Give Backyard Ducks a Home

Build a house for ducks that will keep them happy and healthy with these tips.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of Lisa Steele.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Lisa Steele.

Photo By: Photo by Lisa Steele

Photo By: Photo by Lisa Steele

Photo By: Photo by Lisa Steele

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo by Lisa Steele

Photo By: Photo by Lisa Steele

Photo By: Image courtesy of Lisa Steele.

Photo By: Photo by Lisa Steele

Photo By: Image courtesy of Lisa Steele.

Give Your Ducks a Stylish Home

Just like backyard chickens, ducks need a place to nest that's warm and safe from predators. Click through the gallery to learn the basics of what every duck owner needs to protect their flock.

Choose Your Breed

There are dozens of duck species that make perfect backyard birds and pets. Remember that depending on your breed, the size of your duck home may need to be adjusted—Pekin ducks (yellow), for example, will grow to twice the size of a full-grown Mallard (brown). 

The Perks of Owning Ducks

Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs and are known for their rich flavor. A good home will ensure good egg production.

Predator Protection

It's important to enclose your duck house with some type of fencing or wiring to keep predators out. When building your barrier, bury the fencing at least six inches into the ground to prevent digging animals from getting into the pen.

Upcycled Duck Homes

Since ducks don't need roosting bars, nesting boxes or other features typically included in a chicken coop, try converting an old doghouse, playhouse or small potting shed into a house for them.

Duck Doors

Your duck entrance should include a door with a secure lock. This is especially important if you're in an area that is frequented by raccoons—they're experts at opening doors.

What's With the Rosemary?

Hanging rosemary can help deter flies from your duck's home.Try planting rosemary or other aromatic herbs in mass near your duck home for best results.

Room for All

The door of your home should be large enough for multiple ducks to enter and exit at the same time; ducks often push and shove their companions and can get stuck if the door is too small.

Add Ventilation

Your duck house should be at least 3 feet tall with vents along the top to allow for air flow and prevent mold and mildew from building up inside the bedding. Add hardware cloth to any vents or windows so predators can't get in.

Nesting Ducks

Nesting boxes should only be large enough for one female duck. Line them with soft material such as straw, hay or pine shavings. If the female duck isn’t comfortable, she may look elsewhere for a place to nest.

However...

Ducks don't need nesting boxes, so don't be surprised if you find your ducks curled up in the floor instead!

Help Your Ducks Stay Cool

A water source is a critical element in a duck pen. Ducks will use a small pool to stay clean and cool off during warm months.

Duck Pond

You can also create a more natural environment for your ducks by either creating or giving them access to a pond.