Prefabricated Duck Coops and Runs

Prefabricated Duck Coops and Runs

I’m not a fan of prefabricated coops for ducks. For one thing, most are designed for chickens and are unsuitable for ducks. They’re difficult to customize. Most are also too small, flimsy, not predator-proof, more expensive than DIY coops, and don’t last long.

Building your own coop is generally a better idea, but if you don’t have the time or know-how, a prefab duck coop may be your only option.

So here’s a quick guide to choosing a suitable one, as well as a few possible sources. There are some decent options out there, but they can be hard to find.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission if you purchase something through a link on this post, at no additional cost to you.

Space

Most prefab coops are simply too small to comfortably hold ducks. I’ve seen one that said it held six chickens, but personally, I don’t think it was suitable for any more than two bantam chickens, never mind ducks. Ducks need more space than chickens, particularly for the night, since they don’t roost and are quite active at night.

For a nighttime-only coop, each duck needs 4 square feet of space minimum. Bantams can get by with 3 square feet per duck; large breeds need at least 5 square feet of space.

For a daytime run, each duck needs 10 square feet of space minimum. 15 square feet per duck is preferable.

So if you want five ducks, the coop needs to be at least 20 sq ft and the run needs to be at least 50 sq ft.

If possible, buy a coop that’s too big. Your ducks will be happier, and you’ll have the option to add more ducks.

Ramps

It’s common for prefab coops to be a coop/run combo with a second-story coop. The chickens have to jump or climb a ramp to enter the coop.

This is all well and good, but ducks don’t like ramps. Ground-level coops are best for ducks.

As long as the ramp is wide, has good traction, and its incline isn’t too steep (3o degrees or less), then most ducks should be able to handle it.

However, it’s still not ideal. Large, heavy ducks especially struggle with ramps, and they can hurt their legs if they jump/fall off the side.

Some prefab coops are simply too high and their runs are too small to extend a ramp enough to make it suitable for ducks.

Muscovies are better with ramps, but still make sure it has good traction.

Nest boxes

Ducks won’t use raised nest boxes (aside from Muscovies), but almost all prefab coops have them. Ducks also need larger nest boxes than chickens, so look for a coop with large, low nest boxes. Some ducks don’t even use nests at all.

It’s all right to buy a coop with raised nests, but be forewarned that they will be useless. If you plan to add floor-level nests for your ducks, be sure the coop is a little larger than would otherwise be necessary.

Also, ducks don’t use roosts (again, aside from Muscovies, who do enjoy wide perches/roosts sometimes). But you can always rip roosts out of a prefab coop if they get in the way of you or your ducks.

Predator protection

Not all prefab coops are sufficiently predator-proof.

Chicken wire is not predator-proof and should be replaced with hardware cloth.

Latches should be secure. Raccoons, in particular, can figure out how to open many types of latches.

Wood should be sturdy.

There shouldn’t be any openings animals can fit through.

More on predator-proofing a coop:
https://the-chicken-chick.com/11-tips-for-predator-proofing-chickens/
https://backyardchickenproject.com/predator-proof-chicken-coop/

Weather protection

This isn’t as important for ducks as for chickens, but it’s still a consideration.

Ducks need sun protection in their run.

Ducks do well in rain and snow, but if you live in an area with cold winters, they will still need a snow-free and draft-free area to bed down.

Ventilation

I think a lot of prefab coops don’t have enough ventilation. Look for a coop with plenty of ventilation and windows—the more, the better. Depending on the material and design, you may be able to cut more windows in the coop (be sure to cover them with hardware cloth).

Runs

Suitable runs are easier to find than coops. Be sure the run you choose has plenty of space (like I said, ten square feet of space per duck MINIMUM), especially since you’ll probably want to add a kiddie pool or something for your ducks to swim in. It’s nice if the run (and coop) is movable so you can move your ducks to fresh grass when necessary. Otherwise, they will turn it to dirt and mud before long.

Sheds and dog houses

Instead of buying a coop meant for chickens, you might consider buying a small shed and modifying it to accommodate ducks. This of course does require some DIY skills, but it might be a nice compromise between a prefab coop and a fully DIY coop.

For just a few ducks, you could buy a dog house and put it inside a dog outdoor kennel. Most dog houses and kennels aren’t very predator-proof, though, so it depends on what predators you have where you live.

Price

Some prefab coops are $300 or less. I wouldn’t recommend most of these. They are cheap for a reason. They’re either small, flimsy, or most likely, both. Some might be okay, especially if you need something quick, small, and temporary, but I doubt you’ll find any truly good coops for that price.

Most good coops are several hundred dollars, often over a thousand. Large coops can cost several thousand.


Duck coop and run sellers

With that in mind, here are a few coops and runs that might be suitable.

This one’s actually made for ducks:

I like its design. They say it fits four ducks. I think two or three ducks would be better. I don’t think large breeds (Pekins, Rouens, etc.) would do well in it, because they might not fit into the bottom section and might not like the ramp. But for a couple small/medium ducks, it looks nice.

This one is also designed for ducks:

https://shop.lancasterchickencoops.com/pages/duck-coops

They also sell runs:

https://shop.lancasterchickencoops.com/pages/separate-runs

Carolina Coops makes large, fancy duck coops:

https://carolinacoops.com/duck-coops/

Here are a few other places you might find good coops/runs for ducks. Some of these are really nice and many are customizable, although most aren’t cheap.

I also looked on Amazon. Finding decent coops on Amazon was particularly difficult, but I did find a couple, mostly very small ones.

Duck coops on Amazon

This one is very small, only around six square feet. It could fit two bantam ducks.

This one fits 2-3 ducks. It seems a bit flimsy and doesn’t have much ventilation, but it might work for you.

This one is styled more like a dog house. It might be useful if you want a small shelter or nest inside a run that already provides sufficient predator protection. Ducks don’t really like being cooped up, so if the run is protective enough, your ducks will appreciate a coop like this that they can enter and leave whenever they want.

This one fits four ducks. I’m not sure how well ducks would like these nest boxes, but otherwise it should work.

This one’s expensive, but it looks to be of good quality and is actually a decent size. It does require a ramp, but it’s low enough that most ducks should be able to maneuver it. I think the nest boxes are also low enough that ducks would use them. This is probably the best coop I was able to find on Amazon. It fits five ducks:

I couldn’t find any larger ones. Neither could I find any coop/run combos that were large enough, didn’t have a ramp, and didn’t have a lot of bad reviews.

Duck runs on Amazon

This outdoor dog kennel fits two ducks.

This one has various sizes. The smallest fits five ducks and the largest fits 21 ducks.

This one also has various sizes. The smallest fits six ducks and the largest fits up to 20 ducks.

This fits twelve to nineteen ducks, depending on the size.

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