How we winterized our duck house and run and how it’s holding up!
In the picture above you will see our completed duck house, it is a great home for them – but when winter comes it need just a little more help to keep them warm. In the picture below, it shows how it looks in the cold months.
What I did…
It started back in the summer. We went to help out friends move some furniture, and they asked if we wanted some foam insulation panels – “uh yeah!” I had actually just started looking into options and pricing materials for winterizing the duck house. So, this was a God send! Thank you Mr. and Mrs. S!
What we ended up getting was a whole truck bed full of pieces. Which worked out perfectly! I measured and cut the pieces to fit inside the house studs and bracing, then stapled plastic over them (because I didn’t want bored ducks to start eating the insulation). After that it was time to move to the run.
I started by cutting 1×2’s down to the height of the run. For most of the run I used black plastic (mainly because I had a ton of it!), and the door and front side that they are on is “clear” – anyway that’s what the box said…
After measuring the run it was time to get to work. I measured the plastic so that it was twice the height I needed and about 12-16 inches wider, I then folded it over on itself (to make the right height) and attached the 1×2’s with staples.
I then rolled the 1×2 in the plastic (from both ends) until it reached the width I needed. Each 1×2 was drilled x3 (in the top, middle and bottom) to make a hole for wire to go thru, then the panels were placed in the run. I used the wire to attach them to the kennel pieces.
I did notice that the plastic sagged just a bit at the top, so I took a lath strip, had my daughter hold it and –very carefully -stapled the plastic to the lath strip at the top.
Then since we had a bunch of insulation pieces left over I placed them in black garbage bags and slid them in behind the cold frames to help give a little more insulation.
We then closed off around 1/3 of the run and use it for storage for extra straw bales. I also use our old doghouse for the boys in the summer, but for the winter I pulled I forward in the run, and it makes a nice little hiding spot for them. The girls were all laying in there for a bit. Other things we have done was drop a bunch of straw in the house and run for the deep litter method, I just give it a good “fluffing” in the morning and if they have been in the run a lot during the day I “fluff” it again before bedtime.
For the winter I turn our garden into duck land! The perimeter has 4-foot fencing and a gate at one side. And since we have hawks, owls, eagles, ravens, magpies and one crazy Peregrine Falcon in the area, I also put up a partial hoop house (you can see how I made it here). A couple sawhorses topped with an extra lattice piece that I covered with an old sheet and another sheet draped from the lattice to the fence help give them just a little bit more cover. Under the shelters I place the old bedding from the run and their food and water.
How has the winterizing worked?
So far so good! Last night we were a toasty -4, a little early in the year for us to be having such cold weather, but it did give us a good gauge to measure with. Usually, they have full run of the house and run at night, but when the temperature looks to be bottoming out in the single digits and below, I opt to close them in their house. So far, we have noticed they stay about 7 degrees warmer at night when we do this.