Project #135 – Duck Pen

I found an ad on Craigslist yesterday advertising goslings, ducklings and pullets for sale. I rented ducks for Clark for his birthday right before we got engaged, and he liked them so much that I thought it would be fun to do it again. I called up the owner and arranged to take a few ducks for a week. I’d planned to slip up to the farm while yard sale shopping with a friend and keep the ducklings a surprise, but Clark insisted on coming with us.

Luckily, he didn’t figure out where we were going or why until we were at the bird farm and standing in front of the duck pen. Of course, we ended up bringing home more than I’d planned, two ducks home plus three baby Rhode Island Red hens. I had no intention of keeping the birds, but after talking to the owner we were convinced that we might be able to pull it off, even in our postage stamp sized yard. Still, I made him promise to take them back if we find that we can’t care for them comfortably. The poles are also a little short, but that just makes it easier for us to climb in and out for cleaning and wrangling the ducks inside to take inside for the night.

Unprepared for our new charges, we went to the hardware store and purchased supplies a quick pen for the ducks. We built the pen along our garage for late afternoon shade, but we also plan to add a duck house so that they can hide from predators. The fencing is plastic poultry fencing that can be cut with a pair of scissors. The poles are made of metal and came with built in notches that we used to hold the fencing without any staples or tying. This will make it extra easy to take down the pen and move it elsewhere in the yard.

Right now their wings are too stubby to fly, so we’ll have to revisit our pen design when their flight feathers get in. I don’t want them to fly into our neighbors’ yards and snack on their grass.

The chickens are much smaller and have their own makeshift lawn tractor underneath an overturned wire basket. We’ll move it around the yard and give them a chance to poop on all areas equally. Eventually, we’ll build a bigger one with a coop and nests for laying eggs.

While they are cute on their own, our two species are not quite ready to cohabitate.


One Comment to “Project #135 – Duck Pen”

  1. Alison says:

    Yeah, I try to act all hard core about using my own animals for food, but as soon as I saw them I knew I’d never be able to do it.

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