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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > Ducks 101 > HOUSING YOUR Flock


Provide your ducks with these essentials to make them happy and healthy at home.

Insulated within their waterproof plumage and down, domestic ducks have adapted to a range of climates around the world. You’ll find them weathering Midwestern snows and southwestern heat waves in the United States, heavy downpours in the British Isles and stifling humidity in Central American rain forests. While chickens remain tucked in their cozy coops on a snowy winter day, ducks dabble blithely about their ice-rimmed pond. Although mature ducks typically don’t require the sort of snug accommodations many folks fashion for their chickens, especially in areas with fairly mild winters, many small flock raisers do provide indoor housing or a covered shelter — and not just because they feel like spoiling their feathered friends.

Giving ducks a refuge from weather extremes improves egg and meat production; after all, it takes energy for ducks to keep warm or cool off, energy they could use laying eggs and putting on pounds. Not only that, but when exposed to frigid weather, ducks — especially the cold-sensitive Muscovy — risk frostbite to their feet.

Along with providing a house or shelter for their ducks, many raisers keep their birds partially or completely confined in outdoor duck yards, pens or fenced pastures. An enclosure of some type comes in handy for preventing these ever-foraging fowl from rooting up your spring veggie starts, sleeping — and messing — on your deck, or wandering out onto the road and to your neighbor’s garden.

Secure housing and pens serve an even more important purpose: protection from the host of varmints that will dine on duck eggs, ducklings or adult ducks if given an easy opportunity to do so. Most domestic ducks, with the possible exception of some fierce, flying Muscovies, truly are “sitting ducks.” As a rule, ducks tend to be noisy, colorful, unaggressive, slow on land and incapable of swift flight (if they can fly at all) — all traits that make them attractive to wild and domestic predators.

Provide several bowls of food and water so that everyone has access.
Allowing children to complete duck chores is a great way to teach them a sense of responsibility.
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Ducks 101, The Essential Guide to Raising Waterfowl, Everything you need to Know, And More......