Raising ducks in your own backyard can be a rewarding experience if you have the necessary space. What’s difficult is the point at which you have to check them consistently. Ducks, like chickens, tend to wander a lot. – How about raising them in your spacious backyard, with them in a chicken tractor, to save money on feed and time? Is it even possible to do that?
It is possible to raise ducks in a chicken tractor. Ducks may be placed in tractors simply to ensure they did not wander far from their enclosure and having them in tractors offers protection from predators and makes collecting the eggs easy.
Chicken tractors offer enough shelter for the ducks from predators and also make it possible because they are movable and easily maneuvred, and they can have access to fresh food.
A chicken tractor is a safe place to keep your ducks because it keeps them confined in one area while filtering out the grass.
Ducks are generally quieter than chickens, making it more challenging to keep track of them. Keeping them in a tractor will definitely help you keep track of them.
If you raise your ducks for their eggs and keep them in a large open space keep in mind that ducks will lay eggs everywhere: they don’t always lay the eggs in the same place. It will be much harder to find those eggs.
Keeping the ducks in a confined space, such as a chicken tractor, can give their owners increased certainty in their whereabouts.
A tractor provides protection from all kinds of predators: minks, owls, coyotes, raccoons, etc. You need to make sure that the tractor is made in such a way that no predator can enter it.
An upside of keeping your ducks is that it is cheaper to build a tractor than to build a house for the ducks. So if you are beginning to keep ducks and not sure about the whole project this might be a better option to start with as it requires a smaller investment.
A downside of keeping your ducks in a tractor is that it requires you to work. If you want to keep your tractor clean you need to move it every 2-3 days.
You can install wheels on tractors which will make it easy to move around.
Cattle Panel Style Tractor VS Salatin Style Tractor: Which is Better?
There are two main types of tractors that you can choose from. Obviously, there are others and even these two are not set in stone. So, if you’re wondering what type of tractor would be your best bet let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these two types.
Cattle Panel Style Tractor
A cattle panel style tractor is essentially a chicken tractor designed in a half-circle cage with net and hog wires surrounding it with two open ends. The roof is designed in a half-circle to prevent the cage from accumulating excessive heat from the sun.
The appearance of the cattle panel style tractor may vary.
This style of the chicken tractor is ultimately recommended due to its access and ventilation. Even though it is an enclosed cage, your ducks will be able to move around and see through the wires because the sides are covered with mesh.
- Well ventilated – As stated earlier, cattle panel style tractors are well ventilated because of their design. Since the sides are covered with hog wires, the ducks will be able to see the surrounding well.
- Accessibility – This type of chicken tractor is advantageous for both ducks and the owner. As you can enter easily the tractor you can give feed to them easily and refill their water. It also easier to let the ducks out of the tractor.
- Versatility: if you decide to keep other of type poultry in the tractor that requires nesting boxes for laying eggs. It is possible to insert those nesting boxes because of the greater height.
- Cold weather: In extremely cold weather, a tractor won’t provide enough protection to your ducks. You need to provide them with a house that offers protection from cold wind blows but one that offers enough ventilation.
- Your energetic ducks may try to flee as you open the tractor. Also, if you forget to close and lock the door properly the ducks can escape more easily.
Salatin Style Tractor
Salatin style tractor is a box type of chicken tractor that can be used for your ducks as well.
Half of it is covered with a roof, and half is covered with hog wires. Salatin style tractors are shorter but more expansive in width than the cattle panel style counterparts.
Salatin style tractor is made carefully with tons of braces and nails to ensure that your ducks will be secured and safe. You can open and have access to the ducks only from the top. which is advantageous if you don’t want your duck to escape.
- A Salatin style tractor is more enclosed and prevents ducks from fleeing. One of the key features offered by the Salatin tractor is the fact that it is enclosed. You can access the ducks through the door on the top of the tractor.
- It is easier to change the water and feed the ducks as it is much harder for the ducks to escape.
- Cheaper: A Salatin style tractor is smaller and therefore it is also cheaper to build one as you need to buy less material.
- Tighter: The height of the Salatin style chicken tractor is one of its downsides. The ducks will have less space in the tractor.
- Lack of Visibility: Tractors are movable and as such, it is important to see what’s in them when you move them as you don’t want to hurt your ducks while moving the tractor.
Can Ducks Survive in the Chicken Tractor Cold Season?
Your chicken tractor’s design will most likely have an impact on how well it performs. However, you cannot overlook that these animals have an additional layer of fat on their bodies that chickens do not have.
Ducks even have water repellent feathers to keep them protected from the elements, as well as a thick beneath undercoat to keep them dry and warm when they are swimming. Ducks are more resistant to cold than chickens.
That being said if you live in a part of the world where it gets below 40 F degrees (-6 C) then you should think about how you protect the ducks from the cold. So keeping them in the tractor might not be possible all year long in those areas.
But if it doesn’t get colder than 40 F degrees it is possible to keep your ducks outside all year long.
Can You Keep Ducklings in a Tractor?
Using a tractor for ducklings is an excellent method of keeping them safe from predators such as rats and mice. Although ducklings require more protection than older ducks because they have less resistant.
Nonetheless, if the tractor is completely sealed and you are 100% certain that no predator can enter the tractor, keeping ducklings in it can be a good option.