lighter wt breeds are more recommended for garden use. IRs are used a lot for gardens due to being taller and being able to reach higher on the plants for bugs.

Simple push in stakes and light wt. deer netting is good enough for fencing them out of certain areas until they are big enough to withstand being stepped on occasionally. Keep water pans away from any vegetation....they like to nibble as they swim.

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Duckfarmerpa1

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Short and simple .... we use with our KC ducks (3) ...bought a small red barn looking heavy plastic dog house, put hay in it for laying eggs....we take the eggs out when we do our chores. Our KC ducks eat ticks, slugs, flying bugs and snails along with cracked corn we throw out for the chickens and eat with the goats.
Found it on Amazon for under $40 , top comes off, strong enough for the goats to stand on.
You let your goats eat cracked corn and chicken feed? I’m only asking because I’ve been blasted on thegoatspot for let my goats near the duck feed..and this is how the trowith the goat issue started...they are very strict on there and get me very worked up...sorry to change subjects...back to ducks! :)
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Tthey don't eat your garden if you take precautions when seedlings are little and keep them fenced off those until they are big enough to withstand trampling. Keep tender greens fenced off with a low fence at all times, but all other garden items do very well once past the seedling phase.

It does matter what kind of duck.....heavy breeds, just like any other heavier animal, do more damage with their wt as they trample vegetation. That's why lighter wt breeds are more recommended for garden use. IRs are used a lot for gardens due to being taller and being able to reach higher on the plants for bugs.

Simple push in stakes and light wt. deer netting is good enough for fencing them out of certain areas until they are big enough to withstand being stepped on occasionally. Keep water pans away from any vegetation....they like to nibble as they swim.

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Good tips for me next year :)
 

B&B Happy goats

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You let your goats eat cracked corn and chicken feed? I’m only asking because I’ve been blasted on thegoatspot for let my goats near the duck feed..and this is how the trowith the goat issue started...they are very strict on there and get me very worked up...sorry to change subjects...back to ducks! :)
Lol, no, I have a chicken yard for the chickens that is separate, ther are three KC ducks and three little fluffy butt hens in the goat area to. eat bugs...when I feed the goats they will eat out of the goats bowls with them after they eat the small handful of cracked corn I toss out for them....
I don't like that site you mentioned at all......the real information I seek is right here on BYH from people who have been keeping animals and farms for years....No one here is being bossy or trying to sell you anything...they give their advice freely and I have made some wonderful friendships and have been lucky enough to meet with with some members :highfive:
 
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