Blog-style post for tracking my duck pen/run and coop + pond building exercise. This is for Spring 2010 - 6 runners (2 black, 2 f&w, 2 chocolate), 2 black swedish, and 2 cayuga are due to arrive on March 10th.
Pre-arrival: Indoor Holding Pen for ducklings (post here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=302117 )
I built a really cheap, quick and inexpensive pen to hold my soon to arrive ducklings until they are large enough to push outside.
(5) 10' 1/2" PVC pipe
(3) 8' 2x4 stud boards
large handful (maybe 120 or so) cheapy cable ties
25' chicken wire
(3) 8' 1x4 boards
few decking screws
(2) 3/4" PVC T that reduces to 1/2"
(2) 1/2" PVC 90
I created a frame of the 2x4s by leaving the two longer boards at 8' and cutting (2) 3' pieces out of the last board. I then used a spade bit and drilled holes with a bit large enough to loosely fit the 1/2" pvc. Those were drilled on the long sides (8' sides) starting at 1" and occuring every 2 feet. I then trimmed the 10' PVC pcs to 8' and bent them over into a half hoop. It creates a dome just like a hothouse or greenhouse framing would. I then tightly attached chicken wire starting OUTSIDE the frame. I used the 1x4 boards to sandwich the wire in and tacked it down with screws. I then tightly stretched the wire over the frames, using the cable ties to secure it. The ends were also covered with chicken wire and attached with cable ties. The door is made from scrap PVC using the fittings to create a rectangle. The larger 3/4" T fit over a verticle pvc pipe to form the hinges.
I can use cardboard attached loosely to the outside edges to prevent drafts. The heat lamp is attached to the verticle pole in back and secured to the top (so it can't slide down). The whole thing is sitting on a cheap 6x9 sheet of linoleum to keep the mess contained.
The whole project took maybe 2-3 hours to make. And aside from running a drill bit into my finger, was super easy.
The nice things are 1- its modular, so it can be taken apart very simply. 2- its light, so it can be dragged/carried anywhere 3- it will serve as a great place to keep 1-4 adult ducks if there's a need to quarantine or it can be used as a mobile tractor (think chicken tractor) to give them some fresh grass while I am not present to watch over them in the yard.
Day 0: Talk neighbor into bringing his tractor over and digging a hole for the pond, pay with a case of beer. This pond will be approximately 9'x9' and uses a standard pond liner. I am considering building a drain into the base, although doing that through a liner is dangerous. I believe using a bulkhead through a rigid piece of ply and the liner will work. I will need to dig a trench to lay pvc pipe into and then add a valve onto that for easy draining. This pond is about 2'6" deep in the middle, sharp sides, excepting the south facing side which has a ledge at about 6-8 inches in depth and a ramp.
Day 1: Install hardware cloth over existing 4"x2" welded wire fencing. I wrapped the hardware cloth under the fence so that it provides a "shelf" on the other side of the fence to prevent digging by critters. 6' privacy fencing (14' on the drive side and 8' on the perpendicular fence provide shelter from wind and hide the run from view. The run itself will be 14'x24' or so with 6' wire fencing. The pen will also have electric fencing on the exterior to prevent critters from climbing into it (we have racoons, coyotes, foxes here in abundance).
A view inside the coop/pen from the short side. The pen is 4' tall in back, 3' tall in front (sloped to allow things to run off, eg rain and snow). The top will be white corrugated PVC panels (from Lowes). The main door (their use) is on the left in the pic below. The open end will have a flap that can be secured to allow for access to clean and gather eggs.
This is the pen shown above in position. It is 4'x8' in size and will have a small deck on the front with hardware cloth flooring (to allow mud/water/junk to fall through). You can see the position of the pond that will share the run with them. The run will go to the edge of the 6' fencing on the left of this image, then 24' along the perp. fence.
Same as above, but from a different angle tos how the relative positions of things.
Day 2: Smooth pond edges, remove sharp objects (sticks, rocks, etc), line pond with sand, add liner, fill with water, edge. Add sand to pen area (partial) and finish the roofing on the coop (and repaint).
Update: View from 2nd floor window of the progress... needs electric net fencing and protective top (bird mesh+wire).
Here's my mess of messers... they are 7 weeks of age this coming weekend.
The flock in the yard...
Some in the pond, with coop behind inside the run...
Couple in pond... (F&W Runner, Black Swedish, Black Runner <back to front>)