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Duck Pond/Pen Questions

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I posted this in another already going thread, but didn't get any response.

I'm in the process of building a new duck pen, 25' x 25'.  I currently have 15 domestic ducks (variety of Runners, Cayuga, Swedish, Magpie, Indies, and Snowy Mallards).  Next month, I'm being shipped breeding pairs of Wood Ducks and Mandarins.

So, a couple questions for ya'll:

--I spent the afternoon digging out the future pond, which will be approx. 8' x 10' in the new pen.  I was planning on putting in a 45 ML Firestone Pondliner (great deal at deepdiscountpondsupply.com), and surrounding it with river rock (cheap here at $25 a ton, and pretty).  But now I'm wondering.......huge problem with gophers here in the mountains of eastern Calif.  They're everywhere, and will chew on anything.  I'm concerned they make come up under/beside the pond liner and put a hole in it.  Any experience here?  How feasible is it to just do a "cement pond"?

--How to cover the pen?  With the chicken run, we just used plastic netting, as the chickens are locked in the coop at night.  I'd rather not be trying to round up a bunch of ducks at night however, so need something predator proof (we have coyotes, bobcats, hawks, and owls on our ranch).  I've seen the large scale netting you can order, but it still does not look that substantial.  Thinking of maybe positioning posts strategically in the middle, and running some long 2' x 4's across with the same heavy duty welded wire (1" x 2") framed on it.  Thoughts?

--Lastly, the wild ducks are going to have to go in with the domestics for a good while until we get to build a second pen (planning on raising the wild ones, with Pintails and Teals coming next year).  Any experience with putting these together?  Right now with the domestics, I only have one male--a Snowy Mallard, who is fairly territorial.

One other thing I'm planning on using in the pond that was recommended by a breeder--a SEWAGE pump.  He said it works much better than anything else he's tried.

If I ever figure out how to post pictures, I'll do it!
thanks

post #2 of 2

The only thing I can help you out with is the type of netting to use on the top of the duck enclosure.  Plastic or string netting is best if you have mandarins, etc.  The wire is too hard yet is really the only thing formidable to keep out predators.  The other softer types is what needs to be used because the wilder birds will fly up and injure their heads on the wire stuff.  Unless they are clipped or pinioned.  Otherwise I would use the softer stuff and have some sort of predator safe enclosure and do the herding thing.  That's what I do.  Hope this helps.

Me,DH, 2 DS, 4 dogs, 1 parakeet, 1 parrotlet, 2 frogs, 19 hens, 1 roo, 2 turks, 28 ducks (9 calls, 2 kcs, 3 runners, 3 scovy, 2 Mandy, 4 teal,1 wood duck, 2 rouen, 1 pekin) 3 geese (1 Embden, 1 Sebastopol, 1 toulouse), 1 Flem Giant Rabbit, 1 Neth. Dwarf rabbit, 2 sugar glider.  http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=22826-my-home-for-sale

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Me,DH, 2 DS, 4 dogs, 1 parakeet, 1 parrotlet, 2 frogs, 19 hens, 1 roo, 2 turks, 28 ducks (9 calls, 2 kcs, 3 runners, 3 scovy, 2 Mandy, 4 teal,1 wood duck, 2 rouen, 1 pekin) 3 geese (1 Embden, 1 Sebastopol, 1 toulouse), 1 Flem Giant Rabbit, 1 Neth. Dwarf rabbit, 2 sugar glider.  http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=22826-my-home-for-sale

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