Ducks investigating new run (but not the house!)

Ducks investigating new run (but not the house!)

The ducks use of the spare chicken house and run was only meant to be temporary while we decided where we wanted to keep them long-term. This also enabled us to see what was required in keeping ducks, and make a more informed decision on their final location. We now know that ducks are extremely messy. Our original location didn’t have much grass, didn’t drain very well and was quite small, so we decided that a spare bit of ground next to the vegetable patchwould be better. This would enable us to get them into the vegetable garden and eat slugs – basically get them working for their keep!

We’ve constructed a new house for them (although they rarely seem to go in at night) out of an old crate and various odds and ends of wood we had spare. All we had to buy were the hinges for the doors, although given the time it has taken to make the house we may have been better off just buying a ready-made duck house! We also decided to use electric netting to contain them and keep the local foxes out. This will also enable us to move them around if they make a mess of their run, or if we want them in another part of the garden. Electric fencing isn’t cheap, but it is a lot less hassle then constructing a wire fence, and is more easily moved.

So yesterday we moved them to their new home. They seem to settle in quickly and got to work finding slugs and worms in the grass. They haven’t shown much interest in their new house yet, but hopefully the need to eat will encourage them to go inside and find food. We will also probably construct a small nook for them to nest in, as they seem to like to find a corner out of the way to lay their eggs. They have a perfectly good house to lay in, but seem to prefer laying in some obscure location, so that we only discover the eggs days after they’ve laid them.

Note that the drake is still with us – we haven’t brought ourselves to “deal” with him yet!

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