We ordered some ducks to be delivered April 1st (no, not an April fool’s joke), and we’re having a blast getting their new coop ready for them! (Update: Maybe it was an April fool’s joke as the hatchery called and said they are shipping the 19th instead. Sigh.)
We have an overhang on the side of the barn and decided to use that as their new home. We’re fencing in the overhang area, installing a duck house in the back half, a chicken coop in the front half, and building a big 20×40 run for them to play in.
We started by putting up a new gutter. Fortunately, it started drizzling by the end of the install, so we got to see if it worked or not. We installed a downspout, but we have tons of rain barrels, so we might divert the downspout into some rain barrels eventually.
We then added the back wall. We used the old metal roofing from the barn and topped it with hardware cloth. I saw a little coyote run through the yard a day or two later, and I’m confident he can’t get in through the back wall! The metal panel is buried in the ground and screwed to the wood about a thousand times. With all the staples used in the hardware cloth, he’d need an industrial-sized staple remover to even get it open an inch.
After more framing, we added chicken wire to the front. Since it will be surrounded with a run covered in hardware cloth, we aren’t concerned with the wall being predator-proof, just solid enough to keep the ducks in their coop area when needed.
On behalf of Farm Hero, I’d like to say chicken wire sucks. You should wear long sleeves.
We purchased a couple dog houses, painted the floors with truck-bed liner, and built draw-bridge doors that work as ramps. Knowing ducks, they’ll probably never use these things, but I’m going to make a serious attempt to get them to go in at night for their own safety. The top of this flips right open for easy cleaning.
The final part was building doors. Done!
I’d like to say the coop is complete, but now we’re on hold awaiting an excavator to come out and dig a swale in front of the run. The other side of the coop is for the chickens, and the slope of the land has turned that side into a muddy mess. Once the swale is complete, we’ll finish the chicken side of the coop and build the run.
Since the ducks are coming April 1st, we need to move this along! I’m going to end up with ducks living in my bathtub!! Well, that’s probably going to happen anyway. LOL.