This is post 1 of 2 (there’s lots to see!)
Duck House – part 1
There were once two little drakes that were living the life. Enjoying their own house – made just for them, a whole yard to root around in, a family to hang out with and all the bugs when mom dug in the garden. The bachelor life was good…
then mom and dad got some girls…
Now they had to share the yard and the bugs – but the house was the worst. Those girls would go in and mess it up (if you can mess up a duck house more than it already is). So, mom and dad decided that something bigger was needed, especially since the boys were being a bit grumpy about the newest additions.
A place was needed where the boys could have their own side and the girls could have theirs in the warmer months and then be able mingle in the cold months.
This is what we came up with, our very own Shangri-duck!
If you have ever checked in on my little corner of the net you will know that we have had ducks for over a year. They are great company, sweet, funny, sometimes a bit of a terror (especially for my garden and any bare toes). And you will also know from past posts – mostly Morning Chats – that we have been building our ducky garden of Eden for a while now.
We started the planning process during the winter since we knew that we were going to be getting females, and that we would want to keep them separated during the warm months. The reason for the separation is a three things – 1) We didn’t want ducklings – I know they are adorable but that’s more then I wanted to deal with at the moment 2) the boys are a full year older – and bigger then the girls – I wanted the girls to get to their full adult size before we let them be together and 3) the boys can be jerks, and they have a high sex drive – sorry there is no easy way to say that, they remind me of teenage boys, they really do.
So, the picture above is essentially what we started with, a 6×12 ft kennel. This is after I took the boys house apart and out of the kennel, I also removed pavers and all the extra chicken wire (except the door and closest wall) that was up for predator proofing. We had made 2 separate roof areas for them initially, that way if one was damaged, we could take it out and replace it. This set up worked well in good weather and even the late fall and early spring. Ducks are pretty hardy, but even after putting up panels to help keep the January cold from making duck-sickles out of them, it was pretty obvious that something better was needed.
I will admit, to get to where we are right now was a bit of a long-drawn-out process. I actually started building the girls duck house in May. The only problem was that we had a lot of rain in May, which would stop the process. I would do a little then have to stop for a few days because I didn’t feel like playing with power tools in thunderstorms…silly me.
Once good weather set in though, I was able to get it all done – with the help of my all-knowing – and somewhat patient husband. I am going to throw out a BIG Thank you for our good friend, Mr. B! Last fall he gave us a bunch of plywood sheet leftovers that he had and that’s what a good part of both houses were made with – saving us a ton of money! Thanks again Mr. B – you are awesome!
That also brings me to my next point – the extra bracing in the house – since we were using scraps for the sheeting, I put in bracing to be able to screw the plywood to. In my next post you will see that I didn’t add bracing to the boys’ side because we I knew we were going to use a full sheet for the back.
In the end the girls house is 4 ft by 7ft 6in.
I put down peel and stick tiles on the floor inside, and then spent $15 on a piece of remnant vinyl flooring to put over that. Just a little extra protection for the floor. Ducks are messy – and poop anywhere and everywhere!
The one thing that I wanted to do with the house but didn’t initially was put a shelf in to hold extra straw. About a month later I got around to it!
Well if you ever wondered what I look like here’s your chance – I do have a to-do for myself to get a good pic of myself for the site, but for now I am making my internet debut with my cruddy work clothes on, sitting on a shelf in a duck house! Gotta love life!
Anyway – I hope you have a great day – talk to you again on Friday!