Everything About How to Build a Duck Coop
Do you want to know how to build a duck coop that is perfect for your situation? Rest assured the basics are straightforward. There are many different ways to design the perfect duck coop. Have a small flock? Or planning on a large number of birds? Want to make the duck coop out of reclaimed materials and save money? From the simplest DIY chicken and duck coops to deluxe plans with all the bells and whistles. Here is what you need to know about building the perfect duck coop.
DIY Plans Building a Duck Coop
Most chicken and duck owners prefer to build their own coop. However, if this is your first flock or you are looking for a newly upgraded coop coming up with your own design is complicated. These DIY Duck Coop plans guarantee the final result is what your birds need. Using popular chicken coop plans is a good way to get started with your general design. Remember chickens like to roost and ducks do not. Make your duck coop a single level and avoid high nest boxes. Use the chicken plans to get the ball rolling with your duck coop and then make it your own.
Materials for Building Duck Coop
- 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth
- 2 1/2 inch exterior screws. Additional sizes depending on the build can be useful
- Truss Head Philips Screws for securing hardware cloth
- Hinges for doors, windows, roof
- Corrugated roofing or traditional roofing material
- Exterior Paint
Tools to Build a Chicken and Duck Coop
When building a coop by yourself it is helpful to also have an air compressor and nail gun. However, this is not essential. I would use one for tacking pieces together before drilling holes and driving screws. The following are the bare minimum tools you will need to cut the wood, cut the hardware cloth and assemble everything together.
- Circular Saw
- Straight Cut Aviation Snips
- Measuring Tape
Deluxe Duck Coop Plans
Ducks don’t need a lot of bells and whistles for a coop. Consider these cheap duck coop ideas if you do not have what it takes to build one from scratch. However, if you are taking the time to build a chicken or duck coop for your urban homestead make it a quality one. You want to add features that make caring for the flock easier. After the coop is built, routine maintenance is what you will be doing. This includes retrieving the eggs each day. Opening the coop in the morning to let the birds out. Closing the coop in the evening to properly secure it to keep the birds safe. And most importantly do regularly scheduled cleanouts of the coop to remove poop and add a layer of fresh straw.
Duck Coop Features to Not Forget
Ducks are simple creatures. They do not require a lot of amenities in order to live happy lives. Good feed. Deep water to drink. Some grass to run around on. And most importantly a safe and secure coop. Making a safe and secure backyard duck coop is not complicated. Build a duck coop that is easy to clean. Ensure adequate ventilation is available. Create a large enough space so they are comfortable. Create a door that opens and closes with a lock to keep predators out.
Cleaning a Duck Coop
When considering how to build a duck coop many people forget to think about the ongoing maintenance. This is the most important feature of a well-made home for livestock. A dirty home invites pests and is a breeding ground for germs and disease. Therefore, it is critical to think about how you will clean the coop once it is finished. My preferred cleaning method is having a coop with a roof that lifts open or is large enough that you can walk into the space.
Scooping out soiled straw is essential. So is washing the whole thing down a few times of the year. I try to spray down the walls and floor of the coop a few times per year. Usually, we clean the coop prior to winter. Again, right before the spring. And another time during the middle of the summer. Winter is a difficult time to clean the coop, but if it gets really dirty find a nice sunny day to get the job done as needed.
Ventilation for Duck
Ducks are wet creatures. Therefore, they generate a lot of moisture that evaporates off their bodies when sitting in the coop. Every duck coop needs to have additional ventilation. Create a few holes and cover them up with hardware cloth so that the coop has good airflow.
A coop must have between 4 and 6 square feet of space per duck. If you have three ducks the minimum size for the coop should be 18 square feet. It is helpful to go a little bit larger on the minimum for a healthy flock. A little extra space will not cost that much more in materials. However, will guarantee the ducks have plenty of room to walk around. Depending on the breed of duck you may want to stick closer to the 6 feet as well. As an example, an adult Pekin duck is significantly larger than a runner duck breed.
Duck Coop Door
The door to the duck house needs to have a lock. This can be a simple bar through a couple of metal hoops or a sophisticated door lock. I prefer a simple latch mechanism. Our poultry house is inside the chicken run so it has an added layer of security already. The door should be at least 18 inches tall so that it is easy for a mature animal to go in and out of easy. Domestic ducks get big so account for that when creating the width of the door. The absolute minimum to create is a 14″ x 14″ door, but a little bigger is better. Especially if the door is leading to a ramp. A wide door and a wide ramp keep the animals from falling off as they rush the door to get out in the morning.
Predator Proofing DIY Duck Coop
Predator-proofing a chicken and duck coop comes in a few ways. First solid wood frame and side panels. Rats can get inside very small holes and a raccoon will stick its arms inside any hole it can to try and get a hold of a duck. Even if it is not able to get the animal out of the house it can be hurt severely. The floor is important. Animals will try and burrow underneath the coop and attack from the underside. I prefer to use a 1/4″ hole hardware cloth to cover every opening. Remember you are the protector and not present at night. You must plan ahead to predator-proof your chicken and duck run and house.
These chicken coop ideas will all get you started down the path of having an awesome place for your flock to live.