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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TLWR, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    My ducks and chickens were free range for about 2.5 years before we started having something picking them off. Seems to only be an issue in the early summer, so now they are penned 24/7 unless supervised from June - October.

    Their pen originally was just constructed around their houses. There were trees behind and in their pen to provide cover and shade. Then we had a bunch of trees taken down so they wouldn't fall on the house/garage/shed and then the pen was wide open and you could see it from the road and I just don't like the looks of it, no to mention no cover for them when they are penned up in the summer in southern Alabama! DH added a little awning to the chicken hut and they hang out under there sometimes, but usually when in their pen, they hang out under the duck hut.
    The current arrangement which works, but isn't all that appealing, shed, duck house, chicken house, food hut (can see my neighbors now), then our garage
    [​IMG]


    So I wanted to change things a bit so it looks much nicer. I was going to add a coop to the end of the shed and then put up some nice fencing. Had plans drawn up, knew what I wanted to do and Dh didn't like it so much and one day suggested using my garden instead.

    This was the garden the first year we put it together. No crazy grass. The duck house and chicken house are to the right of the shed and had all that tree cover... now it is naked!!
    [​IMG]

    The first summer of the garden.
    [​IMG]


    While I was away for work, the crazy grass took over the garden. I spent over one hour weeding ONE bed and while I pulled the surface grass, so much root was left that I knew it wouldn't last long. NOTHING stops this crazy grass - it grows through pavement!
    Crazy grass - this is the bed I spent an hour pulling grass... the bottom third of the bed is wrapped in the roots of this crazy grass!
    [​IMG]


    My garden is 24x24 and fenced with 4' field fencing. So we'll have to raise the height of the fence posts and change the fencing.
    We have 3 + yards of pea gravel in there. I didn't want to just leave it in there, so for a week, I dug out the pea stone. Which when it is covered in crazy grass, really kind of sucks!
    New home for some of the pea stone... chicken likes to rearrange the wood mulch in the sidewalk gardens, so put some of the pea stone there instead.
    [​IMG]


    Then I removed all the raised beds, which left me with clumps of garden soil. I then spread out the dirt since the garden holds water in the center... so the dirt has leveled it out a bit.
    One raised bed box with iris and day lilies in it and the mound of dirt from another raised bed. The other raised beds are outside the garden now. Will likely reuse them for this year's garden.
    [​IMG]

    The garden also has a perimeter bed around the entire garden... taken over by crazy grass. I wanted to keep those since I had a bed of iris and day lilies in the garden and no where to put them... so I wanted to put them in the perimeter garden and also use those to grow some things they ducks and chicken can eat.
    Here is the last bit of perimeter bed... you can see where I stopped as it was getting dark. The beds are full of grass. I had moved soil IN the garden before I pulled the grass on the back half of the beds... and that's all you can see in this pic is the roots I ripped up, not the dirt in the rest of the garden/pen. This grass is CRAZY
    [​IMG]


    Today, I moved the dirt around and degrassed 3/4 of the perimeter bed, replanted my iris and sprayed my day lilies since they were covered in aphids. Will plant them tomorrow if the aphids are dead. Will also finish degrassing the last of the perimeter beds.
    [​IMG]


    My fingers are raw. I can't use gloves and get the roots of this crazy grass. I pulled up so many 4' roots and even then, they snap, so I know I'll be weeding these beds forever.
    Bright side, there is now some really nice dirt in my beds! Started out with clay, pine straw and more clay and then topped with a bit of compost. Over the last 3 years, I have really nice soil now in those beds!!


    Next steps - pulling down the old fence, get the apron fencing and have DH use the tractor to dig out a bit of grass around the garden/pen so I can get that laid down and covered back up. Then extend my posts so we can get some 6' fencing put up. Also need to figure out what to do for a new coop for the girls or modify the existing chicken coop to have a lower level for the ducks. And plant some grass so it can get growing before I have to lock the girls up this summer.



    So progress, but still a way to go.
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Just curious, what is this crazy grass??? same stuff as your lawn??? or is it something similar to what is legal to grow in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state. I know Alaska is too cold. [​IMG]
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,835
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    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Bermuda grows in my sidewalk garden. I think this is just an extension of the lawn. It will grow several feet tall if not cut back, is sharp as heck and has very very very long roots. It is like crabgrass, but the crab part is underground and it takes weed killer and vegetation killer like a challenge. I sprayed everything back in August knowing I wasn't planting anything for a long time. Took about a month before it was mostly brown. The stuff on the pathways was starting to sprout new growth already!!

    It is pure evil grass. I was pulling stuff in the beds and see grass on the other side of the garden fence moving and that's what I'm pulling up!
     
  5. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,835
    180
    224
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    The existing fencing is down, beds are as grass free as I can get them and the chicken has been helping a bit in that department too and digs up a few more roots for me. So far she has left the plants alone, just digging where it is bare dirt.

    I think I know what I'm doing for the duck/chicken hut. Will likely reuse the chicken house and remodel it a tad so upstairs is for the chickens and downstairs is for the ducks and maybe add a nest box area.

    So we are at a spot where we have 4' fence posts in the ground. I'd like to have a 7' fence so I can walk in the pen easily and at some point cover the top.
    I can not find 8' fencing locally. I have never seen 7' fencing.

    I can easily get 5' or 6' fencing.
    Any suggestions for getting 5' or 6' wire fencing up to a total of 7' of fencing (where the bottom 5' or 6' is the wire fencing) that looks nice. This is the first thing you see when you pull up our driveway, so I'd like it to look nice.

    I know normal wood slat fencing, I've seen lattice at the top, not sure how that would look with wire fencing on the bottom portion.
     
  6. boomer 21

    boomer 21 New Egg

    4
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    Jan 31, 2016
     
  7. boomer 21

    boomer 21 New Egg

    4
    0
    6
    Jan 31, 2016
    My ducks and chickens were free range for about 2.5 years before we started having something picking them off. Seems to only be an issue in the early summer, so now they are penned 24/7 unless supervised from June - October. Their pen originally was just constructed around their houses. There were trees behind and in their pen to provide cover and shade. Then we had a bunch of trees taken down so they wouldn't fall on the house/garage/shed and then the pen was wide open and you could see it from the road and I just don't like the looks of it, no to mention no cover for them when they are penned up in the summer in southern Alabama! DH added a little awning to the chicken hut and they hang out under there sometimes, but usually when in their pen, they hang out under the duck hut. The current arrangement which works, but isn't all that appealing, shed, duck house, chicken house, food hut (can see my neighbors now), then our garage [​IMG] So I wanted to change things a bit so it looks much nicer. I was going to add a coop to the end of the shed and then put up some nice fencing. Had plans drawn up, knew what I wanted to do and Dh didn't like it so much and one day suggested using my garden instead. This was the garden the first year we put it together. No crazy grass. The duck house and chicken house are to the right of the shed and had all that tree cover... now it is naked!! [​IMG] The first summer of the garden. [​IMG] While I was away for work, the crazy grass took over the garden. I spent over one hour weeding ONE bed and while I pulled the surface grass, so much root was left that I knew it wouldn't last long. NOTHING stops this crazy grass - it grows through pavement! Crazy grass - this is the bed I spent an hour pulling grass... the bottom third of the bed is wrapped in the roots of this crazy grass! [​IMG] My garden is 24x24 and fenced with 4' field fencing. So we'll have to raise the height of the fence posts and change the fencing. We have 3 + yards of pea gravel in there. I didn't want to just leave it in there, so for a week, I dug out the pea stone. Which when it is covered in crazy grass, really kind of sucks! New home for some of the pea stone... chicken likes to rearrange the wood mulch in the sidewalk gardens, so put some of the pea stone there instead. [​IMG] Then I removed all the raised beds, which left me with clumps of garden soil. I then spread out the dirt since the garden holds water in the center... so the dirt has leveled it out a bit. One raised bed box with iris and day lilies in it and the mound of dirt from another raised bed. The other raised beds are outside the garden now. Will likely reuse them for this year's garden. [​IMG] The garden also has a perimeter bed around the entire garden... taken over by crazy grass. I wanted to keep those since I had a bed of iris and day lilies in the garden and no where to put them... so I wanted to put them in the perimeter garden and also use those to grow some things they ducks and chicken can eat. Here is the last bit of perimeter bed... you can see where I stopped as it was getting dark. The beds are full of grass. I had moved soil IN the garden before I pulled the grass on the back half of the beds... and that's all you can see in this pic is the roots I ripped up, not the dirt in the rest of the garden/pen. This grass is CRAZY [​IMG] Today, I moved the dirt around and degrassed 3/4 of the perimeter bed, replanted my iris and sprayed my day lilies since they were covered in aphids. Will plant them tomorrow if the aphids are dead. Will also finish degrassing the last of the perimeter beds. [​IMG] My fingers are raw. I can't use gloves and get the roots of this crazy grass. I pulled up so many 4' roots and even then, they snap, so I know I'll be weeding these beds forever. Bright side, there is now some really nice dirt in my beds! Started out with clay, pine straw and more clay and then topped with a bit of compost. Over the last 3 years, I have really nice soil now in those beds!! Next steps - pulling down the old fence, get the apron fencing and have DH use the tractor to dig out a bit of grass around the garden/pen so I can get that laid down and covered back up. Then extend my posts so we can get some 6' fencing put up. Also need to figure out what to do for a new coop for the girls or modify the existing chicken coop to have a lower level for the ducks. And plant some grass so it can get growing before I have to lock the girls up this summer. So progress, but still a way to go. Build a cage with pig pen wire and tie downs and nothing happened for me
     

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