Our laying ducks have had quite an upgrade made to their habitat! Up until now, we’ve used small children’s swimming pools and a stock tank to provide them with water. These provided for their drinking and bathing needs, but with some difficulty in terms of ingress and egress – there was always an elevation for them to conquer, which made some of them reluctant to make the effort. Additionally, ducks quickly make any water they spend time in very dirty. So we were constantly having to dump and refill pools, and devise clever means by which ducks could get in and out of these pools and tanks – ramps, rocks, and cinder blocks had all been used, with varying degrees of success.
But now, NOW we have a tractor, and boy oh boy, has that changed things for our farm! George dug a small pond for them and we filled it with our garden hose. We’re hoping that the high clay composition in our soil works to our advantage for once by helping to retain the water in the pond. If not, we will have to order a liner from Farmtek and install that. We are also looking at adding a pump to help circulate the water and try to cut back on some of the murkiness.
But in the meantime? These ducks are having a blast. We’ve never seen them happier! George watched an Indian Runner dive underwater and swim for several feet before popping through the surface, emanating pure duck joy. That simply wasn’t possible in the small circumference and shallow depth of kiddie pools.
We have some hills in their area now, too – the displaced soil from digging the holes. We’re not entirely sure whether we’ll leave those in place or move the soil for use elsewhere on our property. Probably those will remain in place, based on the ducks enjoyment of them so far, though. Once the soil grows some greenery, I picture the ducks sunning themselves happily on their little hillsides.
We work hard around here to try and keep our animals safe and happy. It’s important to us. We have a lot of projects planned that we will now be able to accomplish, thanks to the tractor. We’ll be building our ducks a new house in the next month or so, we hope. Their current house is too small for our flock of about 40 ducks and we are having some flooding issues in it due to the backside of the enclosure being on a declining grade. We tried to correct that a couple of years ago, but it hasn’t worked out well. The building was actually used by the previous owners for keeping pigeons and has therefore been less than ideal for housing ducks. It is also showing signs of age and wear. We want to build something a bit more duck-friendly to replace it. It’s going to be a busy summer!