The Muscovy Duck is found mainly in the central parts of America and Mexico, although duck enthusiasts have helped populate other areas of the states with them. They are considered by many to be affectionate pets, and by others a delicious, lean dinner. Either way, if you are raising Muscovy Ducks, in addition to the food and water they will need to survive, they will also need a shelter in which they feel safe and able to nest safely. While there are commercially built duck or chicken coops, these are often expensive for the individual who wants simple shelter.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wooden Crate Option:
- Discarded wooden crate
- Crow bar
- Hammer claw
- Cutting tool or
- Hand sander
- Tongue in groove panelling
- Four Hinges
- Gate lock
- Tar Paper
- Shingles or
- Mobile Home Curtain.
- 12 Gauge Chicken wire
- Fence posts
- Electrical fence units
- Child Playhouse Option:
- Discarded child's playhouse
- Staple Gun
- 12 Gauge Chicken Wire
- PVC Pipes actual amount depends on size of playhouse.
- PVC Pipe Cutter
- PVC Cement
- "T" joints
- Elbow Joints
- Zip ties
Pry the top off of the wooden crate with a crowbar or hammer claw. Set the top aside for use later. When constructing an inexpensive home for your ducks, it's always best to try to incorporate a structure that is already built to some extent than to start from scratch. Wooden packing crates are still used today to ship machinery and are readily available.
Cut one of the panels in the side of the crate out using a cutting tool or jigsaw. Cut as neatly as possible as you will be using the panel to construct the door. The frame of the box should remain uncut, as the frame holds the components of the crate in one piece. This will create a lip that will be about a half-inch above the floor, which will keep the bedding inside from being spilt out. Use a hand sander to sand the four sides around the cut to eliminate splinters that could injure your Muscovy.
Line the crate with some tongue and groove panelling cut to fit. Secure these with wood screws. This is an optional step and serves only to improve the appearance of the house. If you choose to add the panelling, apply matching panelling to the square section of door you cut from the crate. Secure hinges to the house and panel and install a lock to the new "door." A simple fence or gate lock can be attached with some screws on the opposite side of the "door."
Attach hinges to the top of the crate that you removed. Secure those hinges to the crate so that the "roof" is able to be lifted off for cleaning or maintenance. To help preserve the roof portion, you can use tar paper and shingles or a simple mobile home curtain nailed to the top.
Surround the house perimeter with a fence of 12 gauge chicken wire and some fence posts. This will keep the Muscovy "run" area somewhat safe from predators. A small electrical fence on the outside of the chicken wire will discourage attempts to dig under the wire.
Staple 12 gauge chicken wire to the "window" openings in the child playhouse around the outside of the house.
Piece together sections of PVC pipe that reach up and over the top of the playhouse. Two of the pieces will be make up the height of the run area. Use some PVC cement and glue an elbow joint at the top and bottom of each of the two height poles. Insert a three foot-long piece of PVC pipe into each elbow joint facing out from the playhouse. This will form a large "square" that will surround the front of the playhouse.
Connect a "T" joint to the end of each of the four PVC pipes. The "T" portion will face downward on the two top pipes and upward on the two bottom ones. Use PVC cement to secure them together. Use two more height-sized poles to connect each upper "T" joint to the lower "T" joint below it. This will reinforce the "square" pen.
Connect two more three foot sections of PVC pipe to the lower "T" joints of the expanded square. Repeat with the top sections to form a longer rectangle run for the ducks. Connect the "T" joints on each section of the "roof" of this run with another PVC pipe, and use PVC cement to secure it together. This will reinforce the top of the run against predators from above.
Tie a cut piece of 12 gauge chicken wire to the PVC pipes with zip ties. Tie every eight inches up the height and along the length of the structure. Repeat this procedure for the roof area, one section at a time, and secure the roof to the support pipes running across the top and on the sides. The playhouse can be moved when it is time to clean out the house area and then replaced.
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