When it comes to a coop, chicken usually comes up. People who raise backyard chickens will have to a coop. When it comes to ducks, do they need a coop as well?
Do ducks need a coop? For farm ducks, they will need a coop. This is especially important for them at night. The coop helps protect them from predators, shield them from the weather such as snow and rain. Also, a coop is needed for the ducks to lay their eggs.
5 Reasons Why Ducks Need a Coop
You’re maybe wondering why ducks would need a coop. Ducks in the wild and farm ducks are different. In the wild, ducks are able to take care of themselves. They are able to seek shelter when there is a storm, find food on their own, and protect themselves from predators. Basically, they don’t need any intervention from humans to survive.
Farm ducks, on the other hand, are bred for meat or eggs and need support from humans. Without humans, they won’t be able to survive.
Below are 5 reasons why your ducks need a coop:
1. Protection From Bad Weather
A coop provides shelter from bad weather.
During the spring and summer, ducks are exposed to rain, heat from the sun, and thunderstorms. In the wild, ducks will naturally look for shelter when there is bad weather. By providing them a coop, they will keep dry from the elements.
When winter arrives, ducks are exposed to the cold and snow. In the wild, ducks will migrate south where it’s warmer. For farm ducks, they won’t be able to migrate.
By providing them a coop, they will be sheltered from the freezing temperature and snow during winter.
2. Protection from Predators
A coop will provide protection from predators. Ducks are at the bottom of the food chain, so they have a lot of predators.
Some predators include foxes, raccoons, skunks, badgers, hawks, and gulls.
During the day, most of these predators won’t come near the ducks.
However, during the night, these predators will come out and hunt. If they see ducks, they will try to catch them.
The evening is when you should gather the ducks and place them into the coop. Keeping them in there will prevent the predators from making your ducks an easy meal.
3. Place To Lay Eggs
Ducks will generally lay eggs on the ground. This can be in the backyard or somewhere near a pond.
However, it doesn’t provide any protection for the eggs, especially at night. Ducks are not able to defend themselves from large predators such as foxes and raccoons.
They’ll simply abandon their eggs if in great danger.
Therefore, having a coop will keep the eggs safe. You don’t need to provide a nesting box for ducks like you would a chicken.
Ducks simply will lay eggs on the floor of the coop. Usually, they will try to lay closer to the corner where they will feel safe.
A coop is a great place to keep the ducks all together during feeding. Ducks are known to scatter all over the place. If you have a large flock of ducks, it can be difficult to keep track of which duck has eaten and which didn’t.
During feeding time, placing all the ducks in the coop will make it easier to manage the food and make sure all the ducks get enough to eat.
5. Safe From Other Pets
If you have other pets such as cats and dogs, you’ll want to keep them away from the ducks. While dogs and cats are domesticated, they will still hunt ducks due to instinct.
When you let your other pets out in the yard, having a coop will keep the ducks safe from them.
How Much Space Do Ducks Need?
Ducks should have enough space for them to move around. These birds don’t like to be in a coop. They prefer to be outside where there is a lot of room for them to move around.
The coop where the ducks will be housed should be as followed:
- Adult ducks – 4 to 6 square feet of space per duck.
- Ducklings – 1 to 2 square feet of space per baby duck.
- Mature laying ducks – 18 inches by 18 inches per bird.
The pen or run should be as followed:
- Adult ducks – there should be at least 15 square feet of space per duck.
- Ducklings – 3 to 5 square feet of space per baby duck.
This will provide them enough room to run around and flap their wings.
Of course, the larger the coop is, the better it is for the ducks.
Can Ducks Stay outside During The Winter?
In the wild, ducks will usually migrate down south where it’s warmer and plentiful of foods available.
For domestic ducks, they won’t be able to migrate. Therefore, you should never leave your ducks outside in the winter.
During the day, you can let them out of the coop. Snow won’t bother them too much as they will forage for food in it. This keeps them active as well during the winter.
At night, you’ll want to gather them into the coop. Ducks won’t go into the coop themselves as chicken do. You’ll have to chase them in.
Leaving the ducks outside during the winter for too long could cause them to freeze to death. Also, they won’t be able to blend in with the snow. This will make them an easy target for predators such as foxes, raccoons, and skunks.
Do Ducks Return To Their Coop At Night?
Ducks prefer to gather together in the yard. They will not go inside their coop on their own.
During the evening, you can start to round them up and direct them to their coop. If you’re having a hard time, place food near their coop, and they’ll come running.
Can Ducks Go Without Water Overnight?
Ducks do not need water at night. They will usually sleep throughout the night.
However, like humans, they too do get thirsty once in a while. To prevent dehydration, always place a bowl of water in their coop, so it’ll be available to them at all times.
Do Ducks Need a Nesting Box?
No, ducks don’t need a nesting box. Unlike chickens, ducks prefer to make a nest on the ground. If you’ve placed them in a coop, they’ll find a corner of the coop to make a nest and lay their eggs.
While ducks don’t need a coop to survive, but having one will help keep them safe. Ducks are at the bottom of the food chain, and they have a lot of predators from above and on the ground. Also, the coop provides them protection from bad weather. A coop is not just for chickens, but ducks as well.