When it comes to choosing housing for ducks the same basic principles to choosing a chicken house apply. However, there are a few differences between chickens and ducks that mean you’ll need to buy a house specifically designed for ducks.
You’ll get what you pay for
First things first, buy a quality house. We all like a bargain but when you realise you’re replacing your cheap house every few years you’ll wish you’d spent a little bit more money.
Generally speaking you can expect to pay around £150 – £300 for a high quality duck house. Obviously you might find yourself shopping during sale periods and get a cheaper house, but be prepared to increase your budget for a better house.
Appearance isn’t everything
Your ducks won’t care what their house looks like so you can have a duck house that is as simple or as elaborate as you like. As a bare minimum the house needs to provide your ducks with adequate shelter from the elements and as much protection from predators as possible.
When choosing a duck house, you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the house easily moveable?
- Does it provide good ventilation?
- It is quick to clean and simple to maintain?
- Does it provide a high standard of welfare? Consider space per duck, nest boxes, doorways etc.
- Is it made of top quality materials?
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions then you should have a house that is practical, safe, and that will have a long working life.
The exits are here, here, and here
Ducks have a tendency to rush out of the house as a group in the mornings and they aren’t very good at forming an orderly queue! This means that you’ll need to choose a house with a wide enough door to prevent injuries when entering or exiting the house.
You’ll also need to provide your ducks with a ramp if the house isn’t at floor level. They can’t negotiate steps or ladders like chickens can so giving them a ramp into their house ensures they can get in and out safely.
Runs and enclosures
If you don’t have the space, or you don’t want to let your ducks have access to your whole garden, you’ll also have to think about the run or enclosure they’ll be in.
How big the run is depends entirely on how much space you have but the bigger the better. They’ll need room to waddle around, forage for food, stretch their wings, and of course, room for their pond.
You could choose a single unit run and house, like this bantam duck ark designed especially for small breeds, or you could opt for a large enclosure that contains their house. As long as the house is safe, and as predator proof as possible, your ducks will be happy.
If you’re struggling to find a duck house that suits your needs you could also look into bespoke options.