After moving from Houston, TX to Charleston, WV in 2018 we visited a farm supply store just for fun and discovered six cute yellow fluff balls in a metal tub; the label said »Ducklings $2.99 each«. The store personnel told us that these ducklings were the last ones of the batch, growing too old and if they won't sell asap they would be recycled. (!!!) We could not let this happen and so we returned from the store with duckling food, waterer, feeder, bedding and a large chicken-house puzzle.
We left the paid ducklings for another night in the store, so that we had some time to assemble the chicken-house first.
The previous owners of our property had built some wooden platforms, two of them are visible in the picture below. A large work-platform and a small dog-house platform, both with a solid metal roof.
The situation before ducks: The left platform should become a comfortable duck-home.
As a first step the pre-built chicken-house had to be assembled, just took me half a day, i broke no bones and poked my hands twice:
The fully assembled chicken-house.Then the house was moved to the smaller platform, the feeder and waterer were installed, straw as bedding and in went the ducklings:
Six ducklings in their new homeAnd the little ones they were thriving… - But after just three weeks the chicken-house became too small for six fast growing ducklings. So the next step was to fence-in the whole platform with chicken wire.
The fenced in duck-platform with a door for humans and ducks.
Another picture for the duck-platform with the door open.
And the ducklings enjoyed their new freedom so much!
And again: After some weeks as the ducks grew, the platform became too small for the ducks to spend their life on it, so a piece of grass (pasture) was fenced in, then a larger piece and finally a much larger piece, so in the end they have about 2,000sqft to run around, forage and hunt bugs. Then came fall and winter was just around the corner and we realized the duck platform is not good for cold and nasty winter weather...
So i bought some treated lumber from the local lumber-store:
A LOT of lumber...
And i began winterizing the duck's home. The plan was to divide the platform in the middle and create a separate »bedroom« for the ducks to sleep and stay warm while food and water is available all the time on the other half. First the exterior walls needed to be framed.
Additional support struts and a railing was added.
The first wall is finished.
Then a nice short-cut became available: My wife hated the window-shades in our living-room from the beginning! So they were removed and used as temporary walls, you can see where this is going...
More protection from the weather: Two window-shades.The interior divider wall was framed and finished:
Interior wall frame.The duck's »bedroom« is beginning to take shape:
Finished »bedroom« wall.Four electrical outlets were installed in a weather protected spot under the roof and properly wired. You see that little »bump« right hand of the lamp? That's the infamous "DuckyCam"…
Electrical outlets installed.Another lucky twist: The previous owner left us with a large stack of rotten building material, turned out that in between all that rotten stuff there were some good panels of epoxy/wood sheeting, so the ducks got one of the final bedroom walls.
The finished duck-bedroom.
A very sunny bedroom!
Update on 2019-01-29: In late December i started to work on the second bedroom and i also added the smaller sun-shade as an additional weather-protection to the bedroom wall:
Used a tarp to create a temporary outside wall just to see how it will look like:
And i liked it so much that i tried to retrieve another tarp that had been blown off my work-platform onto the hot-tub platform when disaster struck: The floor of that platform was rotten, dropped out under me and i fell 3.5m (~12') down and broke my left foot…
As many of you have asked for, here are two pictures of the accident site, this is where the floor collapsed:
And this is where i hit the ground, the floor boards are still lying under the platform:
And This is the view from below, you can see where the floor fell out and how far i fell down:
This is still an ongoing project, i will update this article whenever major progress has been achieved. The to-do-list:
Replace the large window-shade with a wall and a window or a prop-out wall.
There are many more pictures of the duck-platform available in my Duck-House album. Feel free to check it out! Very likely new pictures will be added there before i find the time to update this article.
- Add a second bedroom for the 2019 spring-ducklings.
- Add more sturdy exterior walls, as the chicken-wire offers almost no protection against predators.
- Windows for the ducks in the exterior walls, so they can sit in their bed and look outside (they love that!).
- A large horizontal prop-out door in the back walls, so that i can shovel the used bedding straight out to the compost-pile below the duck-house.
- Nest-boxes or dividers.
- A second level for brave ducks to walk on, maybe on top of the nest-boxes.
The Platform Ducks - from zero to duck in an instance!
This is the story of somebody who only knew ducks from public ponds, did not have a clue how to raise and keep them and suddenly found himself to...