4x8 Housing Directions
Faith Valley Waterfowl
I have been asked many times how we build our breeder/grow out pens.  I will
try to create a photo explaination of that information here.  I hope that you will
find it helpful. There are several things to be mindful of as you are building your
pen.  One of the most important would be that you consider working with
treated lumber.  Call ducks will get their pen wet and the treated lumber will last
much longer than the non -treated. I would also recommend putting your
finshished pen up on cement blocks so that the legs wont rot from being directly
on the wet ground. ~ So let's get to work...
Step one Framing out the pen. Decide how long and wide your pen will
be.  For a trio of calls you would want a 3x5, but if you want a few more
calls perhaps a 4x8 would be a good choice.      ~ Let's begin~
* Cut your boards for your desired length and width. We use 2x4's for
the lower frame and 2x2's for the upper frame.
* Cut 4 boards, 4 foot long for your upright legs. (2 foot will be below the
floor and 2 foot will be the inner pen heighth.
*Cut 4 additional boards for the cross pieces of the floor.(One will be for
wire support, one for the front edge of the house, and two will be used
for the dropped mortar tub framing and supports.)
*Take one of your 2x2 boards that you just cut and secure it 24 inches
from one end.  This will be for the front edge of your house.
**We use the quick corner method shown below.  For nonweight
bearing corners we use the smaller "L" brackets, but for the lower
weight bearing  corners, we use the heavier "L" brackets.
Step Two ~ frame out your dropped
mortar tub. We use a 23 gallon tub for
the 4x8 pens and an 11 gallon tub for
the 3x5 pens.
* Possition 2 of your cross support
2x2's that you have already cut. You
will want them to be snug up against
the sides of the mortar tub- but not
too tight as you will have to be able to
remove the tub for cleaning. (generaly
we like to have the tub  8-12 inches in
from the end of the pen.
Here is a photo of a finished dropped
mortar tub frame.

Step three - wiring the floor. The
next thing that we do is to cover the
floor with wire. Remember that you
do not have to have wire under the
wooden housing floor board; so you
only have to wire up to the housing
area. We use "U" nails to attach our
wire to the frame.  You will also need
to cut out the wire center so that you
can insert the mortar tub.
Step four- The wooden housing floor.  You will need a nice, heavy flooring
board for the house- we use 5/8" exterior wooden siding for our floor.  It can
be purchased in 4 x 8 sheets.
* Cut your flooring and screw it in place.
* You will need to add several upright supports~ in strategic locations.
1.You will want one on each side of the housing front board as you will need
to attach wooden sides there and you will also have wire attached there.
2. You will  need one centered along one long side for frame and wire
support.
3. On the other long side, you will want to add two upright supports
approximately 24 inches apart. You will attach your side door here.
4. In addition, you will want 2  supports to run across the top of the frame to
support the top wire.
5. You will want one upright support  12 inches from one of the housing side
supports.  You will need to have an opening for your calls to enter and exit
the housing area into the wire pool area.
6. Lastly, you will want a support on the back housing side; you will need to
attach your wooden siding and also the hinges for your back door.
* Next cut two 2x2's the width of your tub for the two supports at the two ends of
your tub. We use the smaller "L" brackets to secure these cross pieces.
* You will now need to add two additional legs to your pen, centered in that
mortar tub framed in area.  You will use these legs to attach the shelf support to
help bear the water weight of the mortar tub.
* Finally you will need to build the shelf that will help support your tub. We  use a
2x4 for our lower cross piece which we attach to the two additional legs. The
shelf is secured with the larger "L" brackets to the sides of the two new legs that
you just installed. ( If you are  planning to install a drain for your tub, you will
want to position your shelf a touch to the right so that you have room for the
drain valve. ~The valve turns to the left.~)
* For instructions on installing a lower tub drain, see page two of the directions.
* You should have one 2x2 cross support board left.  Center that one between
the housing front edge board and the mortar tub frame.  You should now have
all four 2x2's secured to your frame and you should also have your mortar tub
framed in.
Continue on to page two of the
directions......
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