Status update on the Duck-Run project: After almost killing myself ( No good deed ever goes unpunished!!! - Part III ), causing a significant delay, it has rained in this part of West Virginia and the ground became much softer, so i made some progress, this was on the evening when i hit that dang cable:
Little progress was made on the duck run, due to my bad health, a broken down car and necessary preparations for the 2020 Fall Ducklings, but at least some progress.
I finished the digging yesterday evening and had the bottom frame laid out to see if everything would fit:
It turns out that the duck-house itself isn't level! The edge with the door sits about 15cm (6") higher than the other side. - At the Moment i'm tot sure how to deal with that, i plan to build the duck-run level and use some wood to fill in the gaps.
And of course, the duck project-managers had to check out e v e r y t h i n g :
Today was the big day: The first wall came up! I have prefabricated the front wall of the duck-pen on my work platform out of three cedar fence-posts, four 2x4's, millions of nails, welded wire-mesh (2x2'), brick-ties,chicken-wire, blood, sweat and countless curses.
It slid right of the platform onto the grass:
Then i pulled it into position in front of the »grave« (citing @Magnolia Ducks) i dug out:
And lifted it into its upright position, adjusted it to be vertical and secured it temporarily with another 2x4:
All the time i had to be extremely careful not to step on Katharina Duck or drop something on her. Since we have the Fall Ducklings and fed everybody some meal-worms, she treats me as a meal-worm dispenser on legs…
Update 2020-10-14: All the framing is done, except for the roof-beams, have to buy the roof-beam support-brackets first…
This is the door-side of the run, the human-door is wide enough for the wheelbarrow and tall enough for human heads:
The opposite side is the achilles heel of the run, as there is a huge gap between to bottom beam and the ground, due to the topography of the hill-site. I need to find a quick and a long-term fix for this:
Here is a detail-picture of the weak-point:
Any ideas and suggestions are very welcome!
So, i was thinking back and forth about how to secure that giant hole when it suddenly hit me: Not long ago somebody gave me some AC cover-panels from an old, broken AC unit and i was planning to use those next year to protect the kitchen herbs bed from the ducks, but they turned out to be ideal for securing the run, being made out of galvanized steel with powder coating i am sure even the strongest raccoon can't get through those:
I have cut them in half and hammered the spikes about 3 inches into the ground. I will cover all that with heavy gravel, which is also good for draining water out as this will be the side where the automatic waterer will be installed.
as further enforcement against digging predators the inside of the floor will be lined with 2x4" welded-wire mesh (just have some of that stuff lying around here) and the edges will also be filled up with gravel:
I guess that should protect against most smaller predators - we don't have bears in the area!