Duck Pen Ideas for Urban Homesteads
Every urban homesteader with chickens and ducks should have an out space for their flock to free range. The following duck pen ideas will work for both chickens and ducks. The number one goal of a duck enclosure is to protect ducks from predators.
Simple Duck Pen Ideas
A few simple duck pen ideas that are affordable for anyone include reusing materials. Create an enclosure with a few sheets of plywood, a roll of chicken wire, or even lay a few lawn chairs on their side to create a space.
These simple options work for protecting a new flock outside on the grass if you have not built a proper chicken and duck run on your property. A duck pen will keep your birds in your backyard and keep them safe.
Duck Run Enclosure
A proper duck-run enclosure pen provides serious protection from predators for your animals. Ducks need to be protected during the day from birds of prey. Avian predators swoop down into the yard to snatch a bird for a meal. At night a whole host of animals that wouldn’t mind a duck dinner will snoop around.
The duck pen should be hardened from raccoons, opossums, skunks, and coyotes. These animals test the integrity of the run generally at night. It is wise to keep the pen closed during the day to reduce the chance of a neighborhood dog coming to check out your birds.
Rats and other smaller predators burrow under fencing to attack ducks. The best way to protect the duck pen from intruders that burrow is to add an apron of at least 12 inches of hardware cloth. This goes around the perimeter of the duck pen.
Electric Fencing Pen
Most rural duck and chicken enthusiasts will use electric fencing to protect their birds while on pasture. This is an excellent option if you have a large area where the animals will graze. Then move them around to fresh ground every few days. For urban homesteads, electric fencing may prove more complicated than it is worth.
First, check your local laws and regulations, you could get in trouble installing electric fencing and someone comes into your property and gets shocked by the fence. Secondly, the biggest advantage of electric fencing is for people that plan to move the run around to new grass every few days. If you have less than an acre this really becomes less likely.
Dog Run Converted to Duck Pen
Convert an old dog run into a duck pen. A dog run made from cyclone fencing is a great place to start for a new duck pen. Add a roll of hardware cloth along the cyclone fence to prevent smaller predators from going into the run or reaching their hands inside to grab a bird. A couple of larger poles and additional hardware cloth gets you a complete enclosure including a hardened roof without much investment.
Our duck pen uses one side of an old dog run for one of the walls. We built a wooden fence wall for the other long wall in the run and added a door. We placed our duck coop inside the converted dog run enclosure. This provides the flock an extra layer of security at night as they are behind two doors.
There are tons of duck predators in urban environments so if you need a temporary solution first that is better than no security. Plastic temporary fencing is an acceptable option if your backyard is already completely fenced. A standard 6 foot fence around an urban home is good protection from roaming dogs and other animals during the day. It is not advised to use plastic fencing or chicken wire for a duck pen for ducks that are home alone. Only use this solution if you are home during the day.
Wood Fence Duck Run
A wooden fence duck run is an excellent duck pen solution. We built a cedar fence wall for one of the walls of our duck pen. We used the posts from the fence to create a door to allow us to go in and out easily and secure the space at night. Depending on available resources using reclaimed lumber is a great option for a pen. There is nothing wrong with using cheaper materials for a duck run, it does not need to be new wood, just don’t try and use something that was rotting or already weakened.
Duck Pens Come in Many Ways
At the end of the day, build a duck run and pen that is secure from predators. Use hardware cloth to prevent animals from getting in through any openings or burrowing underneath. Let your ducks roam around while staying safe from predation by building an outdoor pen for your flock.