I will eventually be building another pen exclusively for the mandarins. It will be similar in design. However, it will include a larger "pond" consisting of an 80-100 gallon stock tank. The house portion will be two story, with the upper story consisting of four private nest boxes. The lower story will be a communal area where the feed will be offered.
Okay, Scott, you have got me thinking (its scary when I start thinking) and I have come up with a bunch more questions for you... feel free to answer them or not but I am curious about this mandarin pen you are making.
1. Do the mandarins like water more then the call ducks? Is that why you are building one with a bigger tank for them?
2. you mention the house portion being two stories.. does this imply that it is one large area that is tall, or two sepperate floors? Also with 4 private houses, is this for 4 pair of ducks?
3. With the pond in the outside area, is it still necessary to have a water dish inside as well? One of the things I like about yours is they aren't as messy due to the water going through the wire, but if there is a water in their house they will get their floor way more messy.
4. are the private nest boxes up higher where they "fly" into them like wood ducks do, or are they more like chicken nest boxes?
I am just putting together plans of what kind of pen I want to make and you have given me tons of ideas so I wanted to pick your brain a little bit more!