Destruction and Genesis

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Tevyes Dad, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Laser

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  2. Shotgun

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  1. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Tuesday night through Wednesday morning we were hit by a strong wind storm. There were fairly long periods of 30-40 mph winds punctuated by 70 mph gusts. We woke a little before 3am to the UPS and power monitor alarms going off. While our power outage was short, the winds were not. The ducky dome I had built had withstood the wind onslaught admirably for several hours up to that point. Finally the tarp that covered it tore. This allowed it to dive under its primary support and directly pry on the PVC supports that stood between the primary wood supports. One by one it broke through the PVC hoops and with each break, the section of destructive tarp grew. By the time it got to the center wood support, it was a 15' x 15' sail that even that strong support could not withstand. Once that was toppled, most of the remaining PVC hoops were mangled, but the tarp was now lying low and not putting the force on the structure. All that was left standing were the primary supports on either end and some support lumber here and there. Yvonne and I went out in the dark and the wind and disassembled the ducky dome. We didn't want further damage to occur to what was left or to other areas of our property from the debris. Also we wanted the possibility of our ducks emerging from their house in the morning into a safe environment. We took everything apart, inventorying every screw along the way. There were 8 screws missing. I then ran to Lowes and bought a contractor grade sweeper magnet and we ran it over the entire yard the ducks use several times. We accounted for all but 5 screws on the entire structure. Hopefully those were flung out of the yard completely. We are still looking every chance we get. Our gazebos were also damaged in the wind. Fortunately, the ducks' house stood firm and had no damage (It is actually tied to the fence behind it.)

    Here is a before and after shot of our back yard (we moved the ramp)...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the bright side (but another reason I have been missing from the forum) we started and completed phase 1 of the secure run project. We are constructing a 400 sq. ft. run where we will be able (when it is fully armed [​IMG]) to herd the duckies and possibly be able to go away for a weekend without sitters. And if a duck doesn't go in the house, it will have to sit outside and quack until morning, but it will be able to do so safely.

    For phase 1, we erected (slightly trenched) a 20' x 20' x 6' dog kennel. More before and after pictures:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The following phases are still planned:

    Phase 2: Hardware Cloth lower boundary. This will probably be 4ft hardware cloth sunk around 1ft inside the chain link. Plus stitching steel wire between the fence and the duck house so that nothing can press through to the opening for the duck door.

    Phase 3: Electrification/stabilization. running strands of electric wire around the entire fence for crafty climbers. In this process, several ground rods will be driven into the ground. They will be way oversized so that they can double as mechanical supports in the middle of the fence walls for further stabilization.

    Phase 4: Aerial Defense. A mast will be erected in the center of the run. This will support fishing line / LED lighting strands / netting or a combination of these to reduce the chance of hawk / eagle attacks to zero.

    Phase 5: Active Defenses. This will be an autonomous defense system working from 4 turrets that will be placed on each corner of the pen. I am currently doing risk analysis to determine whether shotgun or laser based systems would make more sense when weighing efficacy vs liability.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
    2 people like this.
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Mercy!!![​IMG]

    Glad you were all unharmed.

    Could you go over the ground rod idea again? I have set up electric fence twice, understand their role, wondered about shock risk….
     
  3. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    I have a comprehensive background in electricity and no background in electric fence so you know what to take with a grain of salt. As I understand it the energizer of an electric fence puts out a very short duration shock in the low millisecond range. The reason this is important is that current and duration is what "fries" you. Voltage can kick start your nerves and make you use motor skills involuntarily and it can REALLY hurt. A good example is if you go some place where it is really dry (like 15% humidity) and scuff your feet on some carpet, you can get yourself some REALLY painful static electric shocks. These shocks can be in the 10,000 - 20,0000 volt range and they hurt pretty bad. If you scuffed up a super static like this (we get days like that in Montana) and touched your duck right in the head, it would probably hate you for about a month, but would be unharmed (unless it rammed its head into something which caused damage). Electric fences from what I understand use around 5000 - 10,0000 volts and I would guess the duration is similar, but they will keep doing it around 1 time / second. Ow...... Ow....... Ow........ So a modern electric fence will turn away a grizzly bear, but won't harm a mouse - it is a psychological barrier, not a physical one. That being said, a weak static shock won't deter anyone and neither will a weak electric fence. For voltage to be productive you need a circuit where current can flow. The normal residential power lines that run around neighborhoods are usually around 12,500 Volts but there is a constant flow at high current available on them. If you touched one with a metal pole, much of you would be turned to ash and you would not survive the ordeal. But birds land on them all the time. There is no reference. If a bird was so unlucky to have one foot on the wooden pole (especially after a rain) and another foot on the line, it would be a puff of smoke even though wood isn't that good of a conductor. So on your energizer, there is one connector that is "ground" and one that is "hot". The earth acts as a moderate conductor and so if you are standing on the ground and touch the wire, you will get shocked. If you are wearing rubber boots, maybe not. So if a raccoon jumps on the fence and the fence is not making good contact with the ground electrically, when he touches the wire, the shock he gets won't be as strong. If the fence is making very good contact with the ground, then he will get the full shock. It won't harm him, but if every time he wanted to come by your place you kicked him good in the ribs, he'd find another less painful place to have a meal.

    Grounding the fence like this will only make sure that the fence itself is always at the same potential as ground so as long as your birds don't touch the hot wires, the fence itself won't be even a little dangerous, in fact even if the hot wire were to touch the fence (a deer lays on it or something), a good ground will short out the voltage and the fence will still be ok for the birds (if it isn't repaired however Mr. Raccoon might get a break.) If the bird does touch the hot wire... They won't do it again!

    Now the reference I was making is normally for electric fences, you use a small diameter rod pounded several feet into the ground to make electrical contact with the earth. In my case, since my actual fence is a dog kennel and isn't as sturdy as fence posts concreted into the ground, I am going to go with a heavier longer post to pound into the ground that will act as both my grounding posts and as an anchor for my kennel so it can't be lifted/pushed/deformed easily.

    I may have babbled on too much here, but I don't know your point of reference or anyone else's who might read this so I hope I covered what was useful and didn't glaze too many eyes over.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. User353335

    User353335 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Tevyes Dad is largely accurate in the statements made regarding the fence, but to put things simply, I'm going to try to expand.

    In DC wiring, you have 2 wires (or "poles") a positive and a negative. Think about a 9V battery you touch your tongue to... you're putting the positive (+) and the negative (-) together, and... well... I'm sure you know what happens - you get a little ZAP on your tongue.

    Now, while I'm not recommending you try this with an electric fence (OUCH!) the principle is the same. There is a red aka "positive" wire that you surround your precious ducks with. You then take that black aka "negative" wire and connect it to a gigantic conductive rod in the ground. By slamming a rod in the ground, and connecting the negative to that rod, you've now made the entire ground a negative. When you (or an animal) goes up and touches the positive wire while standing on the negative ground it's exactly like you just touched the 9V battery with your tongue. You get a zap.

    @Tevyes Dad posted a really good explanation on how the electric fence "energizer" pulses the current on the positive wire. This allows you to get a quick jolt and pull away... enough to scare anyone / anything off. There are other reasons for this pulse, but that helps you understand anyways.


    More info: http://equusmagazine.com/article/eqkeepcurr354
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2015
  5. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Since I received an opinion I put up a poll... Laser or shotgun?
     
  6. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Gonna be down in the single digits this weekend, but the following weekend is supposed to be above freezing.... So December 5 I am hoping to implement phase 2. The plan is to destroy a cheap chainsaw as a mini trencher so I can get a foot deep slit to put the hardware cloth in. I might do the stitching this weekend.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Inspiring. I have wondered quite a bit how to get ahold of a mini trencher for some gardenscaping ideas lately…...
     
  8. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    There are two main differences I can see between a trencher and a chainsaw:

    1. Trencher has a much bigger guard on the user side for the dirt to hit. With a chainsaw you will probably wear your dirt.
    2. A trencher has hard metal knobs on a chain that aren't sharp. A chainsaw has sharp metal blades. I figure after the first 15 seconds of rock and dirt, the chainsaw will have a somewhat lighter duty version of the non-sharp knobs.

    I figure if I don't amputate something, I will definitely destroy the chain and maybe be out a bar, but I doubt I will hurt the rest of the saw much.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I mentioned your plan to my beloved - and in the interest of preserving your hide, I decided I would share.

    His first comment was, it wouldn't work here in New England. (We have very very stony soils.) He went on contemplating out loud.

    The chainsaw would kick back when it hit the stone. The chain could go flying. Or the stone could hit you in the crotch at 50 mph. The more I think about it, the wiggier I feel….. (that means he's getting faint).

    There's my public service announcement. I have no experience with chainsaws, myself.
     
  10. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Here is an actual hand trencher later in the video it shows it being used by hand...
    [VIDEO]
     

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