|~Next time I wouldn't even bother with the nesting box since they don't use it anyway~|
When we had only two ducks, they happily slept in the chicken coop with the chickens in a wooden box on the floor. But when we got 5 more ducklings last spring, I decided it was time for the ducks to have their own house. Fortunately there was an old wooden doghouse at the edge of our property that had been sitting empty since we bought our house. I swept out the squirrel and mice nests and all the cobwebs, dragged it down to the run and set about converting it into a duck house.
This is what it looked like when I tackled my project.
A scrubbing and then a new coat of paint was the first step. I also set the doghouse up on wooden boards to get it off the ground so the bottom won't rot and to prevent predators from digging up underneath it.
Then using cedar shakes (about $8/bundle at Lowes) I nailed a new 'cedar shingle' roof over the old shingles.
I cut ventilation holes in the front and back and stapled hardware mesh on the inside to prevent access by mice, rats or weasels.
A piece of wood with some slats nailed to it makes a nice ramp.
I cut a door from a piece of plywood to fit the opening and then attached a predator-proof eyehook latch.
A hole cut in one side of the house with a wooden box attached (made out of scraps of plywood) becomes a nesting box. Of course little Bella couldn't resist checking it out !
A shingled, hinged roof completed the box.
I cut a ventilation window in the opposite side, staple hardware mesh over it and then used the plywood cutouts to make hinged doors.
Coming along very nicely so far, using just leftover scraps of wood and the cedar shakes. I did switch out the plain metal hinges for these black barn hinges. A small investment and they look so much nicer.
I handpainted a sign for above the door ....
And then added straw bedding and stapled up an old bandanna that I cut into curtains for the nesting box. Ducks like their privacy too !
Easy afternoon project. The ducks now have a nice, warm, dry, safe house to sleep in.