A couple years ago we decided to buy some ducks to raise and it has been one adventure after another with these guys. You can read more about Our Duck Journey here. This spring started out pretty emotional. We lost 2 ducks to getting hit by cars, 2 adult female ducks and 5 baby ducks to a wild animals. I am done burring ducks, too much sadness 😦
One of the females that was killed was sitting on a nest of eggs that were starting to hatch the night she was killed so we quickly put them under a heat lamp in our basement. R.I.P Mommy duck 😦
On Mother’s Day we became the new parents of 8 ducklings, 5 rouen and 3 white barn ducks (not sure how that happened).
Since then we have lost 2 babies to what we think was a hawk. We have to watch for predators day and night. We have coyotes, fox, skunks, raccoons, weasels, owls, hawks, bald eagles, stray cats, snapping turtles, snakes and who knows what else.
The first time we raised ducks we only had 4, 6 ducks is a lot more work. I was keeping them in a kiddie pool with a fence around it but I had to clean it 3 times a day. I would let them out during the day in a small fenced in area with supervision but was keeping them in my garage at night. They were quickly running out of room so I had to think fast about what I was planning on doing next with these ducks. I tried finding them new homes but didn’t have any takers. I had an old duck house but it was way too small for 6 ducks. My husband and I decided we would raise them until they were old enough to be released into the wild (about 4-6 months old). Their mom was half wild, half domestic and she breed with a wild drake. So these babies are more wild than domestic (I hope) but I know they wouldn’t have a chance if we let them go this young. There was also no way I was going to be able to keep up with all the poop i my garage so I decided to build them a house. I didn’t have any plans just an idea in my head of what they needed and how it would look.
I started by getting all of my scrap wood together in my garage (I keep everything). I had a budget of $0 going into this. So I needed to think of how I could be resourceful with what I already had.
- scrap wood
- a lot of tools
- extra shingles
- small hinges
Had to buy:
- 2 barn door hinges $2 each
- 1″ hardware cloth $15
Now it was just finding the time to build something. My idea was to start with a pallet and build on that.
The ducks weren’t much help but were cute to look at 🙂
So the first thing I did was take the 2 end boards off the the back of the pallet and place a 8″ 4×4’s in each corner. I wanted it to sit off the ground so it wouldn’t rott but not to high that something might crawl under it. Then I put the 2 boards I took off on the ends to keep critters out.
I had several 2×6’s so I set my table saw to 1 1/2″ and made my own 2×2’s. I wanted it to have a slanted roof so water would run off so I made the front higher than the back. I used my Kreg Jig to make each wall and then attached them one at a time. I found measuring and cutting as I went easier with this project since I didn’t have plans.
I framed what is called a brooder box on one side of the house. This is where they will sleep and lay eggs. There will be a lid on top where I can change out the straw easily and take out any eggs without having to crawl through the stinky duck house.
Next, I attached square hardware cloth to the floor of the cage and around the top. At first I used 1″ but then switched it out with 1/4″. I don’t want snakes and mice getting in either but I do want food and duck messes to be able to fall through the floor for an easier clean up. The top is for ventilation.
The next day my husband and I carried it out to the yard. I didn’t want to add anymore wood in the garage or I would never be able to move it. It was already pretty heavy. I coved the framing and roof with 3/4″ scrap plywood (donated by as neighbor) and pallet wood.
My husband nailed the shingles on the roof for me and I attached the hinges for the brooder box door. Now all we need was paint and ducks. Yay, almost done!!
Bring in on predators!I’m so excited for my egg box. I’m sure they will all fly away before they even start laying eggs but I still think it’s cool 🙂I play on putting a ducky door in the back that opens up into a fenced in duck run. Babies are checking out their new home.I put some washable mats in until their feet get a little bigger. I didn’t want them to hurt themselves on the hardware cloth.
They’re growing fast and loving their new home 🙂
I’m afraid I am getting too attached to these guys to ever let them fly away.
I ❤ Ducks!
Built with ❤
Needles & Nails