How to build an easy to clean duck coop with attached storage area that holds food and straw for bedding.
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We live on a 10,000 sq ft property which put us just over the requirements to have poultry in our area. I was interested because I’ve heard they’re good pest control- they eat ticks, stink bugs, Japanese beetles, mosquito larva, and more. And you get EGGS.
Of course, I like to research. And it took me about 2 years to convince my husband. My friend, Lisa, runs Fresh Eggs Daily so I consulted with her on chicken ownership and bought her book, Fresh Eggs Daily. She checked out some photos of my yard and encouraged me to get ducks instead.
While she let me know that pretty much anything works for a duck house, I decided to
build have my husband build a big duck coop. I wanted it to blend in nicely to our yard and I needed to make sure the ducks were safe from predators. We have a tall privacy fence, but there are gaps underneath for small predators to get in and I often see hawks in our area. My kids have seen dead animals before, but I was hoping they wouldn’t see *our* ducks dead after an animal attack.
The floor space inside the coop is 43″x45″… but there’s an additional space to the left for storing straw (bedding) and feed. I wanted the straw stored up high (in case of flooding or water getting on floor). I’m hoping that the straw will also provide extra insulation for the coop during the winter.
The floor space inside the coop is equivalent to 13 sq ft. This would be enough for 3-4 ducks by itself if you allowed 4 sq ft per duck, but with the extension of the predator proof run, that will add into our total square footage. I plan to leave the door to the coop open to the run all night with the food and water outside to reduce the mess.
The “Short and Sweet” Tutorial
There is a large space for ventilation along the back of this house- ventilation is a MUST. We used a heavy duty staple gun to place hardware cloth over the ventilation so we wouldn’t need to worry about predators getting in. Because our ventilation is in the back, the wind and rain shouldn’t get inside too badly.
I added a small motion sensor solar light in the front… this will hopefully scare away predators or at least alert me if there’s something hanging around the coop.
I nailed a piece of leftover lattice from our privacy planters (that post is coming soon!) to the front and placed some tomato plants in front for additional decor. I wanted something pretty to break up the plain wall.
The best part is that the storage area was big enough for straw, feed, and our worm composting bin. I’ve been wanting to relocate it and I think the straw and building will keep it warm enough through the winter- but not let it get too hot.
Now would I say that building the coop and run is necessarily the best option for all people? No. It gets pricey to buy the RIGHT wood for the project and the woodworking supplies, and it takes a certain amount of skill. And it took us a LONG time (I’m sure a pro could’ve put this together much faster). While I like how our run is subtle and fit behind the shed, I think a rectangular simple run would have gone together WAY easier. It’s all about how much time and effort you want to spend. As usual, having a blog motivates me to do way more work than I would want to otherwise… and also just because sometimes I want what I want and not what is available.
But I think this project is feasible if you already have a lot of the woodworking equipment and a bit of experience with building things.
The Free Detailed Duck House “Plan”
Interested in MORE details about how we built this coop? I put together an eBook titled “How to Build a Duck Coop: A Free eBook from DIYDanielle.com” with lots more photos and instructions. My subscribers will find it in the exclusive members-only Google Drive folder for DIYDanielle. Subscribe to get that link. There are so many photos of the process that this page would take forever to load if I included all of the information. It is not a complete plan like you’d find on a building site, but it should give you the basic run down on our process for building the coop.