We have been having a problem with our free range Muscovy Ducks expanding their range of their own volition. We did not have much of a problem with this when they kept coming home each night.
However, as time went on, less and less ducks were at home. Either we were loosing them to a predator or they had moved. Thankfully, we found most of them – next door at the neighbors house.
My theory is that the ducks were enjoying the benefits of our neighbors horses. Not only were they probably getting whatever feed the horses dropped, but I am sure they were sifting through their manure as well.
Duck House / Chicken Coop Expansion
We decided that the duck pen needed to be expanded to provide a place for these roaming birds to go. Most of them are adult drakes and too big to fly. All we would have to do is enclose them.
It seems simple, but this is a big deal for us. We would much rather have them be free range, but we aren’t raising them for the benefit of our neighbor, we are raising them for our supper.
Building a Duck Run
This would be fine for a chicken run as well, if you were so inclined. If we ever worry about predators we will use crop netting over the top of the run.
We are using 4/5, 8′ long poles for the corners. I like them fine, but they taper. If you can afford it, using metal poles or straight wood poles might make the job easier for you when it comes to tightening the fence wire.
We are using 2″ x 4″ welded fence wire. We used an air powered staple gun to attach the wire to the posts.
The gate is a section of sheep/hog panel cut to a 4′ length. It is hinged using fence staples on 1 side and attached using a carabiner style clip attached to a pole by left over electric fence wire.
We captured the ducks using a portable dog fence and kennel. We opened up on the of the hinges so that the fence could be expanded. Placed it in a large “U” shape, dumped duck feed inside and then closed the fence around them.
Then transferred the ducks, one by one, into a large kennel, which we drove back to our house and placed the ducks in the new duck run we just built.
Trimming Duck Wings
Just to be sure that the ducks don’t manage to fly out and go back to the neighbors house, we trimmed the right wing of each duck. You only trim one wing so that when they try to fly they fly in an awkward circle instead.
We have seen chickens get used to wing clipping, but we hope the ducks will not. If they do, we will add the crop netting over the top of the pen so they cannot get out.
Also, by doing this, we can let all of our ducks co-mingle. The ducks that have been staying on our property will still be able fly out, which is okay for now. If we find any ducks trying to leave again, we will clip their wings and put them back.
Watch our progress as we made this Duck House or Chicken Coop Run Expansion by clicking the link or watching below: