Designing duck house plans and building a duck house are important activities prior to duck rearing. Certain conditions must be fulfilled in the plan before constructing the house; provision for shelter, adequate space, and other factors to make the duck comfortable in their new home. These would be duly discussed in this guide.
The size of the duck house can be as simple or as elaborate as the production function dictates. Irrespective of the nature of the house, either converted or newly constructed, the duck house must be is predator-proof. Domestic ducks are extremely vulnerable to predators, especially at night; they move very slowly on the ground with little or no flight action. They need a safe place to sleep, lay their eggs, and maybe even raise ducklings.
Ducks are unique in terms of breeding; they do not make us of roosting bars and nesting boxes to incubate their eggs. They prefer a self-made nest strategically made in a corner of the house. In a semi-intensive type of duck house, one can modify a playhouse or a gardening or potting shed for duck housing as they are well spaced and allow the ducks to make their nest at convenient places around the premises. The security of this structure is very important; the perimeter fencing of fairly high height and doors to facilitate movement in and out of the structure make the structure modifiable as a duck house.
Design Plan, Orientation And Construction Of Duck House
One of the factors that much be considered when designing a duck house plan is the activity of the ducks; the activities of the ducks and the number of ducks to be raised in the house will help determine the dimension of the house. Unlike chickens, Domestic ducks do not fly; they ate known to wander around the ground. For this reason, the height of the house is considerably low compared to other dimensions. The recommended stock density of duck is 5 ducks per square meter; that is, you can only keep 5 ducks in a 1sqm pen.
The Landscape and orientation of the duck house add more functionality to the house plan as they enhance the welfare of the ducks and improve productivity. With good landscaping and orientation plans, the ducks can be protected against adverse environmental conditions and enjoy benefits such as natural wind, sunblocks, and places to hide and nap during the day.
Having natural vegetation or establishing vegetation in a duck house protect the ducks from predators and unfavorable weather conditions. The duck can also derive balanced nutrition by consuming natural foods such as greens and insect picked from the soil during their wandering around the house
Some recommended trees and shrubs to be planted in a duck house are rose bushes butterfly bushes, neem tree, crepe myrtle, hawthorn, juniper, and other small evergreen shrubs. You could also plant some blueberry or other berry bushes. These plants provide shades, food, and an avenue for the ducks to exercise by climbing and leaping the branches of these plants.
Ducks love to nibble plants, especially flowering plants and grasses. It is therefore advisable to establish a small pasture, protected by wire fencing to prevent damage by the ducks, around the farm. The ducks nibble the shoot of the grasses as they grow around the fence. Recommended plants to grow in the pasture are; rye, wheatgrass or millet, kale, collards, spinach, chard, dandelions, etc. The pasture crop can also be harvested or unguarded by removing the wire fencing to allow the ducks to have full access to the pasture when fully grown.
Factors To Consider For Duck House Plan And Design
To construct a standard duck house that enhances the comfortability and easy adaptability of the ducks, these factors must be fulfilled in the house plan.
#1. Floor Construction
Duck houses should be constructed with a wooden or cement floor; this prevents predators from hiding in holes and crevices to access the ducks. It is advisable to use litters as beddings; litter material makes cleaning of the house easier and also prevents the floor from getting wet if you leave water in the house overnight for your ducks.
#2. Provision Of Adequate Ventilation
The easy inflow and outflow of air in the duck house create a serene atmosphere and eliminate heat stress; it eliminates odor and makes the house dry. Moisture in duck house can lead to moldy and mildewed bedding or even frostbitten legs and feet in winter. Therefore, the house should be at least one meter (1m) tall, with vents constructed along the top near the roof to allow for movement of air. Ducks emit lots of moisture when they breathe, and if that moisture cannot escape, it can
In addition to the vent created, extra windows that can be opened or closed should be created to improve ventilation; the window can be placed at about 50cm above the ground to prevent predators from accessing the house during the cooler part of the day. The vents and windows need to be covered with cloth or any shielding material to prevent predators from gaining access.
#3. Use Of Bedding
Beddings serve as an interface between the ducks and the floor; it serves multiple purposes such as absorbing moisture, regulation of temperature, insulation during colder months, etc. there are lots of beddings that can be used in duck house; wood shavings, pine shavings, straw all work fine for bedding.
Ducks prefer straw; it has better properties as it’s very sleek and able to absorb moisture without becoming sodden or caked as seen in wood shavings. Bedding management also plays a long way in enhancing its effectiveness. The bedding should be changed weekly to avoid ammonia build-up or growth of fungi that can cause harm to the health of the ducks over time.
#4. Size Of The Duck House
The size of the duck house is dependent on the number of ducks to be reared in the house. The recommended stocking density of ducks is 5 ducks per square meter. Ducks need enough space to move around, lay their eggs, and exercise. The height of the house should be 1.5 meters as ducks do not fly as chickens. The density of the bedding should be about 2-3cm for better insulation, moisture absorption, and regulation of temperature.
#5. Movement In And Out Of The House
There should be free movement in and out of the house, care must be taken to ensure that the doors do not cause injury to the ducks and they should not be slacking or dragging. The door should be constructed such that it can conveniently allow two ducks to enter and exit at once. The door should be waterproof without bearing any opening from both sides; all holes, cervices, and patches should be blocked adequately. In cases where the door is not constructed at the ground level of the pen, a ramp or railing is needed to facilitate the movement of the ducks.
#6. Provision Of Nesting Boxes
Although, Ducks rarely use nesting boxes to lay their eggs. If you do decide to keep nesting boxes in the house to collect the eggs, place it at the floor level. The dimension of the nesting box should be at least 14 square inches and filled with clean straw to make the duck comfortable during laying and incubation. Keep an eye on these boxes to see if the ducks are making use of it; if you observe they are not making use of it, it is best you withdraw it and allow the duck to lay in their natural nest.