Welcome back! I left off on Wednesday sitting in a duck house wearing work clothes – I know I am just so vogue! HA
This is part 2 – check out Duck House – part 1 to see where we started!
Duck House – part 2
So, the main reason it took us so long to complete the duck house and run was that we had garlic planted where the run was to be. I love my ducks – but I am not rushing my garlic harvest! It was worth the wait we had a great harvest – which now makes more work because anything left over from last year I will drying and making homemade garlic powder – yum!
The week before we planned to completely finish the project was a busy one – I really was not excited about it, and I am very glad that it is over. I took out the garlic and leveled the area, disassembled the boys house, prepped the boys a place to sleep inside until the run was done, and built the boys side of the run. Plus, to make matters worse we had essentially gone from ‘oh the weather is just perfect‘ to ‘good night its hot out here!’ in just days. It was exhausting, when I was building the boys side of the run the temperature by the fence was about 100 – yuk. Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like the heat – I really don’t.like.the.heat. When we lived in New Mexico I was in my very own version of Hell during the summer. It wasn’t pretty…
The next fun thing we had to deal with while waiting for the weekend – and help – to come, was wind. After the boys house was done we had a storm just skirt us. Thus, the reason for the 2×4 braces in the picture above. It was my attempt to hopefully keep it upright in case it the wind tried to blow it over.
The morning dawned bright and clear – hot weather was forecast so I loaded up a cooler with ice, water and pop. Plopped it in the shade out by the work area and our good friends Mr. M and Miss M – came to help out. They were God sends! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you – did I mention Thank you?! We really couldn’t have done it without them.
So, the plan was to take the 6×12 ft kennel, unlatch opposite corners and straighten the panels out making 2 – 18ft lengths of panel. What we – err, my husband and Mr. M did was make “walls” – 18 ft long for the roof to sit on. because my husband didn’t want the roof sitting on the kennel panels. I will mention here that I was in charge of building the duck houses and prepping for the run, and finishing afterward, my husband – which we shall name “Mr. over-engineered” was in charge of the roof construction. I am so proud of him, where you could still land a light helicopter on the roof – landing a chinook is out of the question. 5 years ago, that wouldn’t have been the case – and we would have been able to build a full 2nd story! Good Job Honey!
If you look at the roof carefully you can tell that we have 3 separate pieces. 2 are from the original duck house – I will mention here that while moving the larger of the 2 original pieces – that Miss M showed her true girl power and held it up – over her head none-the-less! You go girl – showing those boys what you are made of! That was awesome! She was rewarded with playing with a miter saw – which she seemed to thoroughly enjoy!
Once the roof was on it was time for me to predator proof and add finishing touches. I added chicken wire to the back wall and finished adding it to the front wall, covered over any gaps between the houses and run, and gaps between the run and roof. I also built a shelf in the boys’ house to store any extra duck stuff and extra straw, placed pavers in the run for the waterers to sit on and dropped pavers by the door to make it easier to keep nice – dare I say “clean”. My husband also cut extra metal roof panels that we had, and he screwed them to the outsides of the duck houses to help keep snow from resting against the sides – hopefully allowing them to last longer.
I also took a 4×8 ft trellis and cut 2 feet off one end to fit the width of the run. In the picture below you can see it pushed to the side when the house is empty, or the boys or girls are in the house by themselves. The other 2 ft piece I placed in the girls’ house so that the door can be open during the day to air out – I call it the girls Juliet balcony. The girls are so skittish that they don’t even bother getting close to it, but when the boys are roaming, we close the door – they are a little more mischievous and will jump it.
You can see in the picture below, that the trellis is up for a barrier between the ducks. That way they can see each other but the girls can stay safe from those grumpy boys.
I also added a thermometer that we can read from the house to keep an eye on the temp. Also on the corner of the roof by the boys house we had a bit of an overhang and my husband asked that we put something up so he didn’t crack his head every time he walked past this area. Luckily my daughter and I, a couple weeks before, had just made a 4th of July windsock and it seemed the perfect place to put it – since we have such patriotic little ducks!
In the end I had to move a couple plants, but they are coming back nicely. I also ended up leveling the ground around the door, so we didn’t have water backing up into the run. But it has been great to have them in their house and not running amuck all day. After the garden comes out this fall, I will put fencing around the garden, and they will be able to rummage thru it for the cooler months.
We did notice that the run stays anywhere from 5-10 degrees warmer than the temp on our weather gauge, so on hot days they are moved into the shady part of the yard for during the day. Not too big of a deal, it should only be for a week or two every year that we will need to do that. But we are hoping that it will be helpful in the winter to give them a little extra heat to keep warm.
I hope you enjoyed seeing our new duck house. Have a great weekend!